EQUESTRIAN TOURISM IN PORTUGAL
Coudelaria Henrique Abecasis
Toni Ritchie (USA)
I have been remiss in not emailing you sooner. Carol and I had a great time with our hosts in Portugal in September. While the itinerary was not exactly as presented in the sales materials since there were only the two of us, we were SO appreciative that the team there was willing to guarantee the trip. It gave us something wonderful to look forward to for nearly the entire year.
The horses were in beautiful condition and so solid in a range of challenging conditions. Our host, Tiago Abecasis and his team from the HA studfarm, went the extra mile to make us feel at home and they handled the details so everything went smoothly and our safety was protected. Our guide and ground crew rode or drove the trails the night before so they were sure the path was passable, they coordinated with a team stop traffic when we had large roads with fast traffic to cross and they were mindful of our comfort throughout. Professional from start to end.
I will remember the great warmth from our host and guides, as well as the Lusitanos, and the beauty and generosity of Portugal and her country people that few tourists are likely to experience. We found it everywhere.
Thank you to you and the entire Equitours team for a horse vacation I’ll never forget. And now that I’ve done a point-to-point ride like this I wonder if there is really any other way to see another country and know it’s people! Can’t wait for the next trip.
With much appreciation,
Jennifer Walker (USA)
"Thanks for allowing us to provide some feedback on our recent riding trip in Portugal.
Bottom line, I would absolutely recommend this trip to others
1. Our host at Coudelaria Henrique Abdecasis, Tiago, insists on a very professional, well-run stable. Our guide, Edgar, and his wife Marta (who met us at the end of each ride) were friendly, capable, and attentive to our preferences. The Lusitano horses were well-trained, fit, strong, and sturdy. They were willing and confident in any terrain. The tack was in very good condition, and the saddles were very comfortable.
2. The setting - rich farmlands, vineyards, hills, and small towns in rural Portugal - can't be adequately described. Absolutely beautiful. The daily agenda allowed for variety in scenery, with wandering walks and canters through the countryside. I especially enjoyed our mid-day stops.
3. The overnight accommodations ranged from good to exceptional. We were housed the first two nights at an alternate location, as the normal location had a family emergency and had to divert customers. Instead, we stayed at Quinta da Lapa - a centuries-old winery with a beautifully-renovated guest house. The meals there were outstanding and our hostess was most gracious. The Casa de Alcacova was also exceptional. Casa Azinhaga was in need of a refresh. Quinta de Santa Barbara was very nice.
4. We were able to adjust our itinerary due to rainy weather. As it was just Chad and me at the end, I was thrilled to be able to enjoy a couple dressage lessons with Tiago on one of his lovely big Lusitanos.
I will send a few photos that you are welcome to use on your website. (given their size, I will send one at a time). If you would like more "conversational" quotes to go with them, please let me know and I can send them separately.
I look forward to touring with Equitours again and will very happily recommend your agency.
Dr Jennifer J. Walker"
Mark Claussen (Germany)
"We really enjoyed out time and the family atmosphere. All the three swimming pools were great and very much enjoyed the horses. They had great disposition and a lots of spirit, very responsive to the reins and legs. My daughter liked that it was a family run."
Sirpa Hanninen (Finland)
"Thank you for this wonderfull week, it went very fast... Hope to comeback some day!"
Bertrand Reboul (France)
"I had a very great time for this week, horses and people were very nice. I learned a lot of interestign things on horse trainning."
Michael Jones (UK)
"Just to say thank you for your hospitality and all the great kindnesses you showed to me during my very brief stay at your wonderful establishment. All part of a grand adventure in Portugal."