We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!
from £1,295 or €1,475
Season 1: January – March & November – December
Set departure dates of 8-15 January, 12-19 February, 12-19 March, 12-19 November & 28 December to 4 January 2024
Season 2: April – May & October
Any day arrival and departure throughout this period.
Season 3: June – September
Any day arrival and departure throughout this period.
Season 1 – 7 nights
Season 2 – 7 nights
Season 3 – 7 nights
Bespoke Individual Itineraries
Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.
Included – All your riding, full board accommodation & airport transfers.
Excluded – Flights, drinks & tips.
International flights to Horta Airport.
We arrange to pick you up and drop you off at the airport.
“Open all year”
Remember our Horse Riding Holidays GUARANTEE. You won’t find these Horse Riding Holidays (or any of our Horse Riding Holidays) at a lower price through any other source… and if you do we will refund the difference.
This is a beautiful 7-night holiday, riding over 150kms around the island of Faial in the Azores. Every day you will enjoy new trails, passing old lighthouses, riding through the picturesque sailors’ town Horta, remote bays, jungle like forests and even on top of a volcano.
You will have no need to pack your luggage each day, because every evening you will return by car to the Lodge where the team and chefs are waiting to welcome you back with a great 3 course dinner. The horses stay behind, in lush paddocks enjoying a night of grass and rest, refreshed and ready to take you on your next trail the following day.
The lodge offers 4 different kinds of accommodation to suit everyone from apartments, to lodge rooms, a cabin and for the very outdoorsy, camping!
The Azores Archipelago is made up of nine islands of volcanic origin located in the North Atlantic, scattered along a 600 km stretch of ocean from Santa Maria to Corvo. The islands of the archipelago are divided in three geographical groups: the Eastern Group, comprising Santa Maria and São Miguel, the Western Group, composed by Corvo and Flores and the Central Group, where Faial lies along with Terceira, Graciosa & São Jorge, Pico. The Azores, along with the archipelagos of Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde, constitute the biogeographic region of Macaronesia, a name which means “fortunate islands” for those who live there and for all of those that visit them.
Your Host – Victor
In 1993 the founder Victor Hucke travelled for the first time to the Azores where they immediately fell in love with the place and the island. The deep blue Atlantic Ocean and an evergreen island was what he was searching for to decelerate and bring him closer to a simpler way of living.
Countless journeys followed until he eventually bought and refurbished a 200-year-old barn called “QUINTA DO MOINHO”.
In 2012 PÁTIO was founded. PÁTIO became the 1st trail riding destination in the Azores with the aim to offer wonderful, value for money riding holidays showing off the island on his fabulous Lusitano horses.
25 years as a restless Manager, once he stepped on the island of Faial, he found the place he was yearning for…there is nothing Victor loves more than guiding his guests on horseback across his beautiful home.
Horses – A beautiful herd of well-trained Lusitanos and Cruzado Portuguese horses.
Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to advanced riders. You must be able to canter in control in open countryside with and independent seat and hands. You should have good fitness and be able to ride for up to 5 hours per day.
Tack – English style, most snaffle bridles with ‘First Class Trekker-Saddle’ specifically designed and fitted for trail riding from the Italian saddlery Prestige.
Classical Dressage Weight Restriction – 95kg / 210lbs / 15 stone.
There are 4 great options to choose from to suit everyone.
44m², private access and a garden terrace, ocean views, king size-bed room, spacious bathroom with walk-in- shower, kitchen, dining place and living room, plus wi-fi.
20m², ocean views, king size-bed, private bathroom with walk-in-shower, Minibar, desk & wi-fi.
18m², private access and a garden terrace, ocean views, queen-size alcove-bed, small bathroom with walk-in-shower, kitchenette, dining place & sofa.
6m² tent on a grassed campsite with ocean and village views, camp or airbed, shared bathroom and shower facilities. Includes towels and cushions (Own sleeping bag required).
You can expect a very high standard of freshly prepared local food.
Breakfast is usually served in or outside on the terrace. Includes fresh juices, coffee and tea, cereals, homemade yogurt, island cheese and sausage, homemade marmalade and honey, freshly made bread out of the wood oven, island butter and milk.
Lunches are picnic style, either out of your saddlebag, sandwiches, cereal bar and fruit, or a full picnic, with breads, fresh salads, fish, meat dishes and desert.
Dinner is normally served in or outside on the terrace. Includes a traditional menu with a selection of fish, meat or vegetarian and a starter, salad and desert. All the meats are locally sourced, and the fish is local & freshly caught.
Horse Riding Holidays like our Azores Faial Island Trail holiday are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Portugal.
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival on Faial Island (Horta Airport – Code: HOR), transfer to PÁTIO Lodge and first contact with the horses. Multimedia briefing of the trail week. Get to know the group and your guide. Allocation of horses. Welcome dinner.
Day 2 – History of Whales – Trail
< 20km, +800m, -700m, 4-5 h riding time >
Today you will learn a lot about whales and their history on the island of Faial during the briefing. Then you will get to know your horse and your equipment. We start off riding gently up meadow paths. After a short time, we begin our first trot and canter. We reach a whale watching point. With a little luck and when the sea is calm, we can see whales and dolphins. We come back to the lodge along the steep coast. A delicious lunch is waiting
here. In the afternoon we reach two small whaling harbours. If the weather is good, you can swim. The horses rest and stay overnight in a small hamlet. We drive back to the lodge, in time for a drink at the bar.
Day 3 – Lighthouse-Trail and Whale Watching
< 14km, +550m, -450m, 3 h riding time >
Today you can learn about the impact of the 1998 earthquake on Faial. We go to the horses early in the morning. Today’s morning trail begins riding along the coast through blue hydrangea hedges, to the island’s former lighthouse, which was destroyed in the earthquake. The nearby village still has a crumbling church that testifies to the power of the earthquake. Around noon we reach the horses rest area. Time for a saddlebag picnic. Then we drive to the town of Horta to meet a team of marine biologists. Together with them we go out to the ocean in a powerfully motorised zodiac. More than 30 different whales and dolphins can be encountered in the ocean surrounding Faial. It is a wonderful experience to be so close to the largest mammals in the world. If the weather and season do not allow whale watching, you will find enough time to discover this colourful and cosmopolitan port town. Walk along the sailing harbour and find secluded spots in the town. Maybe a gin and tonic in the famous Peter Café Sport Bar? In the evening we drive back to the lodge, where dinner is waiting for us.
4. Day: Caldeira of Faial – Trail
< 30km, +1.100m, -1.100m, 5-6 h riding time >
Also, today we start early to one of the top highlights of the Azores, Faial’s crater, the Caldeira. It is located at an altitude of over 1,000m in the centre of the island. A real challenge for rider and horse. Sometimes we meet farmers on the way to their cows. Heather tree along our route looks like giant broccoli. The Atlantic Ocean glitters in the sun. We slowly ride our way up to the crater rim of Faial via switchback tracks. One of the top highlights of the Azores lies majestically here. The 400m deep and 2,500m wide crater. If you want to extend your trail vacation, you can descend into the depths of the crater with our nature park guide.
After the saddlebag picnic you ride through the lonely and wild landscape of the high mountains. Our trail leads us over farm roads down to a small volcano whose inner crater we can reach on foot through a small tunnel. A very special atmosphere awaits us in this tunnel. We arrive at the Jungle Camp in the late afternoon. The transfer to the lodge is already waiting. An exhilarating day on the trail lies behind us. Horses and riders have certainly earned today’s dinner.
Day 5 – The Fajã Bay – Trail
< 17km, +620m, -620m, 4 h riding time >
Faja-Bay is a hidden bay where the islanders have grown wine and fruit for 500 years. On the way there we pass small adegas, wine houses with their vineyards. Riding through dense jungle we reach the black lava beach of Fajã Bay. A magical, romantic world of its own. Small lava stone houses, well-tended gardens and a wild sea await us. Our saddlebag picnic area is right by the sea. A wonderful gallop takes us back to the jungle camp in the afternoon. Today, like every evening, there is a thematic dinner that brings us closer to the tasty cuisine of the Azores.
Day 6 – Volcano of Capelinhos-Trail
< 20km, +670m, -670m, 4-5 h riding time >
Today the trail leads us through a mystical jungle landscape. We enjoy fantastic gallops close to the coastline. Extensive vineyards, but also small adegas line our way. Via narrow tracks close to the shore, we reach another top highlight of the Azores, the volcano of Capelinhos, which erupted in 1957. Desert-like solitude awaits us. An old whaling village covered with the ashes of the volcano. Hidden under the buried lighthouse is the modern interpretation centre that reports on the volcanism of the Azores and the eruption of the volcano. We combine a saddlebag picnic with a visit to this attraction. Riding over parts of the volcano, we reach the Jungle Camp in the late afternoon. The transfer back to the lodge is already waiting.
Day 7 – Canyon-Trail with picnic and wine tasting
< 17km, +550m, -700m, 4-5 h riding time >
Today is the last day of the trail. We cross the island from the dry south to the green north. Magnificent views over terraced pastures down to the blue ocean. Extended gallops lead to the highest village on the island, Ribeira Funda. A typical Azorean picnic is waiting for us directly above the 300m deep canyon. We let the sun warm us, listen to the wind and the wild cries of the buzzards circling over the deep gorge. In the afternoon the route takes us along yam fields through a small, wild and romantic valley after 6 days of riding back to the PÁTIO Lodge. A big farewell dinner with wine tasting in the lodge closes the fascinating trail week.
Day 8 – Add ons or time to depart – we take our guests who do not individually extend their stay with us to the airport or the ferry port on the island of Faial after breakfast.
All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.
If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.
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