Rideferie-Azorene-forside

Azorene – The green island

The riding is on São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.You are based at the comfortable Quinta da Terca and the various riding trails take you to dramatic areas of the island. For those wanting a greater degree of sight-seeing, the Atlantis Ride has fewer hours of riding. This flexible itinerary allows you plenty of time to relax and explore this beautiful island. Dolphin and whale watching is a must do activity.

Learn to ride in the lush green landscape of São Miguel, the largest of the Azorean islands. This ride is suitable for beginner and novice riders, or those wishing to gain confidence.

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Product Description

  • Riding experience: all riding level; from beginners (Learn to ride in a week) to experienced riders: Riding experience
  • Open all year
  • Arrive/depart any day
  • 7 nights / 6 days riding
  • 3 – 6 hours riding per day
  • Normally weight limit: 14 st 13 lbs (95 kgs) (209 lbs)
  • Usual maximum: 10
  • Nearest airport: Ponta Delgada
  • Price from 10 700,- NOK for 7 nigths

The Azores are a stunning archipelago of nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean, almost midway between Portugal and North America. Discovered in the 15th Century, they became an important stop-over point for early explorers and travellers between the old and new worlds.

São Miguel is the largest island in the Azores and measures 81kms long and 15kms wide at its maximum points, however the roads wind up and around many hills and so the island feels much larger than these distances suggest.

The islands are volcanic in origin and this volcanic activity has created a spectacular natural beauty of vast craters, glistening blue lakes, black cliffs along the shore, lush green rolling valleys, rugged mountains and hot mineral springs and geysers.

The fertile terrain is uneven and rocky, making for small, intensely green fields divided by stone walls and edged with vibrantly blooming flowers. The flower most associated with the Azores is the hydrangea, which flowers riotously throughout the islands, lining the roads and fields with shades of blue, purple and pink. Other abundant flowers are arum lilies, wild ginger, rhododendrons, gladioli and sweet peas.

Your base for this wonderful riding holiday is Quinta da Terça on the south of the island not far from the main town of Ponta Delgada. The historic house of the Quinta (farm) is one of the oldest homes on the island and dates from the 17th Century. There are five lovely guest rooms, each with en suite facilities as well as a comfortable dining room and lounge. An array of seasonal fruit and vegetables appear in the wonderful breakfasts, lunches and dinners available at the Quinta. The food is delicious and a real highlight of the holiday.

An array of seasonal fruit and vegetables appear in the wonderful breakfasts, lunches and dinners available at the Quinta. The food is delicious and a real highlight of the holiday.

The riding centre has some 20 much loved horses. They are all well-schooled and a pleasure to ride, whether in the arena or out on the trail.

The Azores are one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins in their natural environment and boat trips out onto the ocean usually give wonderful sightings. Among the most sighted species are the sperm whale, the fin whale, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Atlantic spotted dolphin.

For all trails you can stay as long as you wish and arrive and depart the days which suits you best.

Watch the video “10 reasins to visit the Azores”: 10 reasons to visit the Azores

The Green Island Trail is a seven night itinerary offering riding on six days (about 24 hours total). You have three all day rides with up to six hours in the saddle and three half day rides leaving time to explore the island. Some non-riding excursions are included.

The Atlantis Ride follows a similar itinerary to the Green Island Trail, but with four half day rides and one full day ride (about 17 hours total). There are more non-riding excursions included in the itinerary, which makes this a great itinerary for those wishing to see more of the island.

São Miguel has an extensive network of tracks perfect for riding. They have been built throughout the centuries around and through the countryside and most are still used by farmers going about their daily routines.

On the all day rides, you explore the dramatic south coast or ride eastwards from the Quinta up and over the hills with superb views back along the coast. The highlight for many people is a full day ride to Sete Cidades. This extinct volcano crater, almost 18kms in circumference, has two magnificent lakes, one deep blue in colour and the other emerald green.

There is much to do when not riding. Ponta Delgada is home to some beautiful examples of Portuguese architecture dating back to the 17th Century. You can have a guided personal tour to explore some of the delights of the island. You may wish to have some dressage lessons or to go on a whale and dolphin watching trip (extra payable locally).

The horses are sometimes transported to the start of the ride or brought back to the Quinta at the end of the day so that you have the maximum time riding in the best scenery.

Contact:
Ingunn – riding holiday responsible:

E-mail: ingunn.k@xxl.no

Direct number: +47 48 25 47 33

See www.inthesaddle.com for all our riding holidays in Europe and rest of the world. 

 

Green Island and Atlantis trails: 

For the Green Island Trail you should be a competent rider in control of your horse at walk, trot and canter across sometimes rugged terrain (Intermediate +).

The Atlantis trail is suitable for Intermediate riders who are happy riding outdoors at all paces, or for those wanting less hours in the saddle.

Relaxed ride: You should be happy at walk, trot and canter to join this ride.

Learn to ride in a week: This ride is suitable for beginner and novice riders, or those wishing to gain confidence. During the week you have ten hours of riding lessons either in the riding arena or out on trails and also theory lessons. The aim is that by the end of the week you can join the spectacular full day ride to Sete Cidades (about 15 hours riding in total). Some non-riding excursions are also included.

GREEN ISLAND TRAIL

The itinerary for the Green Island Trail is flexible, but during your stay there will be a combination of half day and full day rides totalling about 24 hours. The full day rides may be moved around due to the weather or other local conditions. It is usually possible to have additional riding or lessons (extra cost, payable locally) in place of the non-riding excursions. Depending on the time you arrive there may be an opportunity for an introductory ride in the arena. Please note, the following are example itineraries and are not exhaustive.

Relva to Varzia – Full Day Ride

After breakfast, the horses are tacked up and loaded into the truck to make the short journey westwards to Relva on the south coast. Riders travel separately (c.30 minutes). Mount up and set off for a lovely ride along the south coast from Relva to Varzia. Lunch is at a restaurant. Arrive back to the Quinta in the late afternoon and later have dinner together.

Orange Plantation – Half Day Ride
This morning you have a lovely ride directly from the Quinta past the high walls of the old orange plantations and into the thick vegetation of a sub-tropical forest. The colours of the flowers are amazing. Return to the Quinta for lunch.

In the afternoon you have the opportunity to go by car to travel further on this interesting island. For such a small island there is a lot to see. Visit Lagoa do Fogo, have a swim at the Caldeira Velha (a warm waterfall at a hot sulphur spring), see Ribera Grande.

Lameiro – Full Day Ride
Today will be spent between the ocean and the sky. The ride will take you around Lameiro where there will be some great view points. The riding terrain will vary from pastures to woods to following old roads and along the way stop off for your picnic lunch. Later arrive back to the Quinta to have dinner.

Peixe Assado to Calhetas. – Full day Ride

The ride starts at Peixe Assado and makes its way to the North coast to the village of Calhetas. Today you will ride through lush green valleys, Azorean jungle, small villages and enjoy some great views. Lunch will be a picnic on route and then later return to the Quinta for dinner.

North Coast – Half Day Ride
This morning you could visit the historic and interesting town of Ponta Delgada. There are interesting old churches to visit or you may prefer to wander through the markets and see the colourful array of fruits and vegetables. Sao Miguel is a large producer of pineapples and it is also possible to visit a pineapple plantation.

Truck the horses across to the north coast. It’s a pretty, gentle landscape and you have a lovely ride through the fields and along tracks with super views to the north coast.

Quinta Ride – Half Day Ride
Provided it isn’t too windy then this morning you might like to get up early and go for a whale and dolphin watching trip from Ponta Delgada (pay this locally). The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins. The trips have a 95% record of seeing dolphins and c.50% chance of seeing whales. Whatever, it’s a really exciting boat trip!

In the afternoon ride from the Quinta, enjoying the good tracks in the area.

Sete Cidades – Full Day
Sete Cidades, a green, fairy-tale crater with its twin lakes, is almost ten miles in circumference. This extinct volcano crater has two magnificent lakes, one deep blue colour and the other emerald green. A legend tells the story of a princess and a shepherd boy who fell in love but were forbidden to meet. She had blue eyes, he had green eyes, and when they met for the last time they cried so much their tears formed the lakes.

You have a full day ride first around the rim of this huge volcanic crater and then descend to the twin lakes in the basin. There are opportunities for some lovely canters along the tracks around the lake shore. Have a picnic lunch by the lake shore.

ATLANTIS RIDE

The itinerary for the Atlantis ride is flexible, but during your stay there will be a combination of half day and full day rides totalling about 17 hours, and one non-riding day. The full day rides may be moved around due to the weather or other local conditions. It is usually possible to have additional riding or lessons (extra cost, payable locally) in place of the non-riding excursions. Depending on the time you arrive there may be an opportunity for an introductory ride in the arena. Please note, the following are example itineraries and are not exhaustive.

Feteiras to Varzia – Half Day Ride
This morning you visit the historic and interesting town of Ponta Delgada. There are interesting old churches to visit or you may prefer to wander through the markets and see the colourful array of fruits and vegetables. Sao Miguel is a large producer of pineapples and it is also possible to visit a pineapple plantation.

In the afternoon the horses are tacked up and loaded into the truck to make the short journey westwards to Feteiras. Riders travel separately (c.30 minutes). Mount up and set off for a lovely ride along the south coast from Feteiras to Varzia. Arrive back at the Quinta in the late afternoon and later have dinner together.

Visit to Lagoa do Fogo – Half Day Ride

This morning you have the opportunity to go by car to travel further on this interesting island. For such a small island there is a lot to see. Visit Lagoa do Fogo, have a swim at the Caldeira Velha (a warm waterfall at a hot sulphur spring), and visit Gorreana tea plantation.

After lunch at the Quinta the horses and you are taken by vehicle across to the north coast. It’s a pretty, gentle landscape and you have a lovely ride through the fields and along tracks with super views to the north coast.

Whales and Dolphin watching – Half Day Ride
This morning is at leisure to do what you want. Provided it isn’t too windy then you may like to get up early and go for a whale and dolphin watching trip from Ponta Delgada. Your hosts can arrange this for you and you will pay this locally. The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins. The trips have a 95% record of seeing dolphins and c.50% chance of seeing whales. Whatever, it’s a really exciting boat trip!

After lunch you ride from the Quinta, heading eastwards to Aqua de Pau. You climb up through farm land with (weather permitting) some wonderful views back towards Ponta Delgada and the coast. This ride takes you through fields of black and white cattle and you may possibly see the farmers travelling out to the fields and to their mobile milking machines.

Visit to Furnas – Non-riding Day
After breakfast your guided excursion takes you to Furnas, with the opportunity to swim in the hot spring.

The afternoon is at leisure, and your hosts will be happy to help arrange transport if (for example) you wish to visit Ponta Delgada again. Alternatively you may prefer to relax in the garden, or perhaps take the short ten minute walk to the beach.

Sete Cidades – Full Day Ride
Today’s ride is a highlight for most people. You and horses are taken almost to the most western tip of the island to Sete Cidades. Sete Cidades, a green, fairy-tale crater with its twin lakes, is almost ten miles in circumference. This extinct volcano crater has two magnificent lakes, one deep blue colour and the other emerald green. A legend tells the story of a princess and a shepherd boy who fell in love but were forbidden to meet. She had blue eyes, he had green eyes, and when they met for the last time they cried so much their tears formed the lakes.

You have a full day ride first around the rim of this huge volcanic crater and then descend to the twin lakes in the basin. There are opportunities for some lovely canters along the tracks around the lake shore. Have a picnic lunch by the lake shore. Later have a final farewell dinner at the Quinta.

LEARN TO RIDE IN A WEEK

During the week you have ten hours of riding lessons either in the riding arena or out on trails and also theory lessons. The aim is that by the end of the week you can join the spectacular full day ride (c.5 hours) to Sete Cidades.

Some non-riding excursions are also included:

A morning is spent visiting the historic and interesting town of Ponta Delgada. There are interesting old churches to visit or you may prefer to wander through the markets and see the colourful array of fruits and vegetables. Sao Miguel is a large producer of pineapples and it is also possible to visit a pineapple plantation.

On one afternoon you have the opportunity to Visit Lagoa do Fogo, have a swim at the Caldeira Velha (a warm waterfall at a hot sulphur spring) and see Ribera Grande beofre returning to the Quinta for dinner.

Provided it isn’t too windy, you might like to get up early and go for a whale and dolphin watching trip from Ponta Delgada (pay this locally). The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins. The trips have a 95% record of seeing dolphins and c.50% chance of seeing whales. Whatever, it’s a really exciting boat trip!

RELAXED RIDE

There is no set itinerary. The Relaxed Ride includes ten hours riding over the week and the precise times of your rides will be agreed when you are in the Azores.

You would need a rental car and this option is on a bed and breakfast basis at the Quinta to give you optimum flexibility to explore the island on your own and have meals out at restaurants. Alternatively you can also eat at the Quinta (meals other than breakfast arranged and payable locally).

 

The Quinta da Terca house is one of the oldest buildings on the islands full of interesting features. You should ask for a tour of the private parts of the house, which is really worth seeing.

There are five guestrooms each with private bathroom (shower). Three have double beds and two have twin beds. The rooms have a television and a small selection of toiletries are provided in case you have forgotten anything.

You have meals in the welcoming dining room converted from a former stable. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, either indoors or on the veranda or in the gardens adjoining the horse paddocks.

Azores – Atlantis and Green Island

Experience Level: What’s this?

Upcoming Dates

All trails are available all year and arriving/departing any day.

If travelling from the UK direct flights from London Gatwick (on Saturday) are available between April and October, but if you are happy to fly via Lisbon or at other times of the year then longer or shorter stays arriving/departing on other days may be possible.

Travellers from other countries may find direct flights on different days of the week.

Please contact us for information on available dates or look at In The Saddles web page: Dates & Prices

 Prices shown are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations. Once booked, prices are fixed.
( GBP | EUR | USD )

Price Details

GREEN ISLAND TRAIL ATLANTIS RIDE
(c. 24 hr riding) (c. 17 hrs riding)
Rider Non-Rider Rider Non-Rider
2015/16: 1 Apr – 31 Oct €1,346 €700 €1,269 €736
2015/16: 1 Nov – 31 Dec €1,244 €634 €1,186 €688

 

 

RELAXED RIDE (7 nights)
Rider Non-rider
2015: 1 Apr – 31 Oct €712 €413
2015: 1 Nov – 31 Dec €647 €356

 

LEARN TO RIDE IN A WEEK (7 nights) Rider Non Rider
2015: 1 Apr – 31 Oct €1,192 €698
2015: 1 Nov – 31 Dec €1,109 €637

INCLUDES Seven nights accommodation; full board; wine with dinner; riding as per itinerary; non-riding excursions as per itinerary; airport transfers.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT €200 (refunded if we find you a sharer).

PAYABLE LOCALLY Spirits; tips; whale watching trip.

NEAREST AIRPORT Ponta Delgada.

TRANSFERS Included from Ponta Delgada

NOT INCLUDED International flights

Location

The riding is on São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The various trails take you to dramatic areas of the island.

Weather

The Azores have a mild temperate climate with average temperatures ranging from 14ºC to 22ºC. However the weather is changeable and it is not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day. During the summer months it can become very humid.

Climate

Climate

Yearly rainfall & temperature

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