Adventures on the peach tree island

Composit do Pessegueiro-3One of the most captivating beaches in Portugal is the Pessegueiro (peach tree) beach near Porto Covo in Alentejo. It is wonderful to seat on the sand feeling the sea breeze and enjoying the view of the Pessegueiro island. The island looks so mysterious that it is impossible to resist the temptation to plunge in the emerald waters and swim a shore. It is great fun to explore the 15th century fort and the ruins that date from Roman times.

In the afternoon, it is fantastic to go horseback ridding along the coast. Claudia Castanheira and Paulo Rosa of Herdade do Pessegueiro provide all you need: well-trained, intelligent horses, horse-riding instruction, and a picnic. Riding a horse through trails and sand dunes, feeling one with nature is an unforgettable adventure.

Click here for the Herdade do Pessegueiro web site.

A royal inheritance

St. André HorsesThe excitement of driving a Ferrari or a Maserati doesn’t come close to the thrill of riding a Lusitano horse. You can, for modest fees, master the art of riding these elegant animals at the St. André Lusitanos school, on the outskirts of Lisbon.

The school has a long tradition of teaching excellence. When you take one-on-one lessons with the St. André instructors, you become an heir to knowledge that goes back to King Dom Duarte’s famous 1435 equestrian treatise “The art of ridding on every saddle.” If you always yearned for a royal inheritance, this is your chance.

Click here for the St. André Lusitanos website.

Wild life in Mafra

TapadaMafra2

When the Portuguese kings and queens stayed at the Mafra Palace, they enjoyed hunting at a local game reserve called Tapada de Mafra. The Tapada is now a national park that offers many fun activities for kids. There are train rides, donkey rides, archery lessons, and falconry demonstrations. You can see deer, wild boar, foxes, and other animals in their natural habitat.

Our favorite activity at Tapada is taking horse-ridding lessons. A 30-minute lesson costs only 5 euros. But riding an elegant horse in the beautiful Tapada grounds, always makes us feel like royalty.

 

Click here for the Tapada’s web site. Mafra is an easy 40 km drive from Lisbon on the A8 highway. Horse-ridding lessons are offered between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm. It is a good idea to call in advance to make reservations (Tel. 261 81 4240 or reservas@tapadademafra.pt).