We believe the Four Waters Program will provide an exciting adventure, exploring the freedom of the great outdoors, a glimpse on a fascinating culture with great comfort in one week of riding in the wild SW of Portugal. Four Waters starts from a traditional and authentic farm, where pure-breed Lusitanos are bred. From there, we propose every day a different ride to explore what we call “the Four Waters” – the sea, the river, the lake and a multitude of streams.
COUDELARIA QUINTA DO ALMARGEM breeds Arabian horses, some of them mixed-bred with Lusitanos and Lusitano horses, giving rise to unique horses that are extremely skilled for long soft rides.
Luís from Almargem is an experienced guide, with a long experience in endurance competition and horseback riding tours. Luís is also a young veterinarian assuring the technical support and development of the family breeding. He did his practice in a Voluntary Association, American Fondouk, in Morocco, helping working equids in the developing countries.
NATURARTE is one of the leading Portuguese guest houses where you can expect: authenticity and culture in unrivalled comfort – Rui, one of the owners is an architect, passionate about horses, has recovered the old farm houses, achieving an unique boutique country hotel. Naturarte combines modern comfort with traditional construction in a surprising and authentic way. Rui also loves to play classical guitar, and traditional music. Gastronomy – Pamela, Rui’s wife, is Austrian and well known for novel approaches to Portuguese cuisine, with influences from her own background, leading to healthy delicacies taking advantage of the diversity of excellent produce raised in the 600 acre estate, and in other local farms.
Rui and Pamela share the love for Lusitano horses. You will see horses raised by the family, trained with a combination of natural and classical dressage. Freedom – Naturarte is located 1 Km from a typical village which can be reached by a nice path. Therefore, even without a car, you can be independent to explore the local market, cafes and restaurants. In addition Naturarte has free bicycles for guests.
We believe the Four Waters Program is a unique program, combining adventure, excitement and great comfort with attention to details, in one of the last truly natural landscapes in Europe – within the largest Natural Park in Portugal.
Saturday – Meet at Lisbon or Faro Airport at 17.30. Transfer (approximately 2 hours) to the farm. Presentation of the space, rooms and stables, followed with a dinner and a social moment “tertulia” as an introduction to the region, while listening to some music.
Sunday –The adventure begins to explore the 1st water – the SEA! In the morning we propose a two hours ride in an unfenced forest of eucalyptus and cork trees, followed by a picnic in an unexpected spot surrounded by huge rock formations that have a waterfall in the winter and spring.
In the afternoon, a further two hours ride will lead to sandy coastal roads, ending in front of the ocean – the perfect spot for a cocktail facing the sea!
After the ride you will be transferred (about 15 min by car) to the hotel, with a free night to explore the village (meals are always available in the hotel when requested).
Monday – After the transfer to meet the horses, you will start to explore the 1st water – the SEA, in one of the most
beautiful and wild parts of Europe, along the cliffs and empty beaches. The lunch takes place in a typical restaurant that serves the best fresh fish from the coast. In the afternoon you will have a completely different experience riding in land in the direction of the 2nd water – the LAKE.
This riding day ends in a nice farm where the horses stay for the night, while the program continues in Naturarte (after a 15 min transfer) with a presentation of a Lusitano Stallion with live music and original “tapas” for Dinner!
Tuesday – After a short transfer to meet the horses, you will start to explore the 2nd water – the LAKE, along the border of the beautiful Campilhas lake. After a ride of two hours, a picnic will be prepared next to another smaller lake where you can rest under the pine trees or have a swim if the weather is warm. In the afternoon we propose another two hours ride, ending in naturarte’s stables, after crossing some traditional farms in the wild sparsely populated Alentejo.
The night and dinner are free to visit the village of São Luís or to simply rest and socialize in Naturarte.
Wednesday – On this day we propose to break the routine! We will prepare a road tour to visit a traditional Lusitano breeder in Alentejo, the famous Brito Paes stud farm (about 40 km from Naturarte). The lunch will be served in the tribune overviewing the covered riding arena while some Lusitanos are presented. After lunch we will visit an old town with a hill topped by a castle from where the ocean can be seen at the distance!
Back in Naturarte there will be time for a night ride, to have some local “schnapps” in the village from the top of your horse, and with an opportunity to contemplate the moon and the stars on the way back, after dinner in a typical village restaurant.
Thursday – This day is dedicated to the 3rd water – the RIVER. A circular ride will combine stunning panoramic views from small hills, the crossing of picturesque valleys, and the discovery of Mira’s river – considered the less polluted in Europe (being in a Park it does not have industries or extensive farming in its banks). A picnic will be prepared in the Mira’s bank.
The night and dinner will be free for a possible visit to Vila Nova de Milfontes, the village located at Mira’s estuary, known for nice pubs and exciting nightlife.
Friday – The last riding day will lead to the 4th water – the STREAM. Another circular ride will combine 2.5 hours riding in the morning and 2.5 hours riding in the afternoon through a typical Alentejo landscape where panoramic views change every 5 minutes. The picnic will be in a
mystic spot where the mightiest of the local streams crosses a rocky gorge with unknown depth…
Naturarte will prepare a special dinner with entertainment for the last night together.
Saturday – Transfer (about 2 hours) from the farm to the Lisbon Airport / or Faro Airport.
This program includes:
The price for this program is 1580 Eur per person sharing a room; or 1790 Eur per person in a single room. (This program can be adapted for shorter periods, two, three or four days – contact us for further information)
This program is suitable for riders with different interests. For senior soft rides, for lessons of natural horsemanship or classical dressage on very well trained Lusitanos, as well as for beginners of all ages. Rui and Pamela are accredited instructors with a large experience in training horses and riders.
The program is also suitable for non-rider companions. For them we have a good selection of activities to choose from, such as trekking, canoeing, surfing, tennis, cycling, boat trips, massages, wine tastes, cultural trips or just relaxing by the pool.
It will be possible for the non-riding participants to join the picnics and lunches of the trekking riders.
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