Horse riding has always managed to capture the imagination of people all around the world.  And the Algarve is the perfect place for you be at sync with nature and these magnificent creatures. Either alone, with a group of friends or with your romantic partner, the Algarve’s many trails will ensure you will have a day to remember. With its perfect and shiny weather, sky without clouds and a mild and pleasant temperature, this is the place to let yourself wander through beaches, hills or lagoons.

Three people riding horses in the beach at sunset
Riding on the beach at sunset

Best places and courses for horse riding

Albufeira – Albufeira is definitely a great place for horse riding. It is located close to the beach and to the countryside, with plenty of open spaces ideal for you to have your horse riding experience. Horse riding in Albufeira will allow you the opportunity to ride through the spectacular lagoons of Albufeira such as Lagoa dos Salgados which will allow you to see a large range of bird species and flora, golf courses, and all located just 200 metres away from the beach. It doesn’t matter what your level of experience is, as the professional team at Albufeira will teach you everything you need to know and the horses are trained to suit all types of riders, from amateurs to experienced ones. All the equipment you need is also provided. At Albufeira you can take horse riding lessons and children can go on a pony trekking tour. More experienced riders can even trek on the dunes of the beach Praia Grande, between November and March.

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Horse riding on the beach

Vilamoura – Vilamoura’s incredible beauty makes it hard to find a more suitable place than this one for horse riding. Stunning beaches and amazing lagoons offer you perfect tracks to try horse riding or pony trekking. Children between the ages of 4 and 14 can try the Kids Club experience, where besides riding the horses children will also groom and look after them. The Kids Club is the ultimate experience for children who love horses. Some fun courses you can do in Vilamoura include a stop at a traditional Portuguese restaurant for a delicious Portuguese meal. More experienced riders can opt for a 3 hour cliff-top trekking tour on the cliffs of Praia da Falésia and Praia da Rocha Baixinha with a beautiful scenery over the beaches and the sea.

Photo by Cerro Novo.

Silves – Silves used to be the capital of the Algarve and has deep historic roots. It has the most grandiose and well preserved castle of the region and it usually hosts medieval fairs that attract thousands of people wishing to re-enact old ages. Because of all this, Silves was one of the first cities in Portugal to commercialize the whole horse riding experience. Horse riding in Silves also has a long tradition due to its breath-taking countryside. Private Horse Riding Lessons, Countryside Pony Trekking Tours and a Kids Pony Walk are some of the activities you can do near this amazing city that gathers together all the conditions you need to go horse riding. The trekking tours are done on Serra de Monchique, among the eucalyptus and orange trees and with a stunning view over the ocean. Those not feeling very confident or young children can try horse riding on the lunge line. You can also take showjumping lessons, either over a single jump in the smaller riding arena or a course in the larger arena. Experienced riders can also ride the beautiful and majestic Lusitano stallions.

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Other recommended places for horse riding

Loulé – Loulé’s more rural vibe consists as well in a great location for horse riding. Its equestrian centre has been around since 1996 and offers lessons or trekking tours in a safe environment.

Aljezur – Aljezur’s stunning beauty perfectly blends in a scenario of beach and countryside. Feel like a true explorer discovering the beautiful Costa Vicentina on the back of a horse.

Lagos – Lagos absolutely ravishing beaches will make you think you are in a fairy tale while riding a horse close to shore. The scenery is perfect for a romantic horse riding trip and for couples wanting to have a fun experience together.

Tavira – Tavira’s picturesque charm begs to be discovered on the back of a horse. In case you don’t feel comfortable jumping immediately to a track across the city, there is a corral where you can also experiment horse riding.

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What is the best time of the year to go horse riding in the Algarve?

Summer – The Algarve attracts thousands of tourists in the summer due to its sunny weather. This means it is practically impossible to go horse riding on the beach since most beaches get packed with tourists, however you can of course still explore the lagoons and rustic interior of the Algarve. Because the temperature is quite hot, it might be a bit unpleasant to try horse riding anytime between 10 and 17 o’clock. However, it is a remarkable experience to go horse riding early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it is a little cooler for both you and your stead.

Winter – Winter is a good season to go horse riding in the Algarve. It barely rains during this season, even though it is the season with the most rain, and the average temperatures of 11/12ºC mean you can go horse riding for over two hours without succumbing to the heat.

Autumn/Spring – Autumn and spring are excellent seasons to go horse riding. The weather is sunny without being too hot, most beaches are still free of tourists, and, because days are longer, there is more daylight for longer treks.

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