Alentejo, Portugal's Top Destination for Horse Lovers, Lifestyle, History, and Fun

Thu, 12/01/2022 - 11:06
The gorgeous Alentejo region in Portugal - Home of the Lusitano horse :: Photos © ABR Fotografia

Alentejo in Portugal is an equestrian destination for horse lovers riding at no matter which level. Enjoy a trail ride on the beach or in the country side, or ride under the watchful eyes of renowned dressage trainers and compete on the international stage at CDI Alter do Chao.

Alentejo, a Part of Portugal with a Heart for Horses

Located in the central South of Portugal, the Alentejo region fascinates those who visit it because of its climate, idyllic landscapes, calm environment and the many tourist activities it offers, especially from equestrian perspective.

Alentejo is well known for its equestrian tourism with horse riders seeking out a simplicity of life in a rural environment, as well as a lifestyle that celebrates the richness of the Alentejo gastronomy and its wines, the hospitality of the population, and the quality of its horse stock. The celebrated Lusitanos, the rare breed of Sorraia horses, as well as traditional Portuguese horse riding can all be experienced in the Alentejo region. 

The Lusitano

The beauty of the Lusitano horse
Portugual is proud of the Lusitano horse, a breed which originates and is bred in Portugal. The Pure Bred Lusitano (PSL) enjoys enormous prestige in international terms for its purity, beauty, strength, and athleticism.

It is a unique case of attractiveness. The Lusitano horse is a descendant of the Iberian horse, a horse which existed in prehistoric times in the territory that today corresponds with the south of the Iberian Peninsula, and which was widely represented in cave paintings. It was called Lusitanian because of the early Roman name for the region of Lusitania and is believed to have been the world's first saddle horse.  The Lusitano is an agile, brave, sober and docile horse, but above all it likes to please and has a great spirit of surrender.

The Alentejo is home to some of the most important Lusitano horse breedings, among them the Coudelaria de Alter, a Portuguese state institution that celebrates 275 years of existence in 2023 and was founded by King D. João V of Portugal.

For centuries, the horse has been part of the daily life of the inhabitants of the Alentejo region. Whether for work, travel or leisure, riding has been and continues to be an important heritage of the Alentejo. The existence of numerous stud farms and history itself reveal that many Portuguese monarchs bet on these parts to breed the best horses in the kingdom, thus meeting the ideal conditions for the practice of equestrian tourism activities.

Alentejo, Your Next Touristic Destination, Combining Horses with Lifestyle

Beautiful nature in Alentejo
The pleasant Mediterranean climate of Portugal ensures unique conditions for equestrian breeding and for the development of equestrian activities, with emphasis, for example, on the training and teaching of riding, the participation of athletes in sports competitions, internships for professional riders, equestrian therapy classes, and adapted classes for people with special needs.

Furthermore the Alentejo stages social events, such as galas, shows, competitions, fairs, markets) and showcases numerous professions and products related to the horse. One can visit various facilities, like equestrian centers, stud farms, museums, palaces, etc..

Throughout the Alentejo region there are equestrian routes that complement the sun and the sea, gastronomy and wine, cultural and landscape tourism, and which allow tourists to enjoy relaxing landscapes and take advantage of the vastness of the Alentejo fields that provide the necessary freedom to gallop in a temperate climate, while admiring nature and secular and rustic houses.

A horse holiday in Alentejo
The Alentejo region offers accommodation suitable for horses and riders, in beautiful properties located in quiet and marvelous settings, making this the ideal region for those who want to enjoy days in communion with nature and horses.

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Photos © ABR Fotografia