Monday, 2 December 2013


This TravelTailors programme introduces you to the diversity and nobility of the Portuguese equids pedigree, whether bred or wild. Try riding a horse or a donkey. Come to know the saddlers, harnesses and the fabrication of the appropriate garments to ride a horse.

Montesinho's Natural Park


Journey to Bragança
Bragança is the capital of Trás-os-Montes region, in the northeast of Portugal. Fairly unexplored by tourism, this remote and hill country offers unique sights, historical villages, natural landscapes and an extremely rich gastronomy. Bragança is located at the end of Montesinho's Natural Park, one of Europe's wildest woodlands, with a wide diversity of fauna and flora.
Optional dinner at a restaurant, with views over the town and the historical area, that offers the traditional dishes of the north region and a wine list.

Lodging: Pousada de Bragança.


Gerês National Park
Bragança was born in the 12th century and the medieval centre still remains quite untouched; it is characterized by the imposing Castle Keep, the Pelourinho (Pillory) resting on an unusual Lusitanian berrão (pre-historic granite pig), the Church of Santa Maria (Saint Mary) and the Domus Municipalis, a unique piece of architecture.
After king Manuel granted the New Charter in 1514, the city's development was largely due to the bishops who would reside here for half of the year. The royal and Episcopal influences characterising those times are reflected in the Church of São Vicente (St. Vincent), the Museum of Abade Baçal, the Chapel of Misericórdia, the Church of Santa Clara (Saint Claire) and finally in the Cathedral. No tour in this city is complete without paying a visit to the nearby Church of Castro de Avelãs, or a wander through the Montesinho Natural Park, where there are still commune style villages that form part of the region´s heritage.

Visit to a Miranda donkeys' game reserve and donkey ride.

The Miranda's donkey has unique features: dark-brown hair with lighter gradations at the back and the underside of the trunk; long and thick fur; big ears; large head; high stature, higher than 1,20m; and tame temperament. It's an endangered species and the local associations are struggling to protect it, promoting activities, such as rides, which are very pleasant to try.
Optional lunch at a restaurant in Macedo de Cavaleiros.
In an antique restored building, we will find a restaurant with a large and pleasant lounge, decorated in a rustic style with a remarkable taste, where the transmonstana's cuisine delicacies are wide and accurately cooked. 

Journey to Gerês National Park

At Portugal's northwest utmost, between Alto Minho and Trás-os-Montes, the Peneda-Gerês' mountain is the only Portuguese protected area classified as National Park. It's a different world where the human activity connects with the Nature in a harmonious way, preserving very old values and traditions from the village communities of Pitões das Júnias and Tourém.

Sighting of wild ponies .
The wild ponies, small wild horses that run around the hills, are very common. Probably, you will also find Barrosã breed bovines and Castro Laboreiro dogs, with dark fur, who keep the flocks. These latter move according to the seasons between the settlements of "Brandas" and "Inverneiras". Watch carefully, though you might sight a buck (the Park's symbol) or its predator, the Iberian wolf.

Optional dinner at a typical Minho restaurant.

Lodging at hotel.

Golegã Horse Fair
Journey to Alcanena.
Optional lunch at a restaurant in a small village near Alcanena. The cuisine is inspired in traditional recipes, with fresh products of the region. You should taste the grouper's Açorda or the Corado Duck.

Suggestion: visit to Paúl do Boquilobo game reserve .
Set in the confluence between the Tejo and the Almonda river, near Golegã, the Paúl do Boquilobo game reserve comprises an area with near 529 hectares. It's the only Portuguese protected area in the UNESCO World Network of Biospheres Reserves. Its interior areas are flooded almost the whole year, and they're covered with several and important aquatic plants and reedbeds. You can find here the biggest society of herons of the Iberian Peninsula. 
If it is happening, visit the Golegã Horse Fair 
The area of Golegã locates in a region of fertile soil. The connection to the farming encouraged the holding of fairs and markets. The festivities in honor of São Martinho (St. Martin), during the 18th century at the 11th of November, were the favorite ones for the horse breeders to show proudly its pedigree animals at equestrian contests and competitions. The event, that has been gradually gaining importance, it's the precedent of the present Golegã Horse Fair, with major national relevance in the equestrian specialty. While visiting this place, enjoy going for a walk at the romantic garden surrounding the old studio of Carlos Relvas, a well-known photographer of the 19th century, or seeing the Martins Correia Museum, a contemporary sculptor.

Visit to a fabricant of saddles, harnesses and boots and a farm with beautiful Lusitano horses and several regional products .
Optional tipical dinner at Golegã.

Lodging at hotel.


Coudelaria Alter Real
Journey to Alter do Chão and visit to COUDELARIA ALTER REAL, in Alter do Chão.
The COUDELARIA ALTER REAL is near Alter do Chão, in the region of Alentejo. The old Coudelaria Real was founded by the king D. João V in 1748, with the aim of breeding Lusitano horses for the Royal Paddock. This was one of the most important institutions spreading Alter do Chão's name and preserving the equestrian purebred, expressed by the king's wish in "That this will always be kept a purebred". Today the Coudelaria holds a number of activities in its 300 hectares of beautiful landscape, where the peace of spirit resides. 
Nowadays, here we can find the Agricultural Vocacional School, the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art,a Campus of Évora's University, research centers of selection and improvement of the purebred, equestrian and sports infrastructures, a Falconry, amongst other institutions, such as Casa do Arneiro, a place for accommodating teachers and lecturers.
The Coudelaria also offers very interesting museums and zoo centers, and different educational activities, focused on the development and dissemination for the preservation of the environment, the heritage and the tourism. You must not miss the "mares exit", it occurs daily when the mares leave for pasture.

Optional lunch at a restaurant in Alter do Chão which pays homage to the tradicional cuisine of Alentejo.

Journey to Comporta
The Comporta beach is located in the limits of Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, what allows it to preserve its natural beauty. Behind it stay pastoral managements, pine forests and the rice fields, the winter resort to bird families that come to make their nests. These beaches are beautiful, with kilometers of white sand bathed by still waters that invite to rest. 

Horse ride in Comporta beach
This relaxing horse ride at Comporta beach, always accompanied by the Atlantic Ocean, lasts an hour, and it will surely be a pleasant experience.

Journey to Lisbon..
Optional dinner at one of Portugal's most emblematic restaurants and one of the world's oldest. Located in one of Lisbon's most historical and charming neighborhoods, it was for many years the venue of the country's great intellectual personalities, distinguished people or 'simple' bohemians. The cuisine, of contemporary inspiration, invests in ingredient's quality and cooking accuracy. 

Lisbon by night: suggestion of visiting the Bairro Alto (Fado's house) .
The Bairro Alto is one of the city's most paradigmatic and attractive neighborhoods. Tipical and popular, it has modern features, like clothing and design stores and bars, lots of bars. It's an ecletic and multicultural place where many people meet, what turns it into a great place to visit. It's indispensable to walk through it to find every street, alleyway and dead end. There are plenty of good restaurants there, side by side with intimist bookshops; there are tea rooms beside clothing and design stores, from some of the most distinguished Portuguese artists. It's a passionate neighborhood, full of glamour, mixing boldness and sophistication with tradition and antiqueness. Walking through Bairro Alto is an unrepeatable experience in any other place of the city. The fado, Lisbon's tipical song that repeatedly evokes the word "saudade", a kind of nostalgia, it's an important part of this neighborhood's charm. The true Lisbon's soul lies deeply and truly in fado. Love, destiny, sadness and nostalgia are fellings that are whispered in a strong but kind voice that can never be explained, only felt [Fado was declared Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2011.]

Lodging at hotel.

Queluz Palace

The Queluz National Palace's history dates back to the end of the 16th century, with the marquises of Castelo Rodrig, but it's not until1747, with the future king D. Pedro III, that this Palace gains the status of Royal Palace, corresponding to its most remarkable period, when it fulfilled its purpose as Royal Family's summer retreat. By that time, the intimate relationship of the interiors with the garden was also strengthened, since the latter were conceived as a lengthening of the halls and a fundamental part of the architectural complex. It's a State Property since 1908, and it was classified as National Monument in 1910. It has been opened to the public as Museum of Decorative Arts in 1940. 
10h30 - Observation of the daily horse training in Queluz Palace
The horse training consists in the preparation for the equestrian art galas. It consists on a set of representative pictures of the atmosphere of the Old Royal Paddock and the evolution of the horse teaching to the higgest level. 

Optional sightseeing in the city of Lisbon.
Lisbon is one of Europe's most fascinating cities! With a blue sky almost all the year and a mild winter, Lisbon offers glamorous views of the city and the river, a picturesque atmosphere where old trams take us from the narrow graveled streets to the outstanding new hotels in large avenues, fabulous shopping opportunities and a fantastic nocturnal life. The old mixes with the 21th century sophistication. 
Alfama and the Castle give you an historical journey to the Arabic and medieval times. At Chiado, Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real, you can find some of Lisbon's most modern bars and restaurants. During the day, the streets are filled with lively crowds strolling through museums, stores, art galleries, coffees or even grocery stores that sell gourmet products. From Baixa to Marquês de Pombal there are theaters, trains stations, esplanades and great public promenades where you can stroll. At Belém, there are the imposing Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the famous Torre de Belém, the Cultural Center and lots of museums and gardens in its surroundings. It's impossible to leave without tasting the delicious Pastéis de Belém!
End of journey.

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