People have only been living on the island of Pico for a few hundred years. Old paths meander through historical villages and forest roads snake through cool eucalyptus forests. Rides through vineyards protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, right alongside the Atlantic Ocean. Meet some of the wonderful locals. That makes riding on the Island of Pico an unforgettable experience.
We take 4.5 days to discover the spectacular Island of Pico. On the last day we head off on horseback to discover the north coast of the Island of Faial. Although the horses stay at different trail stations every evening, we head back to our small and charming country hotels. These hotels are located at wonderful locations on the island. Every morning we are greeted by a typical Azorean breakfast. On trail, lunch will be served as picnic or saddlebag-picnic. At night we mostly dine in delightful restaurants and appreciate the local food. We offer special trail rider equipment (trail saddle, saddlebags and Australian raincoats). Our horses are well-trained pure Lusitanos or cross breed Lusitanos with a size of approx. 15.1 hands (155 cm).
THE DETAILED TRAIL ROUTE
Arrival at Faial (Airport Horta – HOR) and ferry-boat transfer or travel directly to Pico (PIX) and take a taxi to get to the hotel. Transfer to accommodation and first contact with the horses. Communal dinner. Overnight.
Our horses arrived the day before by cargo ship from the Island of Faial. The first trail day starts with a ride through the century-old vineyards of Pico. The UNESCO World Heritage vineyards are tucked away in small parcels surrounded by black lava stonewalls. Lunch is a seaside picnic. After riding along the coast in the afternoon, we approach the small village of São Mateus. Our horses will spend the night here, while we transfer back to our accommodation.
Our trail continues along the south coast of Pico. Right beside the rocky cliffs our trail leads us towards to the old whaler city of Lajes. We enjoy the views on the endless blue Atlantic Ocean and the impressive high volcanic mountain of Pico. The air is filled with the salty scent of the sea, and grapes grow right beside the road. Our picnic site is close to an old whalers’ harbor. We reach our accommodation directly beside the sea in the late afternoon.
This morning we visit the small city of Lajes. This town has a long history of whale hunting and has now become a center for whale watching. After the visit we continue our ride back through wonderful Japanese Cedar forests. We stop off in the fishermen’s village of São Caetano for a delightful picnic. The afternoon ride includes beautiful trot and canter passages along the seaside. Tonight our horses will stay on green meadows below the mountain of Pico.
Today’s ride takes us up and down hills, and leads to the volcanic cave “Furnas dos Torres”. After a picnic in front of the cave we visit this amazing natural phenomenon. After this relaxing break, we get back on trail, passing through Pico’s ancient vineyards. In the afternoon we return to our starting point, the village of Criação Velha. This evening we bid our farewells to this wonderful island in a charming restaurant at the old harbor.
We head off early in the morning on a short ride to the harbor. The cargo ship is waiting to transport our horses over the Atlantic Channel between the Island of Pico and the Island of Faial. We take the ferry to the Island of Faial. After we have all arrived on the island we welcome our horses and transport them back to their home. We spend the rest of the day relaxing in our charming restored farmhouse accommodation. Dinner is served at PÁTIO's Lodge.
After a night the Lodge you get the first impression of Faial. We take a trail along the north coast and discover old paths, red windmills, wild romantic cliffs and deep canyons during a half-day-trail. At night we enjoy farewell dinner at PÁTIO.
Transfer to the airport, breakfast and departure or individual extension of the stay.