I guess nowhere in the world are so many breeders in such a small area. And they all know what they are doing. The results are fabulous. We make this tour since 2012 annually. Lusitano horses for me are the most beautiful, the most perfect horses. They are well tempered, well behaved, very attached to humans and gentle. And I am talking about stallions!
We are organizing equine photoworkshops in Portugal since 2013 and I guess that we know most of the important breeders in the country. If you want to meet them and their best horses: go to Golega in November. It is the country’s most important horse fair and it lasts one week. The whole town of Golega is built for and around horses. Every house around the central square has stables in the back. Everybody has something to do with horses. Check out the best hotel in town, the Lusitano. But beware: during the fare the rates go through the roof!
If you want more information, contact Luistanoworld (www.lusitanoworld.com), a company that wants to promote the Lusitano horse and that was co-founded by our friend and photographer Rita Fernandes.
Beautiful landscapes, good wine, gorgeous food, gentle people and strong and good coffee
Of course Portugal has more to offer than just horses. We are quite familiar with the area around Lisbon and with the Alentejo, that stretches eastwards towards the Spanish border. You will find everything that makes life worth living: beautiful landscapes, good wine, gorgeous food, gentle people and strong and good coffee. If you manage to go there, visit one of the oldest stud farms in the country, the Alter Real. You will find a very special place that also is the home of one of the very rare Sorraia herds. There are only about 200 left all over the world. The Alter Real is run by the government and the manager Francisco will welcome you and give you a tour around the place (if he finds the time – if not there will be someone else). You can book a guided tour in advance (www.alterreal.pt).
Another place to visit in the east is without any doubt Vila Vicosa. Everything in this pitoresque little town is made from marble – even the sidewalks. It has a long history and you can visit the old fortress on the hill with its old walls, houses and the church. Really worth the walk up the hill!!!
The place to stay in Vila Vicosa is Hotel Solar dos Mascarenhas. The only disadvantage is: the restaurant only opens on request for groups. But there is a wonderful local restaurant just across the road (to the left when you walk out the door). You will find yourself surrounded by laughing, celebrating or discussing Portuguese people. The food is good and cheap. The service is exellent! Try it. If the Solar is booked (it has very reasonable prices), try the Old Convent. It has a very special atmosphere.
Portugal is a country that still has – also for us – a lot to explore. We would like to check out the northern part. The south though is very touristy but the beaches are fabulous.