you for booking your riding holiday at Morgado Lusitano. This
page is to help you plan before you leave and describe what to expect
when you arrive. It will also answer some commonly asked questions and give you some
personal hints. Over time the policies may
change from those expressed here.
MORGADO LUSITANO - Turismo Rural, Lda
Quinta da Portela
Cabeço da Rosa
E. N. 116
2615 - 365 Alverca do Ribatejo
Morgado Lusitano 011 351 21 993 65 20 office
all arrangements and details once at Morgado Lusitano outside normal
Call general manager Alexandre D'orey 011 351 93 306 50 04
While in Lisbon call Vasco Rodrigues at 011 351 93 6000 128
not hesitate to use these numbers once you arrive, Vasco and the rest of
the staff are there to make your trip as worry free as possible.
to do before you leave...
To prepare for your lessons in Portugal you will find if you can put in an hour a day before
you leave it will be easier for you to put in 2 -3 once you arrive. For
those who ride western, some lessons in an English saddle would smooth
the transition once you have arrived. If you have access to a dressage
minded instructor a review of lateral work, such as leg yields, shoulder
in, and half-pass is nice, however it is not necessary to master these
Sylvia Lochs book Dressage: A study
into the art of Horsemanship is
really well written and it is interesting to be visiting some of the
places and riding the breed of horses described. An excellent reference
book is Jane Savoies' Cross-Train
Your Horse: Simple Dressage for Every Horse, Every Sport.
Books 1 and 2. And I think that Academic Equitation by
General DeCarpentry is a big help when it comes to learning
and understanding lateral work. I have a complete
booklist on another page of this web.
We know how stressful leaving on a holiday can be, but rest assured that
we have done this many times before and will make your stay as enjoyable
What to bring...
Identification. A valid passport is
required, but there are no visa or medical requirements. Check with
the Portuguese Embassy in your country if you think you have
special circumstances. I also suggest you bring a current drivers
license. Be certain you have a print out of your airline itinerary,
many times confirmation code is not enough and you must have a printed e-ticket.
sense. Morgado Lusitano accepts Visa/Mastercard,
American express or Travelers checks. You can also pay in Euros
and may qualify for a cash discount. Other than taxi fares or purchases
outside of Morgado, this is an all inclusive trip there is no need to bring
large amounts of additional currency. If you wish to leave a gratuity,
please see our note below. The Portuguese use the
EURO, it will be helpful to exchange $100.00 or so while at the airport
while in the baggage claim area. I strongly suggest you have a ATM card
with a PIN number that you can access from Europe. Ask your bank
to assure this. This is the best way to get the highest exchange
rate, but be aware that most ATM's have a 200.00 EUR0 payout limit per
You will need to have the
return taxi fare from Morgado to the airport, this is usually less than
Clothes and riding
Lisbon is near the ocean so the weather is not extreme during any
season. However, July/Aug is hotter, bring light clothing and
Nov/Feb is wetter so bring light rain gear. They have umbrellas
there if needed. I bring enough clothes that I do not need to do
laundry. There is no washing machine at the facility, but clothes
can be sent out if necessary. During the winter I
like to bring fleece to wear when not riding. Bring what you like to
ride in at home, but have layered clothes so that as you warm up during
the lessons you can remove excess layers. The riding is not "formal" and you should be
* Breeches or jodhpurs. You can ride in jeans but the seams can
chafe. Wearing breeches is normal, so for men you will not seem out of
* Riding boots or paddock boots and half chaps.
* Gloves, lightweight- these protect your fingers if you are not used to
handling double reins.
* Spurs, only if you normally wear a very short set. Otherwise we will
provide them if appropriate.
* Padded underwear, Don't laugh, these can be a big help on an
extended sitting trot!
* Extra undergarments, socks etc. Most riders work pretty hard get
pretty sweaty. Having fresh underclothes to put on before each
ride help keep chafing to a minimum. Washing clothes can be
problematic because they must be sent out.
* Riding helmet is suggested. I wear one anytime I am on an unfamiliar
* Personal toiletries should include a bar of soap, chap stick, ear plugs,
(such as A&D) for tender spots, moleskin and ace bandage for any
sore areas, aspirin or Aleve. Be prepared for an irritated seat and sore
muscles, even with good preparation the lessons can be a bit tiring.
* Hair dryers etc that will run on 220 volt European plug. Many
will accept dual voltage with a plug converter.
* Bug spray, such as Off. Flies seem to just be a part of a stable
and even with a fly control program it is still more pleasant if they
don't interrupt your concentration once astride. I even put some on the
* Swimming attire in the summer.
* BOOKS! Since there is plenty of time to relax, it is nice to
have some reading material with you. There is usually as small
selection there from other clients who leave paperbacks when they finish
SPECIAL NOTE It is VERY important to have at least one days change of clothes
AND your minimal riding gear in your carry-on suitcase. There
have been several instances where luggage has been lost for several days before
being delivered. Suitable replacements are not easily purchased in
Portugal on short notice. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AS AIRLINES SEEM
TO BE LOSING BAGS MORE AND MORE OFTEN!!!
Electricity and Media
Electricity is 220 volts and uses a
standard 2 prong European plug. Some items like shavers or hairdryers
and computers will convert, however some will not. Read your
appliance before you plug it in. There is a TV in each room but
the channels are limited and in foreign languages. And computer is available
during regular office hours if you need to check E-mail, at this time
there is no high speed internet in the rooms. By
request you can use the telephone and fax, available in the
office. Digital media such as memory cards and digital video film
is not easily purchased, so bring what you need from home. If
you are going to film your lessons, you may need as many as 10 tapes. If
you need to use your cell phone, be sure to have the correct SIM card
for the Portuguese area.
Lisbon airport is not a large
facility and it can take some time to process you through customs.
Be sure to use the restroom on the plane before landing as the first
bathrooms are after customs and getting through this point can take up
to an hour, depending on how busy the airport is. When lining up for passport control, assure that the line
you are in says ALL passports (As opposed to EU passports) or you may
wind up going through a long line twice. The ALL PASSPORT line is
usually in the center, and although this line may seem longer you must process through them.
A Morgado staff member will be awaiting your arrival and after you collect your
luggage you will go through some frosted glass doors. They will be
standing next to the ramp with a green and white sign that reads MORGADO
LUSITANO, Ride in Portugal.
Questions and answers
Q. Do I
need to learn to speak Portuguese?
A. Fortunately the answer is
no. English is the unofficial second language of Portugal and many
people understand and speak it, especially the younger set. At the
facility everyone speaks several languages. In addition Charlotte or
Rodrigo are usually there to translate for you on matters regarding
horse or non-horse
Q. Do you have an itinerary for each day?
A. Here is a
sample lesson schedule for a 3 day stay, which can vary slightly
depending on your requirements or other factors. Generally Charlotte
will teach the morning lessons and Rodrigo will teach the afternoon
lesson. Clients should plan on a total lesson duration, including tack up and
saddle fitting, lesson goals, astride time, and dismount and de-brief of
1 1/2 to 2 hours per lesson. Lesson duration can vary according to rider
fitness and abilities. We make a real effort to assure a quality
riding experience, and while there is no guarantee as to how long you
will be in the saddle, suffice it to say that as long as you are having
fun and the horse is not stressed, the lessons will continue. Most
riders are fatigued after 45-60 minutes and it is unproductive to
continue to ride after this point. In addition, if the horse is doing
high level work, such as collected canter, pirouettes, piaffe, passage
or tempi work, then the astride portion may be shorter.
There are usually 2 rides each day and morning lessons are generally at 10:00 and
afternoon lessons are at 2:00. This can vary according to weather,
temperature and other factors, and sometimes this can be changed to suit
an individual by prior
Q. How many riders for each
A. Generally a maximum of four rider are
scheduled for each week.
Q. How many riders in each
A. Usually only two, but if all
friends in a party are of equal ability then sometimes they prefer to
ride together. In that case as many as four can be taught at the same
Q. Is there a pool?
A. Yes, there is a pool at the
housing facility, it is only available in the summer time.
there be time for sightseeing?
A. Yes there is. One of the
reasons Monday is left unscheduled is so that you can visit the
surrounding area. The train station in Alverca can be reached by
taxi, about a 6 Euro fare, or you can go directly to Oriente station,
for about 12 Euro. Once there you can purchase a day pass on the
Metro. This link can take you Lisbon or to several other beautiful towns and
historical areas, such as Sintra on the coast. Alternately a taxi
ride direct to or from Lisbon is about 20 Euros. We will help you to understand the Metro, once
you get the hang of them they are really fun. Be sure to arrange
any travel with the staff, so they are aware of your return time and can
make arrangements for you to return inside the facility, which is
secured at night.
Q. Are the rooms like hotel rooms?
A. Not in the homogenized American
sense. Each of the rooms is a restored 18 century house, with thick
walls and tile floors. Energy in very expensive in Portugal (petrol is
$6.00 a gallon!) and for this reason The Portuguese tend to keep their
rooms a bit cooler in the winter and a bit warmer in the summer than
what we might. I bring slippers and a bathrobe in the winter
months. The beds are comfortable but not huge is size, as this
leads to excessive laundry.
Q. Can I get a non smoking room?
A. Sort of... Morgado has a policy of no
smoking in all its suites. But Portugal is a like much of Europe, where
smoking is done virtually everywhere, including restaurants, shopping
centers and hotels. Morgado is aware that many of their clients come
from countries that are not as tolerant. As such they try to insulate
the clients a much as possible, including a request that no smoking is
done in their rooms. However, they have no control over others you may
encounter in public places.
Q. Can I get vegetarian meals?
A. If you would please inform the staff
upon arrival and they will do their best to prepare you vegetarian
dishes. Since most of the Portuguese cuisine is based on fish or pork,
the choices can be a bit limited, especially since salads are not a big
part of the diet. The good news is that most of the food is
prepared fresh, and they virtually always use olive oil.
Q. I'm with a non-riding partner, are
their other things they can do?
A. Certainly. Beyond the reading and
resting that clients like to do in the library, you can hike around the
property. In addition to that, this location is central to nearly
a dozen championship golf courses, which can be accessed via taxi.
There is a very interesting aviation museum in Alverca as well.
Q. Can you
advise me about tipping?
tipping in Portugal is considered normal, however many clients felt that
exceptional service should be rewarded and were leaving tips anyways.
Obviously since the behind-the-scenes crew was not receiving any, tips
were beginning to cause problems. So Morgado Lusitano now has a
policy of "No individual tipping". If you feel that your
stay was exceptional, please leave a lump sum with Alexandre to distribute to
the entire staff. Unlike the USA where 10% to 20% is common, a
very generous tip would be 5% of your holiday charges. It is very
important to note there that your holiday is All Inclusive and
tip is in no way mandatory.
Q. I'd like to
arrive a day early or stay an extra day in Lisbon to do some sightseeing.
Can you recommend any hotels?
A. I have had several clients stay at the two hotels that I am
listing below. One is moderate price and quality the other is high
price and quality. Morgado can pick you off at the beginning of your
stay at the hotel or at the airport. Here are the links:
Q. When and how much
do I pay for my trip?
A. Except for additional charges that
you previously agree to (such as
outside trips) your riding holiday is all
inclusive, and the total cost of your trip should be exactly as shown on
You will be
asked to pay for your trip at the
end of your stay. Ask for an
itemized receipt of your stay before you pay. If your riding holiday
was in any way unsatisfactory, or there is any confusion about the
charges please take the time to clear up any discrepancies at that time.
Please ask personally for Mr. Alexandre D'Orey, as he is manager of the
facility and has the final word on any billing questions.
Resolving any issues while you are there now is important as doing so at a later date can
become quite cumbersome.
Driving Directions from the airport
RideinPortugal.com Last modified:
March 01, 2013