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“Best thing we did in Madeira” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Quinta do Riacho

Quinta do Riacho
Caminho da Levada da Serra | Faja Das Vacas, Santo da Serra, Madeira 9100-251, Portugal
+351 967 010 015
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Enjoy Madeira Island wonderful weather, breathtaking taking views and great trails on horseback. In Quinta do Riacho there's an equestrian activity for everyone. From calm trail riding to galloping through the mountains.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Cardiff, UK
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Best thing we did in Madeira”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

My husband and I spent had a fantastic day with Paulo and Paola riding in the mountains and along the levadas of Madeira. I was really keen to see the Laurel forests and this was a beautiful and peaceful way to do it. They picked us up bang on time from our hotel and dropped us back off afterwards. The horses are beautifully kept, well-rested and with lovely temperaments. They are really forward-going horses but easy to direct, even if you've not ridden much before. I had Venus and my husband had a really easy-going rescue called Verdi. One of the best things about the day was just chatting to Paolo and Paula about their lives on Madeira and the history of the place. It is much cooler up in the mountains so take warmer clothes and yes the dogs will jump all over you and get you muddy, but who cares? They are lovely and actually very well behaved dogs. Yes it is pricey compared to UK trekking, but that's because of the obvious costs of keeping horses in a country with no flat/grazing land and where the wellbeing of the horses is prioritised. This is a great way to get away from the noise and busy pace of Funchal and relax in a remote and stunning environment.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ross-on-Wye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Riding with four legged friends in Mareira”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

The horse riding was arranged for my Birthday by my partner as he'd seen the great reviews on Trip Advisor. Paula and Paulo collected us from our hotel and drove us to the stables. They are the loveliest couple on the island, very easy to get on with and caring. I haven't ridden before so Paula took great care in making sure I was safe and comforable with Verde the horse. Being able to trek through the national park is fantastic, the scenery is beautiful even in January when the leaves are on the ground. (Take a jacket as it does get rather nippy when the sun goes down).
All the horses are rescue horses as are all 14 dogs. If I could I'd have adopted at least two of them !
Paula explained that its expensive to import all that the horses require but I think its important to support an independant buisiness that cares for the welfare and rehabilitation of animals.
Good Luck Paula and Paulo Xx

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
97 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 411 helpful votes
“Safe, fun and spectacular. Paulo is just so enthusiastic.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We are novice riders so Paulo ensured we were comfortable and happy on our horses before we set off. He genuinely seemed to have chosen horses to suit us. Tips. Take a jacket it did get cool the higher we got. Heavy trousers / jeans to protect your legs from the stirrup straps. Wear old cloths as the dogs jump on every one they meet, and there are 14 or 15 of them. But don't be put off they are just big soft friendly puppy's. on our ride it was just Paulo and my wife and I, he kept up a running commentary the whole of the time, my horse " Venus" was in a bit of a mood today and wanted to eat the vegetation , despite my best efforts , in the end we compromised and I let her eat some of the time and this seemed to satisfy her. Included in the price Paulo collected us and dropped us off at our hotel, we ended up discussing world history and politics !! He is a very friendly and well educated man who likes to share his views, my kind of tour guide.
If you have ever fancied trying horse riding just do it, I would recommend this outing to any one.
Thanks Paulo. C & B

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Walking the levadas with gentle giants”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

A friendly Paulo picked us up from the hotel and drove us and one other rider up into the nature park where the trusty steeds are kept, along with some 14 exuberant puppies all wanting to be your Best Friend. Once there he checked on our capabilities (as one would hope and expect) by watching us ride the selected horses in the menage and then we were off along the levada trail. My boyfriend who'd never been on a horse before was well looked after and swiftly learned the basics of how to communicate with the horse.

We were really impressed with the horses well-being and that all looked fit. I brought my own hard hat with me, but I was pleased to see decent (and new!) hard hats being given out. Paulo took great care to match horse with rider and we had a great day learning about the flora and fauna of the nature reserve and more about each horse. Would definitely go again. My only request on the horses behalf is that experienced riders also make the effort to go out as a party so that they (and Paulo!) get a good gallop.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Second visit!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We enjoyed it so much 12 months ago that we returned for a second (and longer) ride this time. Great fun and great scenery. See you next time!

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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