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Reviewed September 17, 2015

I booked a three day mini break at VDF, with the sole purpose of improving my showjumping technique.

The riding programme consists of 2 hours of riding per day, which was plenty with the intensity of the training. You can pay locally for extra riding, but will need to decide when booking if you want to jump, do dressage training or 50/50. The instructors are all freelance and will need to be pre-arranged. Hacks can be added any time if I understood correctly.

It is very difficult for serious hobby rider to find riding holiday for showjumping on quality horses. Understandably so as it takes a lot of hard work to keep the horses good quality while said hobby riders keep teaching them bad habits... I was pretty damn excited when Holly from Far and Ride told me about this place and chucked my credit card at her without really thinking what Portugal was going to be like in July.

I was the only riding guest the week I was there. Sensible people had probably googled 'Portugal + July + Weather', and decided on lovely cool hacking holiday somewhere else.

I think they keep the groups pretty small anyway as they said they prefer to give individual jump lessons, so not 100% sure how social it would be for solo travellers at busier times.

Being the only guest didn’t bother me, but if you were going on a riding holiday for social purposes, I would suggest that this wasn’t the right place without some pre-arranged friends coming with.

They have number of warmbloods and such, owned by the family for jump training. Lessons take part in a huge 90 x 60 sand arena, they also have a second slightly smaller one so can run two lessons at once. There are enough fences & fillers to make up interesting course.

My horse was as close to showjumping school master as you can get. Responsive and forward going, but economical jumper so I could concentrate on my own position rather than being pinged out of the saddle and then having to hold on to my dear life.

The exercises were judged well. Within the three days, I went from jumping tiny cross poles to completing a course with spreads and jumps up to 1.15m. I jump a lot in UK, but appreciated that I was brought back to basics, and not pushed out of my comfort zone too quickly. I was very happy with the pace the exercises processed, but got the feeling Jorge would have put the jumps up / made it more challenging quicker had I asked for it.

The area also has lovely hacking and they have dressage trainer who brings in his own Lusitanos on request. Unfortunately my tight schedule didn’t allow me to try either of these.

Food & accommodation:

The lodge was lovely, newly build in traditional style. My room was very comfortable with a huge double bed and lovely balcony for sun bathing. The breakfast & dinner were served downstairs, and the food was very good. As I was by myself I had asked for simple salad for dinner, I got exactly what I requested but I’m sure they could arrange a feast for bigger groups.

The stables are about 10min walk downhill from the lodging, and there is a small town with a mini supermarket, pharmacy and few restaurants about 30min up the road. (I had a car so never actually walked the distance).

You can either have your lunch or dinner included in the booking or pay a bit extra to have both lunch and dinner included. If you are a solo traveler and haven’t rented a car, I’d say it is worth paying the supplement to get them to feed you three times a day.

Everyone was super welcoming through out my stay, but the lodgings are separate form family house and you won’t get ‘hosted’ through the dinner (not that I was expecting it). So if you are going buy yourself, bring few good books and a tablet full of TV shows.

Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank tilk210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2015 via mobile

Not the typical accommodation and definitely not one more.

The host is unique in caring and making feel Guests like old friends and at ease.

Attention to each detail, makes each apartment genuine and cozy for a true experience.

The horses available allow multiple options to bond with nature in a beautiful area.

Do be prepared to taste local delicious food.

A final note.. Be happy and enjoy the sunset.

Date of stay: August 2015
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank HRelogio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2014

Calm, and comfortable.
Bad thing breakfast until 9h00 during the weekdays.
It's good for families, as a couple you may feel the children noise is upsetting.
People are nice, place is clean and beautiful.

Must go.

Date of stay: August 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank IMFRVS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2014

Plenty of fresh air, for us city people! Very nice location, lots of nature. The rooms are very nice, we had 3. Very warm reception by the lady looking after the place. All the rooms looked very new, comfortable beds and surprising modern bathrooms - all very tastefully decorated!
Nice breakfast, simple but all very organic and homemade.
We left feeling rested and ready to face the world again.

Date of stay: July 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank 2Travellersworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Beautiful house, in peaceful environment.

The service was charming and highly personalized to my needs.

I highly recommend this place to everyone who would like to spent some time in a modern still traditional house in one of the most beautiful areas of Portugal. Perfect for nature lovers and also horse lovers.

Date of stay: March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lea K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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