If you’re a fan of horseback riding, or just want to see a country from a different perspective than the usual coach tour then these holidays are perfect for you, and for many of the you don’t need to be an expert rider.
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a holiday on horseback, just remember to be honest about your ability or you’ll find yourself dangerously out of control, or holding up the rest of your group.
Alentejo Coast, Portugal
This is the ultimate in romantic horseback breaks; cantering along the beach at sunset, stopping in small fishing villages and picnicking on the sands. Your Lusitano mount is similar to the native Spanish Andalusian, and will be matched to your ability, although this isn’t a holiday for the less confident rider. Your nights are spent in cute little boutique hotels and local guest houses, and you can even throw in a trip to see the wild dolphins off the coast if you choose
South Africa Horse Safari at Ant Lodges
This is a great way to see the big game animals in Africa, and horses have access to places that jeeps cannot reach allowing you a unique view of the plains. Your mount will be a native Boerped cross or a thoroughbred or Arabian horse, and you’ll be safe as there are no lions in the area. The accommodation is in lodges which have all the facilities you’d expect for a relaxing break, including a pool to ease your tired muscles after a day in the saddle. Drive safaris are also available making this an ideal holiday for a group with mixed enthusiasm about riding.
South Queensland, Australia – Bush & Beach
This is a really varied horseback holiday, with plenty to do out of the saddle as well as a huge variety of terrain to explore as you ride through it. Your mount will be an Australian stock horse, and there are horses for all abilities. You’ll tour the bush, ride along the beach and even through the rainforest, with plenty of stops for snorkeling, swimming, fishing and diving. You might even get the chance to play like a real cowboy and herd some cattle.
Peru & Machu Picchu
This is one for the real hard core riders; you’ll be riding up mountains and through rainforests along the Inca Trail, so novice riders are best left at home. Starting at aa ranch in Cusco, you’ll meet your mount, a comfortable Peruvian Paso which is the perfect ride for the mountainous terrain. Travelling through the Valley of the Incas, you’ll see plenty of Incan historic ruins on your way, as well as the valleys of Moray and Urquillos, and of course Manchu Picchu itself. You’ll need to be reasonably fit for this trip as there are high altitudes involved, but the chance to see the ancient Incan settlements on traditional horses is well worth the lack of oxygen.
There are plenty of other places around the world where horseback holidays are available, such as Costa Rica and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Travelling by horse may be a little slower than a motor vehicle, but it is by far the best way to see the local scenery.