Riding through Nature

The demand for horseback riding in Porto Santo has been increasing and the activity is available all year round

The island of Porto Santo is the ideal scenery for horseback riding lovers, an activity that has been gaining many fans, who let themselves be enchanted by the charm of the landscape, the natural beauty, and also the excellent weather conditions that the destination offers for horseback riding.

Among the various trails and paths, four routes have been selected, starting from the Porto Santo Horse-riding Center, located on Estrada Comendador José de Castro Vasconcelos, in Ponta do Cabeço, and heading to Pico Ana Ferreira, Pico das Flores, Morenos and Pico do Espigão.

The routes take an average of 60 to 90 minutes and besides being paradisiacal, with breath-taking views of Porto Santo, they are suitable for this practice because they are safe and do not present any kind of difficulty or constraint for either the rider or the horse.

But besides these itineraries, for those who have the fantasy of riding freely on the beach, you only have to pay attention to the timetable, that is, choose the less frequented times by bathers, namely between 6:00 and 8:00 am and at the end of the day after 8:00 pm. During these hours, it is possible to go horseback riding, with freedom, a romantic dream easily achievable in Porto Santo.

According to data from the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do Porto Santo, it is estimated that, on average, around 1,000 horse rides are made during the high season (especially during summer and easter), although it is possible for lovers of these animals to have access throughout the year to the offer that the golden island provides in this area.

The target public that seeks this service are mainly national and foreign tourists, but also some Madeirans.

The benefits of this activity are countless, namely regarding the feeling of freedom, connection with nature and with the animal, in which it is necessary to establish a relationship of trust and also of safety, since it is necessary to be able to 'dominate' the horse.

In short, besides exercise, riding and relating to this animal requires responsibility, patience, and self-assurance, fundamental characteristics for a successful life, and to be inculcated in children from a young age.

However, riding is not just a matter of leisure. The Riding Center of Porto Santo, with a total area of 39.000 m2, composed of a covered arena of 370 m2, is also preparing to launch an innovative Therapeutic Intervention Program, under a Technical-Pedagogical Coordinator with specialization in Special Educational Needs and certification in Therapeutic Intervention with horses. In the next few years, Porto Santo may thus stand out in this field and become a reference point in the follow-up of people with special educational needs.

According to the testimony of the Equestrian Tourism company, Paulo Ornelas - Porto Santo Horse Riding Tours, operating in the market for 12 years, riding is an activity "for all ages", and after the pandemic crisis it has been growing. It is becoming, without a doubt, a symbol of the Golden Island, along with golf, diving, hiking or even ice cream.

"Currently we have verified a great increase in the demand for horseback riding by national tourists" who represent 50% of the target public, with the remainder being clients from all over the world who come to the company through partnerships with hotel units and travel/tourism agencies.

But for lovers of this practice who are residents of Porto Santo, there is good news. In the lower seasons, there is a drop in prices, which makes these tours much more affordable, which allows Porto Santo residents to have the opportunity to ride through the beauty of the golden island, in calmer times, without the frenzy of the busier months.