The hotel also had its own tour desk. While shuffling through some leaflets, we decided to do something that I'd never done in my life - HORSEBACK RIDING ! And it would be at the Centro Hipico Quinta da Saudade.
After a week of visiting historical monuments and sipping on unlimited port wines, we headed down south. "Algarve", as southern Portugal is popularly called is famous for its golden beach, sandbank islands, nightlife and plenty of sunshine. We stayed in central Algarve in an area called Albufeira. The hotel we stayed in was Aqua Pedra dos Bicos, an "adult-only" hotel. I personally loved our hotel because we had a lovely view of the forest as well as the sea.
We took a cab and reached the equestrian club in less than 30 minutes. Albufeira does not have a tram /subway network so we had no choice other than a cab.
The Quinta da Saudade stables had a bunch of well groomed horses. We opted for a 2-hour horse riding session which included land as well as the beach. I was so damn excited, yet nervous too. We were given horses according to our weight and after a little tutorial from our tour guide we were on our way.
Initially, I felt a little uneasy but gradually I got used to it. We rode through rivers, sand, bushes, sea.... It was AMAZING! Our guide was fantastic and even though some of the riders (including me) were first timers, we felt comfortable. (P.S. The videos below were shot by my husband while he was on a horse. Its wasn't easy, so the videos are not the best... please excuse his sounds effects & selfies)
After horse-riding, we hitched a ride with two of our fellow riders who dropped us to the "Old Town" in Albufeira.
Old Town was beautiful. It kinda reminded me of the Greek islands - white washed buildings, cobbled streets, beaches, cliffs, little restaurants ... picture perfect! We walked along Fisherman's Beach (Praia dos Pescadores) and lost ourselves to the natural beauty around us. At the beach, we came across some intriguing rock formations.
After a while, we headed to a restaurant at the nearby Hotel Sol e Mar and ordered the most delicious berry cheesecake ever and coffee! It wasn't only about the cheesecake here. We were enjoying cheesecake with a view!
We strolled through the cobbled streets of Old Town, stopping by at numerous shops on our way. We even tried out the famous "Piri Piri chicken", and let me tell you its nothing like Nando's! Sadly, many of the restaurants were closed for winter. I'm sure this place is bustling with life during the summer season.
By the way, Albufeira has the most amazing sunset.
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