Rides and raising environmental awareness
In partnership with the Donkey Reserve – Association for Valorisation and Preservation of the Donkey, a donkey reserve was set up in the Ferdinand II Hunting Grounds in the surroundings of the Convent of the Capuchos. This reserve seeks to help maintain and value the donkey through simultaneously running a program of activities that enable contact with and awareness about these animals for various segments of the public visiting Sintra as well as providing another means of exploring the natural heritage present throughout this location.
Open to the Public
The Donkey Reserve is open to the public every Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Opening the reserve on other days takes place through prior reservation. Closed 1 January and 25 December.
Guided tour of the Reserve and interaction with the animals (not including rides)
Target audience: general public
Family Program: There’s a donkey here!
Patient, affable and very calm, donkeys are great accomplices for both children and adults on this adventure that tells of the long history of this animal down through centuries, explaining how they are gentle, neither kick nor bite (when treated with due respect), are not nervous (when frightened, they stop still rather than fleeing as is the case with their horse “cousins”), are a bit greedy, strong and smart! This is followed by a tour through the forest: the children get to ride and the adults lead the animals by hand.
Target audience: families with children aged from 3 to 12
Dates: every Saturday of the month at 10am, midday and 3pm
Birthday Program: Donkeying around
Calm and liking to play, donkeys are excellent company for celebrating a birthday. Let’s discover their history, characteristics and curiosities and learn how to calculate their age without knowing when they were born. The party also leads out into the forest or a donkeychase for all participants.
Target audience: children aged from 3 to 12
Duration: 2h + 1h for high tea
Price: €300/group (up to 20 children)
Teambuilding and birthday parties (young persons and adults): Team Up with a Donkey!
An enjoyable gymkhana that sets out a voyage in time, discovering the origins of donkeys, their evolution and main characteristics, testing out the dexterity of the group through their interactions with these affable animals. The participants have to overcome a series of challenges as a team: showing skill in mounting the donkey, guiding it to gather objects alongside point scoring and other traditional games (with and without the donkey).
Target audience: young persons and adults (aged> 12)
Price: €450 (up to 30 persons/session)
Bachelor Parties: Giddy up donkey, I’m getting hitched!
Ideal to surprise your soon-to-be-married friend, this proposal is both amusing and original. The program is designed for those who appreciate both outdoor activities and the company of animals. The group participates in a “donkey driving class”, getting to know these animals better: their origins, evolution, characteristics, the threat of extinction and how they should be handled, fed, brushed, driven and presented. The bride(groom)-to-be qualifies in driving the animal and thus gets awarded with a personalised donkey driving license.
Price: €450 (up to 30 persons/session)
School Program: The A, B, C and D of donkey
Affable in nature, the donkeys prove the main characters in this adventure over the course of which participants come into contact with these nice animals whose very existence is now seriously threatened as a result of the abandoning of traditional agricultural activities and the modernisation of means of transport. There are insights into various aspects of their life, such as their dietary and hygiene habits, their means of communication, reproduction, among others. There is also the opportunity to undertake practical activities regarding the maintenance and utilisation of these animals, such as brushing their hairs, cleaning their stables, feeding and putting on their harnesses. To end, participants set off in discovery of the forest on an entertaining donkey ride!
Pedagogical content raised: Taxonomy, concept of species and race; wild life vs. domesticated life (the various utilisations made by man); common names and scientific names; biodiversity; extinction (causes and preventive measures); conservation of species; morphology (physiognomy, skin, feeling, dentition, digestive system); behavioural characteristics (interpreting their body and vocal languages); reproduction; handling (maintaining their stables, diet, hygiene and health (brushing, harnessing, exercising).
Target audience: Pre-school, 1st and 2nd Cycles of Primary School | €9/student | 2h | prior reservation required
For further information about the donkey reserve: download pdf
– The holding of this activity depends on the meteorological conditions prevailing;
– Prior reservations recommended for all activities;
– We would recommend the wearing of comfortable shoes (preferably closed), clothing appropriate to the respective climate conditions (don’t wear skirts), a hat, sunscreen, water and a picnic (there is no cafeteria);
– Children should wear a cycling or riding helmet (either supplied by the reserve or brought by the participant);
Further information and reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 21 923 73 00
Parques de Sintra now runs a video-call attendance service (with an interpreter) for the deaf community with contact available via the number 12472 (1 cent per minute) or through registration on the deaf citizen’s website Portal do Cidadão Surdo (free of charge). This service operates on working days between 9am and 6pm.