Posted on Leave a comment

Walking in Ervamoira wine farm – Portugal

Ervamoira-003---Portugal

Walking in Ervamoira, a wine farm in the Douro Valley, Portugal where they produce Port wine and table wine.

It'spectacular and unexpected to see a planted vineyard where is so warm and so dry that only olive, almond, and fig trees could grow and nothing else can.

The merit belongs to Ramos Pinto the famous Portuguese winemakers.

José Ramos Pinto was looking for a more flat estate to able to have a mechanized vineyard structure and found this estate that, at that time was called Quinta de Santa Maria.

The farm was “re” baptized as Ervamoira, like the book from Suzanne Chantal.

This is one of the warmer and drier areas in Portugal so you may want to avoid the summer months because it will be too hot to walk. During winter it can also be too cold … extreme temperatures, very characteristic of inland regions of the northeast regions.

This area, called Fôz Côa, is quite known due to an impressive set of prehistoric drawings. In case you want to visit the engravings, you will need to go to the Tourist Office at Vila Nova de Foz Côa and get a guided visit.

Remember, above all this is a wine region so taste the wonderful wines you can find here, both table wines and Port wine. I tasted (several times) their white Port wine and is delicious.

A special thanks to Sónia Teixeira the official guide of the Ervamoira and a lovely host.
From Chãs to Ervamoira’s premises is a 7,5 Km walk with 390 m descent (blue line of the map) and from Ervamoira’s premises until Chãs is a 9 Km walk with 375 m ascent (red line of the map), taking into account that you might want to see the engravings in the meantime.

Enjoy yourself.

David Monteiro

Posted on Leave a comment

Salto do Cabrito, a handsome waterfall, São Miguel, Azores

azores-portugal-006

Salto do Cabrito, a handsome waterfall, São Miguel, Azores

One cannot imagine this walk’s beauty before you did it. Its name is Salto do Cabrito, near Ribeira Grande at São Miguel, Azores.

The Salto do Cabrito walking trail at São Miguel, Azores, is marked to be done in the opposite way than the one I usually do it but I have my reasons.

Having said that, start walking at Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande where you can find some fumaroles/boilers making bubbles on the outdoor water tanks.

Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande has thermal baths dating back to the 19th century and is a pleasant place to start this adventure.

The first kilometer will be walked on tar.

I find quite annoying walking on the tar roads. However, the surroundings are so lovely that it really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, by the time you will arrive at the small electric plant, you will have to climb some stairs to walk on a platform on top of some big tubes/pipes, kind of a catwalk metal grid.

Well, you can find it odd, but you will love it.

It will allow you to have a top-bottom perspective that will be even better inside of a small canyon you will have to cross.

At the end of the canyon, you will find a handsome waterfall called Salto do Cabrito “little goat’s jump”.

Like in any other linear walk, you will need to organize transportation to the beginning where you left your car.

This is one of the walks we do during the Iberactive tour to the Azores.

In the photo gallery, you can have a better idea of the place.

A gorgeous place.

David Monteiro

Posted on Leave a comment

Walking from Lagos to Burgau – Portugal

algarve-portugal-005

Walking from Lagos to Burgau – Portugal

A 16km’s (10mi) long trail that connects Lagos with Burgau always walking along the coast, without much gain in altitude, is an excellent and relaxed walk.

Walking along the Algarve coastal line is one of many fine activities you can do.

The Algarve’s coast, at the southern area of Portugal, is composed by a very compact yellow sandy rock.

This sand, with such warm color, matches perfectly with the remaining colors.

It is like a painting where the artist want’s to transport us to a summer setting but with such perfection, only Nature can achieve.

This walk is a 16km’s (10mi) long trail connecting Lagos with Burgau.

It goes always along the coast, without much gain in altitude, is an excellent and relaxed walk.

Besides the beautiful sea landscape, there are other points of interest in this walk:
– Farol da Ponta da Piedade (Ponta da Piedade’s lighthouse);
– Caves by the sea level near the lighthouse
– Romans ruins at Luz Beach;
– Overview of the sea and cliffs.

The suggested length of the trail is not compulsory, you can do a shorter trail.

There are many possibilities where to start/end the trail.

One of the places you pass when doing this walk is Praia da Luz.

Praia da Luz is a perfect place to relax for a while. Is where you will find the Roman ruins.

There are many bares and restaurants to have a beer or a snack.

If you are walking from Burgau to Lagos, your last possibility for a nice stop before the lighthouse is at Porto de Mós Beach.

Like many other beach areas, Porto de Mós Beach has a couple of restaurants/bars where you can chill out.

And, in the same way, just before arriving at Lagos you can visit the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse area.

Although is a touristic attraction, is quite iconic and you will find many references in touristic publications about this place.

From here you can take photos that will dive a sense of the place in your photo album.

Something else totally different but worth to notice: you will not find many Portuguese people walking around.

Why?

Well, walking is not YET the “thing” around here.

Have a nice walk.

David Monteiro

Posted on Leave a comment

Visiting Portugal – where to go, what to visit?

iberactive-portugal--(28)

Visiting Portugal – where to go, what to visit?

Where to go, what to do when visiting Portugal?

Where to go, what to do when visiting Portugal, must be the question I answer more often in this context.

Of course, the answer will always depend on who is asking. Not everyone enjoys doing the same things.

Not only will depend on individual preferences but also depends on the time and money you have available to spend in this country.

My answer could be very different for those who want to visit Portugal for walking vacations or for those who want to spend some time in Portugal relaxing on the beach or visiting museums.

However, I will try to simplify the idea and try to draw a plan to the visitor who wants to spend some time in Portugal, having active vacations but not necessarily for walking in the countryside.

Will be a plan for a visitor who values visiting areas with some History, values tasting the Portuguese cuisine and local wines, and is also interested in our cultural differences.

I will also consider this visitor prefers to see the sites in a more relaxing way rather than jumping from site to site in a frenetic race … more quality instead of quantity.

In relation to the time length, I will consider two possibilities: 7 days and 14 days.

For both options, I find it fascinating to do the trip from North to South, in which the city of arrival will be Porto and Lisbon the departure city where there are more flight connections with the rest of the world.

7 days: 2-Porto; 1-Guimarães; 1-Fátima/Óbidos; 2-Lisbon; 1-Sintra/Cascais

14 days: 2-Porto; 1-Guimarães; 1-Viana do Castelo; 1-Pinhão (Douro Valley); 2-Coimbra/Fatima/Óbidos; 3-Lisbon; 2-Évora and surroundings; 1-Sintra/Cascais; 1-Setúbal/Tróia/Arrábida

Each of these sites has a remarkable History, different customs, and typical gastronomy and wines to accompany and I will write about these places on this blog.

Join me to tour in Portugal.

David Monteiro

Posted on Leave a comment

Walking on the Lousã’s aqueduct – Portugal

Levada-Lousa-001---Portugal

A hidden aqueduct in the well preserved valley is a jewel and you can find that quite close to Lousã.

Wild horses in Portugal at Gerês National Park.

Water was always one of the most precious resources in the world and around here that not different.

In this case water’s value shows itself by the power it has to produce electricity with its weight when falling from a certain height … simple. But, to have that in this narrow steep valley, a small aqueduct was built to conduct the water along the valley keeping the altitude as much as possible until the right place.

The result was a beautiful two miles aqueduct in the middle of the valley where one can walk.

How to access to the aqueduct? It’s not too easy but I can think about to nice ways to do it:

  1. Starting from Senhora da Piedade (Lousã) it’s possible to find a single trail that will take us to a small village called Talasnal. At this village we can taste a small cake called Talasnico e find the trail down to the aqueduct walking towards down the valley. The trail will last for (+/-) 150m and after that it will be walking across the bushes. Always walking down you can not miss the aqueduct and after finding it is to follow it until the trail that will take us back to the starting point.
  2. There is an entrance to the aqueduct from the EN236 road at N40° 05.470′ W8° 12.814′. From Lousã you can take a cab until the spot, find the aqueduct and walk back.

Have fun.

David Monteiro

Location: Lousã, Portugal

Posted on 4 Comments

Casas do Côro at Marialva, glamorous village hotel – Portugal

Casas-do-Coro-001a---Portugal

Casas do Côro at Marialva, glamorous village hotel - Portugal

Some places deserve to be referred and "Casas do Côro" is certainly one of them, a glamorous village hotel in a spectacular landscape.

Most of the times, when I think about traveling, I will first think about where to go and then where to stay. However, in some cases is totally the opposite.

With Casas do Côro (http://www.casasdocoro.pt/), the lodging itself is the destination. Around it, there are plenty of things that can be done like countryside walks, ride a mountain bike, a guided castle visit and also visiting other small historical villages.

Casas do Côro is located in Marialva which is one of the twelve Portuguese historical villages as you can check at http://www.aldeiashistoricasdeportugal.com/en/. It worth visiting all the historical villages and Marialva is no exception.

Marialva is a village older than Portugal, isn’t that funny? Portugal was founded in the XII century AD and Marialva was founded by the Romans probably during the II century AD.

But, if you think that you will go to Marialva and you will find there a building with a sign saying “Hotel” you couldn’t be more mistaken.

When visiting Marialva you will notice that a certain part of the village is better preserved and has some kind of harmony even in the chaos of the narrow streets of the village. This newer area is the hotel.

Casas de Côro is composed of an increasing set of rebuilt stone houses and there is a bigger house where one can find the restaurant, a living room, kitchen and breakfast area … lovely concept, a village hotel.

In each stone house you will find a complete house, I mean with rooms (with private bath), living room, kitchen and even a small yard.

The decor is absolutely fabulous but never ostensive. If I need to find only one word to describe it I will say elegant … yes, very elegant.

This is the kind of place a Tour Leader loves because everything works like a Swiss watch, the service is as good as everything looks like, just perfect.

One starts to wonder about the reason behind the success and the elegance until talking with the owners Paulo and Carmen Romão. You will feel they live the hotel and consequently, the hotel mirrors them and it’s their heart and soul.

I know the place since 2010 and I’ve been there on many different occasions, in all the stations of the year.

Although I can say that it was always good independently of the time of the year, is with bad weather conditions that I prefer the place.

Several times I returned to the hotel with the guests, all of us completely wet from the rain and cold from the hard wind after a walk in the woods and the people there had lightened the fireplace thinking about us. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a “Would you like some hot tea to warm you up?” … this is pure gold.

If you have an opportunity, visit the place and enjoy yourself.

David Monteiro

Location: Marialva, Portugal

Posted on Leave a comment

Bicycle ride near Lisbon – Portugal

bikes001

Bicycle ride near Lisbon – Portugal

A wonderful bicycle ride always looking at Lisbon on the other side of the river Tejo (the Tagus).

Lisbon is crossed by the river Tagus. One can’t imagine the city without thinking about the river as well.

But, like being part of the city it acts also like a barrier, not very often we think about the other side, with the exception of those that live there and have to cross the river to Lisbon to work.

For those who live in Lisbon, like myself, we look to the river and what do we see? “The other side” … well not just the other side of the river, you have to say it like with Darth Vader voice … yes you get it right.

In fact, for most of us, we just don’t think much about it.

But … I started to wonder what if I design a bike trail connecting two of the several ferries that crosses the river to the “other side”?

Well, one of the ferry goes to a place called Montijo and another ferry connects Lisbon to Barreiro.

So I did it.

I started to investigate single dirt trails, way from the roads as much as possible and closer to the river banks.

The result was a 38 Km trail, very beautiful, pretty flat and with a lot of interesting and unexpected nice views over Lisbon.

After doing it with customers I also did a small video to share here.

Enjoy the ride.

David Monteiro

Location: Montijo, Portugal

Posted on 1 Comment

Visiting Sintra – what to do/visit?

sintra-006-portugal

What to do and where to go when visiting Sintra.

Facing the dilemma of having too many options when having only one day to visit Sintra? Let me give you a hand.

Sintra is internationally known for its deeply romantic environment by its palaces that seem to have come out from a Walt Disney fairy tale. Actually, they tell very real stories and they are also carriers of our past until present days.

Please check: Romanticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism

Every time I go to Sintra I have the fantasy of imagining elegant 19th-century gentlemen strolling along the streets of Sintra with their mistresses (yes, mistresses) carrying small umbrellas that one can never know if they were meant to protect their holders from the sun or from some indiscreet looks. At the evening, for tea or for dinner, the secret couple receives at their chalet the gentleman’s best friend and his adorable lover.

I believe that this lover’s net is part of the Portuguese who soon learned to enjoy the works of Eça de Queirós, a Portuguese writer of the 19th century that wrote a famous novel called “Os Maias”, among many others, and we had to learn about it during high school. Also, Sintra’s warm summer together with the haze that often hangs on these surroundings, are elements that help to create this mystical and romantic environment.

Walking in Sintra is effectively immersing yourself into the romantic atmosphere of the 19th century. This century was so important to Sintra that I cannot imagine how this place would be like without the events that happened during the 19thcentury, to better explain myself I list some important events occurred during that period of time:

– 1808: the signing of the Convention of Sintra which put terms to the first French invasion

– 1808: Lord Byron stayed in Sintra

– 1838: Ferdinand II acquired the convent of Nossa Senhora da Pena (actual Pena Palace) and the Moorish Castle

– 1858: Major rebuilding works on Monserrate

– 1887: Lisbon-Sintra train line was inaugurated

– 1892: barons of Regaleira sold Quinta (farm) to António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro.

In this very synthetic list we can see important references to buildings/monuments considered today as great monuments of Sintra and events that are closely linked with the romantic image we have today of this village, as an example please notice the time spent in Sintra by Lord Byron the author of a famous version of Don Juan and many other works that promoted Sintra as a romantic village.

In 1992 the cultural landscape of Sintra was classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO and this was also another crucial step to Sintra’s promotion. Nowadays Sintra is a “must see” place when considering a travel to Portugal.

Sintra is not far from Lisbon. Is less than one hour by train from Lisbon, taking the train at Rossio train station, right in the Centre of the city. The train is a very simple, fast and economical way to reach this village as opposed to driving that can turn to be annoying because sometimes is difficult to park or even to arrive at the historical center of Sintra.

When in Sintra, please go to the Tourist Office, the employees are incredibly friendly and very professional. They will show you many options for your day.

The great difficulty will be: what to select considering to have an only half day or one day?

Well, being this a blog of walking is also a blog of cultural options as well. Anyway, is probably expected to find here some information’s about walks in Sintra. I am sorry, but the walks in Sintra hills and woods do not fascinate me as much as the monuments that are a must see of beauty and diversity as also I love the walks in Sintra village as well.

I know that most of the Portuguese people you will talk they will refer the walks in Serra de Sintra (Sintra’s hills) but, believe me, Sintra’s monuments or village you won’t find them anywhere else.

There are so many to see and not having all the time in the world, what to select?

I do not know what to answer because it depends on what each one loves to see but I will try to summarize the most important things of each place for those who have between half a day to one day to spend here.

The focus will be on the following monuments/places: Pena National Palace, Sintra National Palace, Moorish Castle, Quinta da Regaleira and the village Sintra itself.

Please forgive me for leaving out other spectacular monuments but a selection had to be done.

The time it takes to visit a monument will depend on the interest for detail, the background history, and many other elements. One photographer can take easily half an hour in a place where a relaxed walker will stay only for a few seconds.

However, there is a general idea of the time it can take visiting each site and is what I will refer to during this post.

I am not going to detail what we can see in the monuments because you can find plenty of good information on the internet. I will give you a general idea of you can expect to visit each place and the time it will take to visit so you can better organize your time.

Pena National Palace

We can divide the space in two: the Palace and the Park.

The Palace takes between an hour and a half to two hours to visit and another hour to the Park.

The Palace, despite its existence, while chapel that contradictory sources point to the end of the 14TH century and others for the 16th century, is in the 19th century that begins the construction of the spectacular monument we see today. The interior is like a fairy tale, full of color, full of nooks and a fabulous example of a moment built in a certain time in History when wealthy families began to receive guests at their home and give more value to socialization. Also, major changes were happening in the intimate dynamics of the family life – the architecture of the palace was quite innovative at the time in what family dynamics were concerned.

D. Fernando II bought a former convent and built the Palace from the convents structure. He was the regent king, married with queen D. Maria II. We were born in Vienna, Austria.

The Palace is the vision of a foreigner perfectly fitted to this country with both modern and classic concepts brought from Northern Europe.

The Park is quite nice for a relaxed walk. You will see some lakes, high points that serve as a lookout and a collection of very interesting trees and plants.

Walking in the Park, there is a point not to be missed is the Giant, a statue from where you have a fabulous view of the Pena Palace and the surrounding area.

Sintra National Palace

Is one of the ex-libris of Sintra appearing in many photo brochures, is very easy to recognize by its two huge chimneys. It is located in the center of the most touristy part of the village and therefore, maybe because of that, is also known as “Palácio da Vila” (Village’s Palace).

In addition to being a spectacular place and all its merits, you may want to choose it for more practical reasons: it’s right in the Centre of the village, it is very accessible.

The visit takes about an hour and a half and what I find most amazing in this monument is that during the visit we feel we are in a space that brought to the present days bit of every moment of its existence and, considering that it exists since the 14TH century, with major renovations in the 15th century, we have the sensation of walking through history.

Also important is the fact that it was a Royal Palace, it has sumptuous spaces and full of meaning, as the room of the coat of arms.

Despite the immense beauty of many of its rooms, the kitchen is a fantastic place and maybe one of the funniest sites because we can see inside these chimneys that mark the landscape of the village. At the top of this post, you can see an outside photo of this palace.

 

Moorish Castle

As the name implies, is a castle built during the Moorish occupation period. However, although with not very strong evidence, some people believe that before the Moorish period this place would have initially been holding some Visigoth’s constructions.

With a military objective, is located in the highest area of the outskirts of the town and, as such, we can have a great view from the top of the Castle, providing excellent photos being the Pena Palace, perhaps, one of the most photographed spots from here.

Is a medieval castle and so a Spartan environment and their wall and towers are what is there to see. A visit to the Castle takes about one hour and a half.

Quinta da Regaleira

 I must say that I love Quinta da Regaleira for a good number of reasons. In addition to being an extraordinary monument represents also a dream made reality, a dream of someone who was neither King nor Aristocrat, was a merchant, a living proof that personal fortune can be used to make long-lasting works.

With a ten-minute walk from the historic center of Sintra, you will arrive at this place and the visit takes between two to three hours.

At the end of the 19TH century Quinta da Regaleira was bought by Carvalho Monteiro from the barons of Regaleira and after that, he built this magnificent palace with the technical support of the Italian stage designer/architect Luigi Manini.

For the monuments visits, I strongly advise that the visitors are accompanied by a guide or some information that will guide them. This visit is undoubtedly one monument where guidance will make a huge difference, without it you will not enjoy the charm of a story that seems to have come out from a fairy tale.

Within the Quinta da Regaleira there are many points of interest such as the Regaleira Tower, the Palace, the chapel of the Holy Trinity, the Initiatic Well and the wood.

Is, without doubt, one of my favorite places.

Sintra

 This village presents itself as an exponent of romanticism while urban cluster and is, by itself, an excellent reason to visit. Reserve about two hours to walk in the village. For your guidance and better time management, at the tourist office, you can collect some urban walks leaflet.

Whatever the route you will take, there are some points you should not miss, they are:- Taste the traditional small cakes: “Queijadas de Sintra” (Sintra’s cheesecakes) and the “Travesseiros” (Pillows) – traditionally are sold at the Periquita coffee shop;- Other traditional cakes but less known: “Fofos de Belas”, “Agualvas” and ” Nozes Douradas”

If you are going to have lunch or dinner then look for some restaurant where you can ask the local dishes: “Leitão de Negrais”, Roasted Lamb, Southampton of pork “Mercês” style, Sintra’s Veal or one of the many grilled fish.

Please be aware that the purpose of this post is not to do an exhaustive description of the monuments or places but help you, giving information to help you decide about what to see/do during a visit to Sintra.

About every monument, you will find a lot of literature on the internet.

Enjoy your day.

David Monteiro

Location: Sintra, Portugal

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Walking in the Serra da Freita – must see / must do

Walking in the Serra da Freita – must see / must do.

I’m a little nervous about writing this post. “Serra da Freita” (Freita’s hills) is one of the places that inspired me to start this long walk to become a professional on Active Tourism and I do not know if I will have enough talent in the art of writing in order to fairly reward this site.

However, I feel that this blog will never be complete if it does not have some something written about Serra da Freita.

I’ve done a lot of hiking in the hills area, repeating the same and doing many others that I never had the opportunity to repeat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Serra da Freita” is also an area where I did many other activities besides walking such as climbed, canyoning, hydrospeed and rafting not far from 

here. However, this being a blog of walking, I will confine myself to this theme.

The translation of “Serra” is hills or small mountains and we often use the word “Serra” for the name of a short mountain area. Here I will be writing about Serra da Freita as well as about Serra da Arada.

Frecha da Mizarela

201208Freita (76)This waterfall, with more than 70 m high, is the business card of Serra da Freita.

Is part of a system of cascades that as a whole exceeds 90m high. This beautiful waterfall landscape and the vision of many other smaller waterfalls is what we can expect when we walk in this area.

Ribeira is a small village that lies at the foot of this system of cascades and the trail that goes along this watercourse could not be more spectacular. Here you will find many small ponds where 

201208Freita (84)

DSCN1717When we walk from Ribeira to Mizarela we can choose between walking along the watercourse as I mentioned or, from a certain point, choose a little “detour” and climb (very easy climbing) some rocks on the right side of the waterfall Frecha da Mizarela. Is a low-difficulty climbing but that of course always requires some care.you can bathe in the crystal-clear waters or simply enjoy showering at the waterfalls.

201208Freita (29)

DSCN1726

All the people who made this trail with me felled in love for place, is without doubt a fabulous  hike.

This trail requires us to cross a small pond so we better have our swimming gear with us and a nice pair of rubber sandals.

It’s so fun to walk this trail that nobody forgets it.

A rock giving birth to another rock

Talking about a rock giving birth to another rock looks like we are talking about the “Lord of The Rings” saga but this time it’s really true.

There is a rare geological phenomenon which results in the granite rock releasing some crystals that will form new chunks of rock. Apparently, this phenomenon can only be seen in two places in the world, near Castanheira, a village in Serra da Freita and somewhere in Russia. I do not know if whether there will be other places but as much I investigated there is only these two places.

It is very interesting to see the new stones because they look like flattened black eggs and on the mother rock you will find kind of a nest where the “baby” rocks was formed.

See the translated version of Wikipedia at: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedra_parideira

Tungsten mine – Rio de Frades – Cabreiros – Tabelião

DSCF2925Rio de Frades (River of Friars) is a small village deeply marked by what used to be a tungsten mine.

The tungsten mine’s, today in ruins, began in 1914. This metal hardens the ammunition and makes them more resistant.

These mines belonged to a German company named “Mining Company of North of Portugal”, drilled more than 6 km of holes along the river from where they extracted this rare metal to be sold during the first and second world wars.

Nowadays you will only find its ruins and a small highly stratified village, as it was the standard way of living in those contexts of mining communities.

The river with the same name as this village, has fabulous landscapes hidden in its valley. Small turquoise lakes and astonishing cascades are only accessible using the techniques and knowledge to do so.

Walking along the trail from Rio de Frades we will arrive to Cabreiros a charming village with lovely stone houses, a typically village. From here we can go until Tebilhão on bucolic trail, flanked by granite stone walls.

From Póvoa das Leiras to Covêlo de Paivô

IM000934.JPG

IM000069.JPGIM000197.JPG

After the stone houses of the village (Póvoa das Leiras) there is a trail that leads us to a stone platform path that goes almost until Covêlo de Paivô, downhill always at half-slope.

IM000201.JPG

After this long walk we will arrive to Covêlo of Paivô, but not before crossing a large natural pool … a bath is “compulsory”. The crystal clear water with small fishes makes us feel like it should be in paradise.Despite not having any proof, this route appears to have been a work of

Romans, is one of those trails that one must put on the list of must-sees.

Arouquesa beef and goats from the hills

IM000090.JPGThe sighting of grazing cattle when we walk is always an interesting moment and here these moments happen often because breeding is a strong source of income to the locals.

Around here we can find mainly cows and goats.

The arouquesa cow breed is highly appreciated and its meat reaches high values on the market is.

Arouquesa cows are docile animals with a candid look and with an impressive pair of horns that easily awakens your deepest sense of respect.

Goats are also very numerous and abundant are also the products t

201208Freita (98)

hat this animal provides us such as the milk to do goat cheese … nhummy 🙂

Covas do Monte is another small village with an interesting particularity: is has about 75 inhabitants and we can find here more than 2000 goats coming out every day in the morning to go graze on the hills, a spectacle worthy of seen and living as a shepherd for one day.

Gastronomy

IM000213.JPGThere is no place in Portugal about which there is not a lot to talk about gastronomy and this area is no different.

I would like to point out two typical dishes: Serra da Arada lamb baked in wood-burning oven and the roasted aroquesa veal.

They are both, of course, dishes based on products of the mountains such as the veal aroquesa, the lamb, vegetables and other products, both worked with the traditional techniques and equipment as the wood-burning oven, trays and platters of clay and slowly baking the meat to be tender and without losing their juices and flavors.

Of course the wine we drink around here is the Dão doc but on this spectacular wine I’ll write a post one day.

Are you willing to meet the Serra da Freita and Serra da Arada? I hope so:) Here I am to go walking with you in the Serra da Freita and share these wonders.

David Monteiro

Location: Arouca, Portugal