A Weekend in Rural Portugal
Having recently celebrated our 3 years anniversary, André and I were looking for a long weekend getaway to enjoy a couple of days away from the city. That´s when we found the Quinta da Alcaidaria-Mor - a beautiful estate in the inside of the country, about an hour and a half away from Lisbon. The quinta was a gift from one of Portugal´s kings to his phyisician and is truly regal. It dates back to the 18th century and has been pretty much untouched for the last 300 years.
Upon arrival, Nuno, our very catty host took us to our room, one of the few rooms that the quinta has where dogs are welcome. Spacious and with a royal air about it, making you dream about ancient times when there were special rooms for you to rest after your bath, the bedrooms are perfect and so is the entire house. The bathrooms come with spacious bathtubs which are God-sent for a couple like us who don´t have one at home. We bathed every single nights and enjoyed each other´s company since the wi-fi or even the 3G reception didn´t reach our room. Rest assured, it reaches most of the house, we were just unlucky. Or were we the lucky ones? A common living room with pool and a bar is the ideal space for you to relax in the evenings, should you not choose the outside porch overlooking the beautiful nature around Quinta da Alcaidaria-Mor. Should you choose the porch, you´ll be greeted from the distance by adorable ponies, donkeys, sheep and even dwarf goats, which are a million time more adorable than you´re probably picturing them.
In the morning breakfast is served in a beautiful and spacious dining room that looks more like a museum. The table awaits with crystal glasses filled with fresh orange juice, plates of cheese and ham, fresh marmelade,hot coffee and lots of cereal and fruits. On top of all this, eggs and bacon are served as per your wishes and there is an abundance of blueberries available, from the quinta´s own production.
And what´s the best thing to do after a filling breakfast? A nice nature walk, of course. The grounds of the quinta are quite extensive and boarder a beautiful forest that also encompasses part of the pilgrimage road to Fátima. On our first day we set ourselves to a nature walk and ended up walking through beautiful forest roads for 5km. Quite a magical way to start the day!
Now after you´ve been so productive, what comes next? Chilling by the pool with a good book, of course. With Yoshi constantly looking for a bit of shade and us soaking in the sun, we passed hours (often alone) by the pool, snoozing or reading our books. So many hours that I actually got a hefty sunburn. Wear sunscreen, peeps. It does magic for your skin.
There are plenty of places to visit around the Quinta da Alcaidaria-Mor. We chose Tomar for a day and Dornes and Ferreira do Zêzere for another one. But this post is not about the surroundings, it is solely about a most magical place where you can recharge your batteries and reconnect with nature for a couple of days, without having to worry about a thing other than how many kgs of blueberries are you bringing back home.