Remote, diverse, authentic and hardly discovered by tourism; Portugal is a hidden holiday gem. Traveling together, follow the Côa and the Douro Valley to find remote vineyards, the famous port-makers and nature at it’s best. The roads are in excellent condition, so a self-drive is highly recommended.
The mom says
× Discovering little towns and abandoned ruins of old castles and churches without any other tourists around you is something that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. No graffiti, no fences….amazing.
× The climate in Portugal is actually always good. A very moderate Mediterranean temperature makes the country accessible almost all year round. Winter might be a bit chilly though.
× The combination of old and new, of exclusive basic and top luxury makes it superfun to travel here.
The dad says
× There are areas that are so wild, you’ll feel like you are in Africa. Enjoy sundowners on top of a mountain and spot vultures circling in the sky. Portugal makes you connect with nature again.
× The fresh produce here is abundant. Little factories making olive oil from their own backyard and wineries producing the finest quality wines that are not being exported and thus unique to drink while soaking up the scenery.
× If you want to be active, there are many possibilities in Portugal! Hike through nature reservers or cycle from vineyard to vineyard…
Top 5 accommodations for an unforgettable short-break
♥ Casa da Cisterna is situated in a little town called Castelo Rodrigo, situated close to the Côa Valley. It’s the perfect starting point for one of the most special adventures in Portugal; a stay in the Star Camp. But don’t just stay at Casa da Cisterna for only one night, as there is so much to see and do! Centuries of history is surrounding the guesthouse and the swimming pool is inviting at any moment of the day…..
♥ The Star Camp is a must do when in Portugal. This small camp in the heart of the Côa Valley consists of three African safari tents, surrounded by nothing but nature. This initiative from the European Safari Company lets you feel like you are in the heart of Africa – wild horses, foxes, vultures…. a European safari at it’s best!
♥ The Fly Camp was conceptualised and designed to compliment the amazing wine pairing dinners on offer and can be set up in a private wine estate or within the private Faia Brava Nature Reserve. Enjoy your own private wildernis surrounded by silence and wake up to days filled with adventure.
♥ Six Senses Douro Valley is situated high above the vineyards and looks onto the rolling hills of the Douro Valley and the river below. You will stay in a 19th century manor house but enjoy all the modern luxury there is. The Six Senses spa is famous, so don’t forget to book yourself a treatment!
♥ The Farol Design Hotel is perched high on a rock at just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean in Cascais. Get ready for a super relaxed atmosphere where everything mixes and mingles. Surfers and jetset, bright fishing boats with glistering white yachts.
The ideal route for your short-break to Portugal (and Spain)
- It’s easy to fly in and out of Madrid. Make sure to arrive before noon (otherwise it might be nice to book a hotel in Madrid for a couple of nights and explore the city). From Madrid, you drive to Castelo Rodrigo in about an easy 3,5 hour drive. The best part is when you have to drive through the ‘city’ of Almeida. What an experience!
- Stay two nights at Casa da Cisterna in Castelo Rodrigo. This gives you ample time to relax by the pool, explore the old ruins and spend some time in Almeida. Tip: lunch at Casa D’Irene in Malpartida. What an amazing local spot!
- From Castelo Rodrigo, you’ll be brought to the Faia Brava Reserve for a night or two in the Starcamp. Enjoy sundowners on top of the hill, before a dinner under the stars. When your host leaves, it’s just you surrounded by nature. Far away in the distance you’ll hear church bells from an abandoned village and in the morning you might wake up to the looks of a curious fox….
- After the amazing wilderness experience in the Faia Brava Reserve, head to the Six Senses Douro Valley. It’s another stunning drive to get there! Here you’ll enjoy an exclusive wining & dining experience, combined with sublime spa treatments and a lot of outdoor activities.
- From Six Senses, you can either drive to Salamanca for another night or head straight back to Madrid and catch a flight home.