Archive for the ‘Colina Flora’ Category
Hallo Leute! national Palace, Sintra a festival venue
Da Portugal das sonnigste und freundlichste Land von Europa ist, und noch preiswert dazu, ist es das perfekte Land fuer einen sonnigen, erhohlsamen und noch kulturreichen Urlaub. Portugal hat viele Kunst und Musik Festivals waehrend dem ganzem Jahr. Jedes Jahr im Juni (heuer vom 22. Juni bis zum 8. Juli) findet im romantischem und wunderschoenem Sintra das alljaehrliche Kunst und Musik Festival statt. Seit 47 Jahre kommen beruehmte Musiker und Kuenstler jeden Sommer nach Sintra um an diesem vielfaeltigem Fetival teilzunehmen. Die Vorfuehrungen finden in den Schloesser und im Olga Cadaval Kultur Zentrum statt. www.festivaldesintra.pt
Sintra liegt im wunderschoenem Sintra Naturpark. Der Naturpark umfasst circa 14,000 HA von dramatischer Atlantikkuesten Landschaft mit herrlichen weissen Sandstraende, Klippen, Waelder, Berge und seltene Flora und Fauna. Es gibt viele Wander/Radfahrwege, herrliches Surfing, Golf, Tennis usw. und naturlich historisiche Bauten und Yoga. adraga Beach great surfing
Colina Flora www.colinaflora.com das kleine aber feine “gruene” Landgasthaus liegt mitten im Sintra Naturpark mit Blick aufs Meer und den Waelder, und nur 3 Km zum Adraga Strand. Hier findet man Ruhe, Entspannung, Moglichkeit zum Wandern, Radfahren, Yoga, vegetarisches Essen und Gemuetlichkeit und doch ist man in unmittelbarer naehe zu allen Festivals, Sportmoeglichkeiten und Sehenswuerdigkeiten.
view into the Natural park of Sintra
Many travelers are suprised at the amazing landscape and vast array of things to do and see in the Sintra Natural Park. There is the stunning, dramatic coastline with towering cliffs and white sandy beaches. The forest is magical and wonderful for walking/biking year round. There are romantic historic cities such as Sintra and Cascais and the amazing city of Lisbon close by. There are art and music festivals year round. The surfing and golf is world class. And the opportunity to play tennis, horse back riding, yoga, rock climbing, paragliding, segway tours, kyacking etc is abundant.
There are the special little, quaint villages and hamlets not yet in the guidebooks. Pe da Serra is such a beautiful small hamlet. With a few beautiful manor houses, farms and two refurbished ancient wineries and a green country guesthouse www.colinaflora.com
Pe da Serra means Foot of the Mountain and is tucked on a hillside at the base of the forested hills overlooking the Atlantic. It is 1.5 km above the quaint village of Almoçgeme. Flores do Cabo, in one of the wineries, an especially beautiful space, www.floresdocabo.pt is a gallery, artistic flower shop, event center for vegetarian cooking classes, spiritual retreat, weddings etc, artists studios, and soon to be, an organic gourmet shop and cafe. It is a delight to come to Flores do Cabo, one of my most favorite shops/galleries in Portugal. Next door. in another old winery, is the antique shop of Françoise Baudry. A wonderful space filled with incredibly beautiful pieces, fabrics, soaps and jewlery. Françoise is a transplanted Belgium lady who has the most exquisite taste and serves delicious tea to savor while enjoying the ambiance of her shop.
For exciting adventures which begin in Pe da Serra, the folks of www.guinchtours.net offer mountian biking tours, hiking,kyacking, sightseeing and ATV excursions through the beautiful hills and up and down the mountains and along the breathtaking coastline. They have half day, whole day, mix and match tours with lunch at a typical portuguese restaurant usually included. These tours are very affordable and the guides are super friendly and speak perfect English. The tours go off the beaten track, so participants experience the area´s many special places.
Als wir das erste Mal Almoçageme endecketen, wussten wir, dass wir unser neues zu Hause gefunden hatten. Álmoçageme ist ein bezauberndes kleines Dorf, mit richtigen urigen kleinen Laeden, gute und preiswerte Cafes und Restaurants (sogar ein Vegan/Bio-Restaurant), kleine verwinkelte Gassen und freundliche Leute. Und Adraga Strand, einer der schoensten Stranede in Portugal, liegt am Ende des Weges. Man geht etwa 1.5 km von der Dorfmitte aus immer bergab zur dieser traumhaft Kueste mit weissem Sandstrand.
Toll ist, dass diese reizende Dorf noch nicht vom Massentourism entdeckt worden ist und vielleicht deshalb noch viel von seinem Character innehaelt.
Colina Flora, das kleine, aber feine, “gruene” Gaestehaus www.colinaflora.com liegt etwa 1.5 km oberhalb von Almoçageme. Es gibt einen angenehmen Fussweg ins Dorf. Es ist eine schoene Gegend zum sich erhohlen, Wandern, Fahrradfahren, Surfing und alle moegliche weitere Sportarten – auch Yoga. Mit www.guichoadventours.net koennen Abenteuertouren gebucht werden fuer allerlei. Der Abhohldienst ist inklusive, auch ein herzhaftes Mittagessen in einem typischen portuguesichem Lokal.
Seit gut einem Jahr, hat der Keramikkuenstler, Faraujo, seine Gallerie und Studio in Almoçageme. Er kreiert bezauberde Geschoepfe und Schmuck aus Ton und gibt Unterricht fuer Klein und Gross. Sein freundliches Wesen und begabte Wiedergabungstalent macht ihn auch als Keramiklehrer sehr beliebt.
Every Time I walk or drive into the quirky, quaint village of Almoçageme, I delight in its unique qualities and am so grateful to be living here. It was love at first sight for us and our adoration of the entire area grows the longer we are here.
The village and its surrounding picturesque hamlets have a population of about 2000. After two years of frequenting all the local places, folks nod , smile and greet us, even stop to talk. We feel at home!
There is a lovely village square where the village elders (men only) gather every morning and afternoon to chat and observe shoppers, walkers and the few tourists who have also discovered this wonderful place. (The guidebooks have not yet discovered Almoçageme, which is suprising, since it is only a 15 minute drive to Sintra.) These men always greet me in unison with a smile and often a tip of their caps. The friendly fishmonger has a roofed, display space with three tiled walls and table, where fresh fish are sold every morning. The lady who sells roasted chickens and chips is in the next booth with full view of the fountain, picknic tables and ancient winery building, always welcomes a chat. There are 3 real “Mom and Pop” miniscule grocery stores. The Mercado Dias has a amazing assortment of organic grains, tofu and other vegetarian delights, besides it´s selection of regular grocery store fare. There are several lovely cafes and restaurants (an organic cafe and a vegan restaurant are part of the selection) , 2 butcher shops, two small gift shops, hair and spa salon, fire deartment, the tiniest shoemaker and shoe shop, sewing supply shop, hardware store and an amazing interior design store and a lovely church. The shops and eating places are all family businesses. The small hardware store will sell you a single nail, envelope or hair comb and the sewing shop, where a single sewing needle or safety pin can still be acquired or a few inches/cm of handmade lace or linen, carefully wraps purchases in little bags made from colorful magazine pages. And then there is the wonderful, talented ceramic sculptor, Faraujo, whose gallery/studio is located on the road to Adraga Beach. His lovely creations are colorful, whimsical, unique. Faraujo also offers ceramic sculpture workshops for all ages. He and his wife, also an artist who paints the sculptures, extend a warm welcome to gallery visitors and workshop participants. www.faraujoarte.blogspot.com
Almoçageme sits on the hill above beautiful Adraga Beach isabout a twenty 20 walk or 3 minute drive from the village square. This wonderful beach has amazing sunsets to watch, crashing waves to surf, beachcomb or just relax and enjoy! I´ve written about Adraga Beach in past posts. It is truly spectacular.
colina Flora www.colinaflora.com is only a 15 to 20 minute walk away from Almoçageme or a three minutes drive. Colina Flora is in the picutresque tiny hamlet of Pe da Serra (Foot of the Hills) 1.5 km above Almoçageme, and has two wonderful special shops in restored wines cellars which are event center, vegetarian cooking venue, gallery, flower and local food shop, spa, artists studios, and organic cafe in one. A great place to visit, enjoy an organic hot chocolate or Smoothie and feast all your senses on what is offered. And then venture down to the larger village. Week-ends and Thursdays there are farmer´s markets with a large selection of local produce, fresh breads, honey, jams and cheeses.
Come visit and stay a while!!
Many artists today are incorporating Upcycling: the ritual of breathing beauty into rather mundane, and often unappealing, discarded things. Upcycling is a step above recycling. According to those in the know, Upcycling ventures to please and delight.
Joanna Vasconcleos, a Portuguese artist, who lives and works in Lisbon, is internationally acclaimed for her upcycled sculptures. www.joanaVasconcelos.com Her Cinderella slipper made of pot lids.
Then there is Margaux Lange who transforms Barbie dolls into jewelry. Take a look at her interesting creations.www.margauxlange.com
Up-cycling became the modus operendi for Colina Flora, now an Eco-guesthouse. We had dreams of acquiring a lovely antique ruin to renovate for our planned B&B. After months of searching, with the realization that antique houses were beyond our means, we purchased a small, beautiful piece of land located in the heart of the wonderful Sintra Natural Park with an antique ruin of a windmill and great ocean views, and a very esthetically challenged 1970s country cottage. The antique windmill is a future project, but first we tackled the seriously design challenged house. We up-cycled fabric, tiles, ugly lamps, wooden walls, sinks slip-covered and refashioned big bulky pieces of furniture. Whew! and after 6 months of intense labor -we still have a ways to go- our Eco-guesthouse is smiling, small, yet lovely and open for business.
Take a look:
Variations on the shades of boring brown ( I like great deep browns – lots of wonderful browns out there). We opened up the space, painted with clay paint ( a terracotta color was aimed for, but my mixing ended up with peach. With guests booked, the peach went on the walls.) Amazing what a bit of paint achieves.
I removed heavy, dusty and very outdated lamps and created replacements out of a torn wool blanket and, with the help of a blacksmith, reworked the metal of the old lamps to form bases for the new lamps. www.colinaflora.com for more pictures and information
We have been so very busy transforming our quirky, hilltop house into a wonderful refuge for retreat style vacations. The blog posts have been neglected.
If you are seeking an alternative to typically crowded tourist spots, or you desire a relaxing get-away vacation, then consider Colina Flora, our soon-to-open “green” B&B at the edge of the Sintra Natural Park in Portugal – an ideal retreat just 5 minutes from wonderful beaches, quaint hillside villages, and the protected forest of this national conservation area, 40 minutes northwest of Lisbon. Portugal’s mild climate offers hikers/trekkers and bicycle enthusiasts wonderful trails/routes even during the winter months. And all types of surfers (kite, sail, etc) ride the exceptional waves here 12 months of the year.
Right out of our front gate one can take a scenic, but not strenuous, 8 kilometer bicycle tour along a quiet rural road through the protected forest, past huge moss-covered boulders and breathtaking vistas. Or one can hike from our back gate for 45 minutes through the woods to one of the best scenic views in the area at the former Peninha Convent overlooking the Atlantic Ocean below.
The historic town of Sintra (just 8 km by car) boasts several spectacular palaces and castles including Pena Palace said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland castle. It dates back to the 19th century and is a whimsical mix of architectural styles. King Ferdinand filled the royal grounds with oddities from around the world as a summer playground for his wife Queen Maria II. The historic center of the magical city of Sintra offers many other wondrous sites, convivial restaurants and cafes, interesting shops and museums, a world-class cultural center and lovely expansive gardens in which to roam.
A year round equestrian center has been refurbished and recently reopened in Sintra for those wanting to ride by the hour or take guided tours of the “Serra” (ridge of mountains) on horseback.
After 10 months of reconnoitering our adopted homeland, Portugal still enthralls us. And for such a tiny country, Portugal has in the past been, and currently is, a model – a forerunner: By early 2011, Portugal will be the first in the world to have an electric car EV charging network throughout the country. There are special perks to purchase electric cars and for installing solar panels which sell electricity back to the grid. Currently Portugal produces 23% of its electricity via wind power and solar power, the most of any European country. And Portugal´s island of Madeira is the first area of Europe to be officially GMO free.
Colina Flora is being beautifully, sustainably refurbished into a comfortable country house and will begin receiving guests Christmas 2010. Please email us for further information or for available dates, amenities, and winter specials. Our room prices range from 69 € – 99 € per night which include sumptuous 100% organic breakfasts and afternoon tea.
Stay well, go slow and be “green.”