Archive for November, 2012

10 Reasons to visit Sintra and the Sintra Natural Park, Portugal

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Hello Everyone!

There are many reasons to visit Portugal, a beautiful country, with so much to see and do,  with really friendly people who take pride in keeping their country special, clean  and inviting to tourists - the hidden gem of Europe!!  And the region of Sintra and the Sintra Natural Park has been considered a special, magical area since pre-historic times.  The reasons to visit are vast.  But these are considered the top 10 by the Sintra Department of Tourism.,

1. Sintra is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cultural Landscape.  The dramatic and amazing rural areas surrounding Sintra which are protected in the 14 000 HA Sintra Natural Park and the wonderful, historic old City of Sintra with its many palaces,  ancient beautifully tiled buildings, winding roads, parks, churches and convents etc are truely worth seeing.

2.  The Serra da Sintra with its magic mountains, rare flora and fauna, birds, unique micro climate, lush greenery can be explored on foot , bikes, Segways etc.  There are the wonderful parks of Monserrate, Pena Park, Conventos dos Capuchos to name a few.

3.  Quinta da Regaleira is an awesome Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romantic Park and Manor house.  There are many hidden grottos, underground tunnels, chapels, towers etc waiting to be explored.  (We think Walt Disney must have been here and found inspiration for his Disney Land!!)

4.  Sintra´s natural beauty streches from the mountains, hilltops, valleys and forests down to the Atlantic coast with an incredible rugged coastline boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.  Miles of white sandy beaches beneath towering cliffs are perfect for beach combing, relaxing, surfing….and for the very brave: swimming.  The Portuguese are very proud of their  beautiful beaches and keep them clean.

5.  The  antique tram, which during the summer and early autumn travels from Sintra to Praia das Macas and back, dates back to the 1850´s and is a fun way to get to the beach town of Praia das Macas from Sintra´s historic center.

6.  The National Palace of Sintra is worth seeing. It is a monument to the interesting architectual style which combines Gothic with Manuline. It is in the middle of the historic center of Sintra.

7.  The Pena National Palace and Park is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.

8.  O Cabo da Roca.  This  is a popular tourist spot being the western most point of continental Europe. It boasts  a lovely lighthouse and amazing vistas of the coastline.

9.  The delightful pasteries  and delicious fish served at many quaint cafes and family owned restaurants at very affordable prices.

10. The wines of Portugal  – especially Colares Wine.  The   Colares wine dates back to Roman times.  Colares wine is the oldest Portuguese wine.  Its Ramisco grape survived the European blight of the late 1800´s.  The ancient wineries host tours and winetastings.

And last but not least there is an interesting selection of unique places to stay in the Sintra area: all sorts of hotels, B&B´s, guesthouses, villas and apratments.

www.colinaflora.com is   a small, country guesthouse tucked peacefully into the hills above the Atlantic ocean.  Read our reviews on www.tripadvisor.com/colinaflora

 

for more information on Sintra www.sintraromantica.net

www.sintrainn.net

www.parquesdasintra.pt

Facebook www.facebook.com/sintraromantica

Herbst/Winter Urlaub in Portugal fuer Vegetarier/Veganer

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Hallo!

Frueher hatten           Vegetarier/Veganer Schwierigkeiten vegetarische Restaurants in Portugal zu finden.    Deshalb freuen wir uns mitteilen zu duerfen, dass es laut www.vegman.org oder www.happycow.net allein in Lisbon derzeit 24 vegetarische Restaurants/Cafes gibt.  Auch tauchen immer mehr Laeden auf die gute Bio-Kost verkaufen.  

Sogar in unserem kleinem, huebschem Dorf, Almocageme, im Herzen vom wunderschoenem Sintra Naturpark, gibt es inzwischen ein Bio-Vegan Restaurant und ein Vegetarisches Bio Cafe.  Und der Dorfladen verkauft eine riesige Auswahl von Bio Produkte: Getrede, Soya Produkte, Reismilch, Bio Schokolade, usw.  Und im naechstem Dorf, Colares, gibt es eine biologische Kooperative auf einer kleinen Farm mit Verkauf und  Permaculture Kurse.

Der Sintra Naturpark ist im Herbst und Winter auch noch ein herrliches Reiseziel.  Das milde, frostfreie Klima, ist perfekt fuer Wanderer und Radler.  Aber auch Surfer ist das ganze Jahr am tollen.  Die Straende sind wunderschoen und die landschaft ist dramatisch und abwechslungsreich.

Fuer Vegetarier/Veganer die eine nette Unterkunft suchen gibt es das Colina Flora, www.colinaflora.com , ein kleines, aber feines, Bio-Gastehaus, mit einem tollem Bio Fruehstueck.

 baking traditional portuguese breads……delicious

 

Das Cafe von Flores do Cabo ist derzeit unser Lieblings Cafe.  Leider ist das Cafe waehrend den Wintermonate nur Freitags, Samstags und Sonntags geoeffnet von 11 bis 19 Uhr.  Das Cafe von Flores do Cabo ist einfach SUPER.  Es ist ein renovierter, sehr alter Weinkeller schmackvoll ausgestattet mit kunst von hiesigen Handwerker, Antiquitaeten, Blumen, Naturkosmetik, Kerzen usw und das Cafe serviert jeden Tag was anders liebvoll zubereitet aus den besten bio Zutaten:Mandel-Polenta Kuchen, tolles Hummus, hausgebackenen Brote, leckere Suppen und  Hauptgerichte, tolle cocktails…..

Das Cafe ist sehr beliebt von unseren Gaeste www.colinaflora.com , von jung und alt, und allerlei Durchreisende, Einheimische…..