Exceptional holidays, beautifully local & certifiably responsible
End of the world Roman road House speciality Stopped in our tracks Life on the Douro More vegetables?
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From A Guarda, Galicia
Isabel led us across the Spanish border into Galicia. She promised that we’d love the views… of Portugal. And she was right, the perspective from there was gorgeous!
After enjoying a nice walk along golden sandy beach, we followed a rugged granite coast to the fishing town of A Guarda. With the big open ocean on our left and the Monte Santa Trega rising on the other side, I really got a sense of reaching the end of the world, just as it was to Europeans in the olden days.
From Caminho, Minho
From the stellar views over the Lima valley, the downward descent was easy on our tired legs. Settling into the rhythm, we realised we were walking onto the old cobbled Via Romana, passing gorgeous houses, crumblings ruins and a medieval Roman bridge.
We even saw what was, according to the local legend, the first ever yellow Camino de Santiago arrow marked down. Beware, the veracity of this story might be up for debate!
From Arcos Valdevez, Minho
We asked what time the little restaurant opened. "Come back at 7pm" she said, then looked in the kitchen. "Well no, 7:30pm". This gives you an idea of how uncomplicated life is.
At 7:35pm the place was filling. We ordered an espetada - a huge brochette of different meats - just because it sounded nice. But when we finished our delightful dinner and left, we realised it's probably the specialty of the house as every table ordered the same.
From Sistelo, Minho
The morning started with a homecooked breakfast delivered directly to the door and continued with a walk around the 'socalcos' - the iconic terraced landscapes give Sistelo. We followed cobbled paths eroded by centuries of animal wagons and passed several old granary barns, still standing strong in retirement.
It was a day of being stopped in our tracks - by a new view, by a herd of cattle being led along the paths and by the sight of a short-toed eagle flying above our heads, a little snake dangling in its claws.
From Pinhão, Douro Valley
Far from being a posh winery, this is resolutely relaxed, undiluted by practiced panache. José and Manuela, both 82, work on the selection table, separating the good grapes from the bad. Their son Paulo gives the tour, and a proper insight into life above the vines and famous waters of the Douro, on which we'd earlier sailed.
The company, food and wine are all so personal, a blend of everything good about the Douro and their little pocket of it.
From Pinhão, Douro Valley
I’m watching the river drift slowly past the side of my table and admiring the pretty little quinta on the opposite shore, while savouring the delicious output at DOC by Rui Paula, Portugal’s most famous chef. Suddenly I realise the waiter is hovering - no, wait - it’s not a waiter, it’s the man himself!
Here I am, lingering over some of the best meat I’ve ever tasted, and he asks me if I would like some more vegetables.
Travel Positive with Pura Aventura
Exceptional holidays in exceptional places.
From the moment you start planning to the lifelong memories you bring back, your holiday will be truly exceptional and tailored to a degree that is difficult for others to achieve.
Your holiday will be deeply rooted into its local surroundings, from the people you meet and the places you stay, to the food on your plate and the wine in your glass.