Friday, September 22, 2017
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Travel

Heritage & Nature

Monchique is well worth a visit. Because people who keep climbing up the ancient cobblestone street in the village generally have one goal in mind: the old Franciscan convent destroyed in the earthquake on 1st November, 1755. On the home straight, the cobblestones turn into a footpath that leads to the ruin, on which the word “FAMILY” is written and in which the family of Vidaul Gonçalves lives. In the middle of the convent, between the crumbling walls, they have put up a fence and have both a chicken run and a fine vegetable garden, which feeds them well. Hikers …

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Hiking and Wellness

The varied footpaths in the hills of Monchique reveal a wide variety of themes. In collaboration with the Portuguese Hiking Association ACAMINPOR, ECO123 has put together the five most beautiful footpaths for a thematic hiking week. Arrival on Saturday in Faro in the south of Portugal. You will be picked up there at the station or the airport. Transfer to Caldas de Monchique. There you will spend the ECO hiking week and experience the charm of a spa, which offers you treatments after the hikes. Massages, wellness bath, sauna. On Sunday, you are free to acclimatise as you like. Arrive …

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Nature and Gourmet

Potatoes. Broad beans. Sweet potatoes. Sweet corn. Pumpkin. Carrots. Walnuts. Chestnuts. Acorns. Honey. Onions. Garlic. Cabbage. Apples. Oranges. Pomegranates. Quinces. Figs. Almonds, carob. Olives and olive oil. Medronho. Lemons. Asparagus. Chanterelles and many other wild mushrooms. Bay leaves. Rosemary. Thyme. Oregano. Parsley. Basil. Coriander. Piri piri. The list of products growing wild or cultivated by farmers all year round in Monchique – excellent foods, spices and herbs – is almost endless. Our land is rich in nutrients and good, the soil is black and the climate of sunshine and rain stimulates plant growth on every day of the year. Three …

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Pure nature in the Alentejo.

Ecotrails Odemira

Shaded by trees, the river Mira meanders lazily from Odemira to Vila Nova de Milfontes. For people wanting to spend their autumn holidays here with children and canoes, www.ecotrails.info offer a weekend tour in a leisurely paddling area. As the tide goes out, you paddle towards the mouth of the river, and you paddle back as the tide comes in. Each stretch of just over 30 km of paddling in one direction can easily be covered in two days. You can also add an overnight stop in Casas Brancas.

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Ruta del Cister

Monastery Vallbona

Twenty steps lead up to the second floor of the sandstone stronghold that stands behind metre-thick walls. That’s where the five guest cells of the Catalonian Cistercian monastery Poblet are to be found. Brother Paco, aged 79, alias Francisco Martínez Soria, hands me the key. He shows me the bathroom, broom cupboard and the wall-walk around the monastery. He’s a man of few words: “Singing at one, followed by lunch.” Then he leaves. Bed, desk, chair, shelf, rubbish bin, saint’s image, radiator, desk lamp. Four by two-and-a-half metres. This is where the three-day, 106 km long walk along the Cistercian …

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By night train to Lisbon.

Comboio CP

2002. We’re now living with the euro. But are there other things that unite us? After all, since the second Schengen agreement, we’ve been able to travel all over Europe without any controls. Our dreams of mobility appear to be boundless. Icarus and the flying carpet have become normal. But the maiden voyage of the Titanic showed us how vulnerable we humans make ourselves when we continue to strive for new records and ignore the laws of nature. The moon landing in 1969 was a temporary climax. A short time later, we are amazed to discover that things don’t appear …

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