Every 12 months we spend two weeks in our residence in Ribatejo province, in a village called Moreiras Grandes, 12km south-west of the metropolis of Tomar, vital Portugal. The home belonged to my incredible-grandmother, and I went there every summer season as an infant. Now I need my kids, aged 12 and 9, to have a connection to the land. We plant bushes, pick grapes from our vines. They have a freedom there that they don’t have in the metropolis.
Very few overseas visitors make it here, and most Portuguese choose to go to the seashore, so it’s miles hushed. It’s a good deal greener than the Alentejo, to the south – human beings from time to time name Ribatejo the Tuscany of Portugal – and it’s additionally cooler than the south. The nights are generally fresh. When we convey friends here, they are able to’t trust how lovely it is.
An unexpected enchantment was the famed dinosaur footprints at Pedreira do Galinha, 20km west of Tomar, observed in 1994.
Tomar itself is stunning, with one of the satisfactory monuments in the united states of America – the considerable, Unesco-listed Convent of Christ, initially a 12th-century Templar stronghold. It’s surrounded by using castle partitions, and its various cloisters have been constructed over numerous centuries, in exclusive architectural patterns.
We usually consume at domestic due to the fact we’ve planted so many fruit trees and vegetation, in addition to vines, and it’s high-quality to devour – and drink – what we develop, but in Tomar there’s an amusing medieval-themed eating place, Taverna Antiqua, that serves traditional dishes, like boar with wild berries. Grelha do Zêzere in Ferreria do Zêzere is also exquisite – it serves local cuisine, mainly grilled meat.
The area, about a two-hour pressure east of the capital, is attractive but very humble, complete of forests, cycle paths and nature reserves – and absolutely beneath the radar. There are not any large lodges or high-priced eating places; it’s a peripheral vacationer place wherein Czechs walk or have amusing in the wild river – and that’s why I love it.
I had been returning there with my wife, Jana, due to the fact I met her in 2012, and now that we’ve got small daughters – Janička, aged 3, and Klárka, three months – we head there for our family excursion every summer.
The iconic symbol of Orlické is Masaryk’s Chalet (Masarykova chata na Šerlicku), a three-story green cottage constructed within the mid-Twenties in honor of the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. During the second global warfare, it became seized and used as an area of recovery for injured Nazi pilots; then the communists occupied it until after the revolution in 1989. It’s a fascinating web page to stroll to, with nonviolent, unspoiled nature all round – and you can live in hotel-style rooms for a fantastic rate, too (€14pp with breakfast).