In the region there are several markets, we mention here the closest and most special.
In Arganil is the market on Thursday. From 8.00 to 12.00 hours you can buy all kinds of things here, hardware, traditional Portuguese crafts such as baskets and ladles, things for the vegetable garden, clothing, tablecloths, bedding and plants. In the covered area you'll find vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and cheese. You can also have lunch here, delicious chicken with fries and salad for a small price.
In Tábua the weekly market takes place on Sundays. Here too you will find many plants and trees and inside you will find mainly fresh products such as meat, fish, bread, cheese and groceries. Here too there are long tables where you can eat delicious freshly roasted chicken.
In Barril de Alva there is an organic/hippy market every3rd Saturday of the month. You can find all kinds of homemade products, many organic snacks and the public is generally Dutch or English.
Two beautiful historical cities at about an hour's drive away, are Coimbra and Viseu. Here you will find many old historic buildings, special streets, churches, shops, the beautiful azulejos and beautiful city parks. These cities can be visited with the rental car and our written day trip, but if Sabine's schedule allows, she can also come along to give you more background information. Happy Walks Portugal is part of Explorar com Sabine (Discover with Sabine) and is registered in the register of tourism (RNAAT) under license number 100/2021. So you are on the road with confidence.
Cities such as Aveiro and Águeda are also worth visiting. Aveiro is known as the Venice of Portugal, a boat trip in the typical gondola is definitely worth the money. It is also a must to visit the salt pans and the coastal village Praia da Costa Nova. Águeda is in the summer months decorated with hundreds, if not thousands of umbrellas (Umbrella Sky Festival), which gives the city a very beautiful sight. Besides these umbrellas, the city also has beautiful street art, many museums and beautiful walking routes. Read more in our day trips, which will be ready for you upon arrival at the Quinta.
In the vicinity of the Quinta are numerous picturesque villages to discover. The mountain range Serra d'Açor in the municipality of Arganil is characterised by slate (or xisto), the traditional houses are therefore made of slate. This results in the most beautiful villages, such as the most famous one in our area: Piódão. Also the Serra da Lousã has many of these Xisto villages, like Talasnal and Casal Novo, a mountain range to fall in love with! Not for nothing are these villages called Montanhas d'Amor; Mountains of Love. We have written a nice daytrip of Piódão (in combination with the villages Cház d'Égua, Foz d'Égua and the beautiful waterfall Fraga da Pena) as well as of the surroundings of Lousã. You can take this day trip with you, so that you don't miss out on any of the highlights.
If you go further towards Tábua and the Serra de Caramulo (mountain range), you will encounter more granite. Large boulders dominate the landscape here. The style of house building is also very different from that in the Arganil/Lousã area. We also made a nice day trip of the Serra de Caramulo, because there is a lot to discover! Such as a number of beautiful mountain peaks, walks, the car museum in Caramulo and much more. Be surprised and go exploring.
Serra da Estrela
The Serra da Estrela is a mountain range with the highest peak on the mainland of Portugal: the Torre! Well worth a visit in our opinion. In this area there is a lot to see and do, think of museums, numerous reservoirs, beautiful hiking trails, fine river beaches and quaint mountain villages with ditto shops. They sell a lot of cheese and various sausages from the cattle of this area, leather, woolen socks and many other handmade products. Since there is so much to do, we have listed all the highlights in our DIY (Do It Yourself) daytrip. By using Google Maps, you can easily create your own day trip.
In the inlands of Portugal there are many river beaches. Our region has three major rivers, the river Alva, the Mondego and the Dão. Every village along one of these rivers creates its own river beach, and they all have something special. Most of them have a bar where you can buy snacks and drinks, at others you can rent canoes and at others you will find a lot of entertainment for the little ones. At 200 metres from our house you will find the beach of Ronqueira with nice sun beds and parasols. On the other side of the river you will find the beach of Cascalheira with a nice bar. Within a half hour drive you will find dozens of them. We have a list with all the details so you can easily make a choice.
A day at the beach of Figueira da Foz or Mira is also possible! Choose a day with little wind, if you don't want to be sandblasted! It remains of course the Atlantic Ocean!
On holiday and still want to be a bit sporty? This region lends itself perfectly to all kinds of sports. Mountain bike tours, walks and trail runs can be made from our Quinta. Mountain bikes are for rent in Arganil, hiking trails we have printed and sealed for you and through an app you can make beautiful trips.
Flat cycling is possible on the Ecopista do Dão, a beautiful bicycle path that leads you through three municipalities. The route is 49 kilometers long, between Santa Comba Dão and Viseu. You can either let the bikes take you to the start/end of the route and cycle back 49 kilometres to the rental bike, or you can start from the rental bike and cycle as long as you want and turn around again. Also here we have a beautiful flyer made, so you do not have to miss any special place!
On the river there are numerous water sports to be practiced. Recommended are SUPping on the Rio Alva via SUP Rio Alva, SUP Rio Alva is part of Explorar com Sabine (Ontdekken met Sabine) and is registered in the register of tourism (RNAAT) under license number 100/2021. Another must is the canoe trip from 11 to 25 kilometers on the Mondego with O Pioneiro do Mondego or at the reservoir of Agieira to spend a day and try various water sports. As mentioned at the river beaches you can also rent a canoe / pedalo for half an hour at several places.
At 10 minutes away you can also go fishing at Carpodromo, super fun for a few hours to do with the kids. Or if you are a fanatic fisherman, you can even fish at night and catch beautiful carp. Super nice people and a breathtaking place.
Near Viseu you can play golf at the 27 hole golf course of the Montebelo resort, in this resort is also a SPA for a unique wellness day. For more information check their website: www.montebelogolfe.pt
At Crossbox Açor in Arganil you can work out with weights. Prefer something more quiet? Then we can also arrange a Pilates or Yoga class for you in the area. There are many possibilities for this. In the summer months these classes take place on the river beach just around the corner! Like to dance? You can dance between the locals at the ZUMBA classes in Secarias, super fun and I often participate!
From April to September there are village / city festivals throughout Portugal. Each municipality has its own day off, in Tábua it is 10 April, in Arganil it is 6 September. Music, stalls with local products, a small fair and lots of food. These are in a nutshell the ingredients of the summer festivals. Because of the corona it is not clear at the moment what will happen this year, but as soon as we know, we will put it here in an agenda.
Restaurants & Bars
In Portugal there is a different food culture than in the Netherlands. Breakfasts are coffee and something tasty at the pastelaria around the corner. Workers don't take bread with them in a lunch box, but take a menu at a restaurant. In the evening people eat more often at home, but that too of course in restaurants. During lunch it is possible to take a whole menu, this consists of soup, then the choice of a meat or fish dish and finally a dessert and coffee, often these menus are only 8 euros. If you choose something from the menu, then of course you pay that amount.
Appetizers such as bread, butter and olives are standard on the table. If you eat this, you pay for it. If you don't eat any of this, you don't pay for it either. In the evening restaurants often open at 19.00 hours. In Portugal, vegetarian or vegan dishes are not often on the menu. We can give you some tips where you can choose something else than a salad if you want to eat vegetarian.
The best restaurants in the area:
Restaurante Gota d'Agua (50m), Ronqueira, Portuguese
Restaurante Sombrinha (250m), Secarias, Portuguese
Café Mendes (500m), Secarias, Portuguese
Kebab Açor (4km), Arganil, Portuguese/International
Açor TT (4km), Arganil, Tapas
Restaurante A Grelha (4km), Arganil, Portuguese Grill
Pizzeria Avenida (4km), Arganil, Pizzeria
Restaurante Impala (6km), Sarzedo, Portuguese
Restaurante o Paragem (7km), Mouronho, Portuguese
Princesa do Alva (7km), Coja, Portuguese
Lagar do Alva (7km), Coja, Portuguese
Restaurante O Toni Moleiro (15km), Tábua, Portuguese
Pizzeria Papa Seco (15km), Tábua, Italian
Restaurante George and Dragon (15km), English cuisine, theme nights.
Restaurante a Lampreira (30km), Portuguese/Rodizio.
Nice bars and terraces in the area:
Bar praia Fluvial Cascalheira (250m), Secarias, river beach bar
Açor TT (4km), Arganil, centre
Ceramica Bar (6km), Arganil, nice view
D'Aqui e d'Ecola (7km), Coja, centre
Because swinging is not only for children....
During the Corona period, a lot of swings have been placed in our region. All of them are placed on great viewpoints. No two swings are the same and no two views are the same. Especially for our guests we have made a list of the swings, which are easy to visit from our Quinta. Some swings you'll come across during a walk, for example the one in Coimbra, or during the PR2 and PR3 of Tábua. These, but also the others are easy to reach by car. I've visited them all by now, so I can tell you how to drive and where to park your car.