A Travellerspoint blog

Zambujeira do Mar

Along the Rota Vicetina, Alentejo coast


From Boavista de Pinheros, it's only 15 kilometers to the sea. Along twisty roads through cork forests and farms, you arrive at a tiny white village perched on cliffs above the sea. Below, the waves pound the rocks and the breeze cools the air.


We walked down to the beach from the parking lot on the cliffs - my sheltered American kids had an immediate lesson on nudity in public and other cultures! The water is freezing (to this Florida girl), but the water is shallow and gentle enough for kids to play near shore, but rough enough for surfers to enjoy further out. The Rota Vicetina trail is easily accessible from the boardwalk along the road that heads up the hill south of the beach. It's easily navigable for almost everyone - though the sand makes it slow going in some parts. From the trail, you can see empty beaches below. For the adventurous, a little slice of paradise awaits.







Back in the center of town, several restaurants serve local seafood and ice cream for the kids. Try the local soup made of tiny little sea slugs! The view is nice and the service is friendly. We went into a little convenience store for a bottle of wine to take back to house - it all looks the same to me and was all loca and between 4 and 7 euro. I may spend my entire vacation eating nothing but cheese and drinking nothing but wine!

Posted by Restless Mama 12:40 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

The Long Road to Baixo Alentejo

Odemira and Sao Teotonio



I could live in the Lisbon airport. After a day of travel and an overnight flight with two kids sleeping on me, it felt like everything was there for my convenience - from the empty gates to the pristine bathrooms and the hot espresso and pastries, aaaah!

But it's disorienting to sleep on a plane and waking up to a place that smells and looks like Northern California. Where am I? Did I really cross an ocean last night? I wouldn't agree with the comparisons between the Vasco de Gama bridge and the Golden Gate, but the road through the Alentejo felt a lot like the road between Santa Rosa, California and Napa. Fields of olive groves, cork trees, and cows. We didn't see any other people until we arrived in the town of Odemira, with its blue and white houses and twisty cobblestone streets.


Past Odemira, we crossed into Monte Sobrero and arrived at our house. Which we couldn't find, despite having the GPS coordinates and written instructions. Thankfully Jaoa answered his phone and we followed him in. Hot, dry heat and the smells of heather and sage surround us here. The house is built in the traditional Alentejo style, with thick walls that keep out the heat and the cool tiles underfoot are a welcome respite from the hot ground outside. Then again, there's always the pool.

So after a nap, it's into Sao Teotonio and the Intermarche for supplies. I'm thinking olives and cheese and vino tinto out on the terrace...

Posted by Restless Mama 08:23 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Miami today, Lisbon tomorrow!

The journey begins

The planes on the tarmac sparkle in the sun, taunting us - so close, yet so far. Three hours early for our flight to Lisbon by way of Philly and as people board their planes to foreign destinations far and wide, we wait. On the bright side, we somehow got steered through TSA express service and no one said anything about the little bottle of Baileys Irish Cream and Malibu Banana Rum clanking around in our bag. Poor Adam was pulled aside to have his hands swabbed for some nefarious residue and he looked at me like they were about to haul him into some back room for a rigorous interrogation. So now we're settled in terminal E, hunched over our cafe con leche, waiting for the crackly voice over the intercom telling us our turn has come.

Posted by Restless Mama 11:51 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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