As mentioned in my last article ‘The Algarve and Portugalâ€˜s North Coast’ we spent the next few days in Portugalâ€™s countryside. One place I didnâ€™t like to miss was romantic medieval Ã’bidos, which I stumbled over by watching the impressive images in social media by road.memories.
To absorb the according feeling of being in such historic town I booked the right and authentic accommodation: Casa do FontanÃ rio a house, hundreds of years old, nowadays managed by a very warm-hearted Portuguese family, which bought and renovated the building few decades ago. I couldnâ€™t think about a better place to stay.
The Hotel was located a few meters outside the old town wall. The wall still protects its city, which you can, by the way, investigate along itâ€™s top to escape the small town-paths beneath â€“ of course, they really have their own charm one shouldnâ€™t miss too. Unfortunately, the â€˜up the wall walkâ€™ was nothing I planned to do because of my fear of heights. Stefan caught some impressions on camera from up there, so I could get an idea what I missed.
Investigating the city, we recognized soon that we were not the only ones around for a visit. To escape the crowd, and to start it smooth, we decided to have some wine and appetizers right at the beginning of our trip. As usual in Portugal â€“ even without asking – you get some small starters before every meal; you can choose to eat them or not. This time we took them because they went perfectly with the local wine. All the time drinking this fabulous ones I was thinking of being back in Amman, where you pay for non-comparably tasting wines (sorry to say) around five times moreâ€¦ quite annoying. For dinner we followed the suggestion of our host; a restaurant whit outside barbecue. Perfect for us.
Very early next morning, right after breakfast we went out for another stroll through Ã’bidos. This time we walked along the western town wall (which are not that frightening high) to endeavour more of this beautiful place. Best, your see for yourselfâ€¦
Ã’bidos was just right for one night and the perfect mind-tune for our wine tour ahead in central-western Portuguese lands. The Quinta we booked was surrounded by impressive grapevine and they also had their own wine production with nice wine cellar and tasting room â€“ MALO TOJO wines – a truly delicious one. â€˜Unfortunatelyâ€™, the day we arrived was a weeding at the Quinta too; sorry to mentioned â€˜unfortunatelyâ€™ in this connection â€“ but because of the event, there was no place for us in the restaurant and we had to be quite tricky to get a short chance for the local wine tasting shop before we felt to better leave. The Quinta was a little out of town and there was no other option for us to reach any restaurant or market by feet. So we decided the larger wine tasting has to wait and we took the car to the next village â€“ which was in our case Sesimbra.
Next day we planned a wine tour at one of Portugalâ€™s most famous wine producers: JosÃ© Maria da Fonseca quite close to our Quinta. The tour wasnâ€™t exactly what we had in mind. It was more a history â€˜refreshmentâ€™ and house tour and not as we thought through vineyards and the production steps. However, what we really enjoyed was the historic wine cellar with those hundreds of wine barrels and of course the wine tasting thereafter. I, and neither Stefan, are huge fans of Muscatel and weâ€™re also not too much into most red wines, but the red PeriquitaÂ from JosÃ© Maria really got me. We bought one bottle to bring home â€“ to open for a special occasion.
From AzeitÃ£o, the small city where we made the wine tasting, we faced one hour walk back to our Quinta. With all the wine we drunk the time went by very fast – and you can imagine we had a lot of fun. On the way we bought some fresh snacks like prosciutto, cheese, bread, olives etc. for a picnic at the grapevine and the little posh pool. Andâ€¦ I almost forgot some Natas of course â€“ not a day without Natas in Portugal g. The Quinta was the ideal place for a picnic, where we also had a nice view at the sunset over Lisbon, which was just a few kilometres away – and our next and last destination of this vacation. But this city is definitely worth a post of its own. If you like, just follow my upcoming article and endeavour its beauty.
Cheers with sunbeams.