Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wine Chronicles | Wine Tasting at Filipe Palhoça Vinhos (Palmela)

This Spring I've visited a group of wineries in the Seúbal's Peninsula Wine Region (and tell you about it in this post). This amazing wine experience organized by the  Rota dos Vinhos da Península de Setúbal (Wine Route) and the 3 wineries involved was fantastic and I can't recommend too much for you to check if it is available on your next visit to Lisbon.

Filipe Palhoça Vinhos was one of the visited wineries, and today I'm bringing to you some more information on the estate and on its wine tourism activities. Filipe Palhoça Vinhos is a family-owned company dedicated to viticulture and wine production for more than 50 years. The estate, Quinta da Invejosa, is located in the sand plain of Palmela, and it has 90 hectares of carefully cultivated vineyard, where red grape varieties dominate. There you can find Castelão, Syrah, Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. But not less important are the white varieties like Fernão Pires, Arinto, Syria, and also Muscat of Alexandria and the rare Moscatel Roxo  (Purple Muscat).

In our visit, we enjoy the company and expertise of the passionate winemaker of Filipe Palhoça, who took us in a visit to the vine gardens and shared her knowledge on vine growing and wine making. From the vineyards we get to Quinta da Invejosa, the headquarters of the estate, to know some more about the wine making process and for a tasting of Moscatel wine, that we paired with a traditional cake of the region (Fogaças).

First, we tasted Filipe Palhoça's Setúbal Muscat Fortified Wine DO, deliciously fresh, with orange peel flavors, that became one of my favorites (you can check its datasheet below for all the details). Then we had the opportunity of tasting a Moscatel Roxo, straight from the barrel. This rare variety of Muscat is specific to this wine region and was almost extinct a few years ago.

You can visit Filipe Palhoça winery for a guided visit to the estate and wine tasting, all the year around. You can know all about it on their Wine Tourism leaflet and contact the winery for booking your visit. The winery also presents several scheduled events along the year, like the sunset wine cruise on the Sado or the harvest experience.

Filipe Palhoça Vinhos
Estrada Nacional 5, Km 24,8
Quinta da Invejosa
2965-213 Poceirão – Portugal

Phone: +351 265 995 886
Mobile: +351 919 709 324

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Ursa Beach (Praia da Ursa)

Next to Cabo da Roca - a cape close to Lisbon, in the Sintra region - the Ursa beach (Praia da Ursa) is the most western beach in Europe and perhaps one of the most stunning beaches I've ever visited. Clear, bright waters (icy too!), pristine, white sand, just a bunch of people and an awesome landscape make this beach a spectacular place.

But all good things come with a cost. There is no direct access to the beach and you have to go down (and then up) a cliff for hundreds of meters on what can hardly be described a goats path. The next day my legs's muscles hake with all the effort, but the memories I hold from the place make it worthwhile.

You can walk from Cabo da Roca, enjoying the nature and the great views of the coast, and then go down to the beach. Make sure you get some shoes fit for the challenge (I was wearing Havaianas, and it wasn't the best choice, believe me!), and some water and food for the day. If you love photography, don't forget your camera as the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Chronicles from Andalusia | 3 Cities to Remember

Once the Roman Baetica and later part of the Moorish Al-Andalus, Andalusia still presents layers upon layers of history and culture. As diverse is also its natural landscape of snow topped mountains, rolling plains, and pristine beaches. Been there a couple of weeks ago and a week was barely enough to visit 3 of its main cities: Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. Although it was not my first time in Andalusia, this visit made me want to dream of a coming back with more time...


Seville stretches along the Guadalquivir, reflecting the inclement light of the sun on the hot Summer days. Only the shadow of the narrow streets and the refreshing sound of the fountains can give us some rest. But a wanderer will be a wanderer, even if there is over 40ºC outside, and with so many interesting places to visit - from the Alcazar to the Giralda, from Triana to Santa Cruz neighborhoods - one learns to live with the burning sun. Nevertheless, you may find that a fan can become your new BFF!


It was my first time in Cordoba and somehow I felt like I was returning home after a long, long absence. The whitewashed houses and narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter looked familiar, the air had a sweet taste I could recall and the sound of the water running under the Roman bridge seemed to bring some forgotten memories. Cordoba struck me in a very special way and I'm sure I'll do my best to come back someday to walk, once more, under the infinite arches of the Mosque, to visit its colorful Pátios some Spring and to wander the labyrinthic streets of the old town.


There is a special kind of beauty to this city surrounded by mountains. The Alhambra overlooking Granada from the top of the hill, the white houses along the river, the narrow streets reminding us of the busy Marroquin souks with its stores and tea rooms. Within walking distance, you find the sophistication of the more recent part of the city, the Moorish Albaicin quarter and the once gypsy district of Sacromonte with its cave houses carved in the mountains.

Have you recently visited Andalusia? What were your favorite places and what can you recommend for my next visit?

Friday, 1 September 2017

Best Things to do in Lisbon | Harvest Time

Harvest time is here. In the vineyards, the grapes are ripe and ready to be picked. Everything is prepared to make the new wine and, not far from Lisbon, you can participate in this amazing moment. Today, on the Best Things to do in Lisbon series I'll bring you some wine tourism experiences that you can enjoy just a few kilometers from Lisbon on the Setúbal's Peninsula Wine Region.

Do you remember the visit I've made last May to Fernando Pó, a wine district near Lisbon? It was an amazing experience and you can read all about it here. The good news is that you can do it this month, during the harvest, and it will include grape picking and winemaking experiences.

It can't get any more convenient than this to any one visiting Lisbon. A train starting from the main Train Station in the city (Oriente) will comfortably take you to Fernando Pó in under an hour, where you will be guided on a visit to its main wineries on a truly amazing gastronomic experience. Next visits on 9, 16 and 23 September.

If you have a more tight budget, there are several wineries in the region that held open days this harvest time, including a guided visit and a wine tasting for free.

If you are planning your visit to Lisbon, maybe you want to consider to save a day to visit Setúbal Península Wine Region, the Arrábida and book one of this wine experiences that will be held from 9 September to 8 October.

You can check the dates and book at the Setúbal's Península Wine Region Route. The first experience is called "De Comboio até às Vindimas" (By Train to the Harvest) and the second "Adegas de Portas Abertas" (Wineries with Open Doors).

More Information and Reservations:
Rota de Vinhos da Península de Setúbal
Phone: (+351) 212 334 398
Please contact Monday to Friday, 10h00-16h30, except holidays.

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