STAY partners visit agrotourism establishments in Portugal

STAY partners visit agrotourism establishments in Portugal

In the framework of the STAY project, the partners had the pleasure of visiting several examples of entrepreneurship linked to agrotourism in the Alto Minho region and the Peneda – Gêres National Park, in the north of Portugal. Do you want to know more about these stories? Join us!

The first stop was in Lindoso, where the partners had the opportunity to visit the ‘canastros‘, structures dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, built of wood or stone, which were used to store and dry maize. They were strategically designed to keep out mice. Each of the ‘canastros’ belonged to a family.

The partners then moved on to Lindoso Castle, declared a national monument in 1932, and currently undergoing constant renovation and the process of implementing new uses. Its interior garden, as well as the adjoining cafeteria, are used for exhibitions, theatres, animated visits, and other cultural activities.

The next visit was to Aldeia de Pontes. Here, Manuel Rodrigues and Sara Domingues are bringing back to life what was once their home village, which was left uninhabited more than 15 years ago. In this small village, the couple has already refurbished 7 houses that are now ideal accommodations for couples or families who want to enjoy and relax in an environment of enormous natural, heritage, and sentimental value. These tourist establishments have been refurbished following working values entirely linked to the respect and conservation of historical and intangible heritage.

Sara and Manuel’s idea is to achieve integral sustainability for the village and its surroundings. In addition to the rehabilitation of the houses, they are recovering traditional agricultural practices, such as the breeding of cachena cows, beekeeping activities, and the production of handmade honey.

Afterward, the members made a stop at the Soalheiro winery, where the members enjoyed a short-guided tour and a glass of their particular Alvarinho. The philosophy behind this family-run winery was most interesting, and it is certainly a great example of commitment to sustainability, innovation and local development and revitalization.

The history of this winery began in 1974 when João António Cerdeira and his parents, António Esteves Ferreira and Maria Cerdeira, decided to break with the tradition of cultivation in the region and dedicate a plot of land to the continuous cultivation of Alvarinho. Today it is the third generation, the siblings Maria João and António Luís, together with their mother Maria Palmira Cerdeira, who continue this project.

One of the most interesting aspects of this winery is its commitment to bringing prosperity to the agriculture and economy of the region. To do this, they use a network of local producers, 150 winegrowing families in the region who make up the entire grape supply for the winery. Most of the members of this team of producers have another professional occupation and work their small plots at the end of the day and on weekends, earning an extra income, but also contributing to maintaining a strong link with their own land as well as with the region.

The next stop, the following day, was at Quinta da Mata, in Ponte da Barca. This is a wine farm that started in the tourist business 10 years ago. They have houses of different sizes, a swimming pool, and a garden where visitors can relax with spectacular views of the vineyards.

The last visit was to Quinta do Olival, a farm converted into a complex of facilities dedicated to rural tourism. Located in Arcos de Valdevez, it offers services, especially for families looking for a direct connection with the countryside and landscapes of wine plantations.

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