Portugal is about authenticity, about an Europe of hills and medieval castles, about rowdy but welcoming people, about colorful art. Why visit Portugal? Because it helps you sneak a taste of Latin culture in a special way compared to classical Spain and Italy, which perhaps you’ve visited before. And a local, authentic getaway is available just a click away, here on Spoty.com.
Portugal is a narrow strip of mountains, valleys and beaches, along infinite waters. It is home to a vibrant language and a history that will surprise you. Cobblestone streets, artisans who passed tradition from father to son, fresh air and unique landscapes that will fill your soul with beauty.
Portugal is one of those destinations where authenticity still beats commercialism. Perhaps most important, it’s a destination suitable for the few hours of a weekend getaway. 36 hours will be just a preview, because you’ll surely be back for more.
Let’s start the journey!
Getaway Day 1
Arrive in Marvao, Portugal
Your destination is the region Marvão, located near the border between Portugal and Spain. Just 70 kilometers away from Badajoz airport, a stunning location in an authentic rural area is waiting for you. You can rent a car at the airport or you can take the train to the Beirã station, for a journey of about an hour.
2 hours: meet the host and get to know the place
Say hello to Eduardo, the local host who will welcome you and will be available for you throughout the trip. Eduardo will guide you through the house and its surroundings and most likely will boast about the country where he was born and its beauty. The Portuguese are very proud, and rightly so!
You will stay in a unique type of accommodation: an annex of a restored train station, that can accommodate up to 6 people. So if you’re with your family or a few friends, the guest house can be reserved just for you. If not, you will surely spend some quality time with other travelers whom you’ll meet there.
Get out on the terrace and enjoy a well-deserved break from everyday chaos. Now you are in Portugal!
3 hours: find out more about the historical train station and the city
Among many other things, people in the area are proud of the train station built in the 19th century, which is now part of the national architectural heritage. It’s a unique building with decorated columns and vivid paintings on the outside walls. What’s more, it happens to be exactly the place where you are staying. After visiting the entire train station, a short 3 hours tour of the city is a perfect opportunity to make first contact with the architectural and cultural beauties of Portugal.
2 hours: taste the finest traditional dishes
After visiting the train station and the city, it’s time for a traditional Portuguese meal. There are many restaurants in the area, but locals and travelers recommend Sabores de Marvao, Confraria and Restaurante Malagueta.
You have to try the caldo verde soup, bacalhau a bras – a dish made of fish and vegetables, and ameijoas a bulhao pato, if you are into clams. But you can always ask your local host for other traditional Portuguese food recommendations, because he’ll be more than happy to share.
6 hours: visit the surroundings while riding a horse
Although you just enjoyed the life of a small Portuguese town, the area where you are is so special mostly for what is outside the city. The surrounding hills are guarded by medieval castles and ruins of Roman settlements. With the help of your host, start a little tour of local attractions: Marvão Castle, Castelo de Vide, and the ruins of Ammaia roman city. Trust his opinion more than the online guides you have read, because he might know some hidden gems.
If you are passionate about horseriding, part of this 6 hours trip can be done on the back of beautiful horses, along valleys, imposing stone walls and monuments thousands of years old. Enjoy the view, because you will miss it when you return home, between gray buildings and cars stuck in traffic.
10 hours: relax and enjoy the silence
The end of the day should find you back at the guest house, with a glass of locally produced wine. You can catch the sunset, watch a starry deep sky, or you can sit by the fire with your friends and your host. A weekend getaway also means a little rest, so enjoy the silence and a cozy room.
Getaway Day 2
2 hours: have breakfast and start the day with energy
You won’t have time to think about life back home today, because you are starting the morning with a rich breakfast, home-made by your host. You can have it on the terrace or in the warm kitchen, as you wish. Breakfast is on the house and we gladly recommend it because you will need lots of energy for the following activities.
5 hours: hike in the Natural Park
The morning of the second day is reserved for hiking. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before, your guide can always adapt to groups of beginners. You just need the right shoes and a hoodie to keep you warm. You should not miss hiking because there is a beautiful national park nearby, where you can find out more about the local flora and fauna.
At the top of the cliffs, the landscapes will take your breath away. You also have the opportunity to get some exercise, so you return home 2% healthier.
6 hours: cooking Workshop, lunch and Portuguese stories
Back again to the guest house, for some special time with the locals. You’ve now seen the beauties, so let’s get to know the people. Your host can organize a cooking workshop and a rural lunch, both based on traditional dishes. You will learn a few tricks and you will taste the Portuguese recipes prepared by locals.
The precious hours you spend with the locals are also an excellent opportunity to hear interesting stories about their lives, about local history, myths and legends, and find out valuable information for your upcoming trips to this country. The Portuguese are extremely talkative, you’ll laugh a lot and you’ll love their natural gift of telling stories. They will make you feel like family, and you get this feeling of warmth as a present to take with you for your journey back home.
Don’t miss the chance and book this getaway at a special price here. It can also be top of the list for next year’s resolutions.