One of the natural consequences of having 1/3 of the Brussels population being expat is to have expat couples. When holidays approach, specially during summer time, those expat couples tend to choose one of their respectives countries as a destination. Surprisingly, you start to suffer of a sudden patriotism which makes you share, explain and convince your partner that you come from a unique piece of land. That is what happened to me. My wife and I were in the Alentejo region – in the Costa Vicentina to be accurate – and, of course, we were in the world’s most beautiful region.
Our house: Herdade do Touril
Most of the slogans are not relevant but I think that the one used by the Herdade do Touril makes indeed sense: Alentejo que sabe a mar. In other words, the Alentejo that tastes like the sea. Taste and smell. In this herdade you have the feeling that you are in the deep country side but a nice breeze tells you that you are just 2km from this beautiful cliff.
Zambujeira do Mar
From the Herdade do Touril we walked 4km a long the coast towards a small village named Zambujeira do Mar. Very hard to pronounce. Even if my wife is starting to speak perfectly Portuguese, the word Zambujeira comes out like “Zambia” or “Zambeira”.
Zambujeira is, if I may say, internationally known thanks to the Summer Festival Sudoeste. This festival always takes place on the first August weekend. This year bands & singers like The Chainsmokers, Jamiroquai, Martin Garrix, AfroJack, Richie Campbell and many others have confirmed their presence.
But getting back to our “Zambia”, you can enjoy a calm path from Touril to Zambujeira along the natural park. You will find multiple entries to this natural park that will guide you to a breathtaking cliff. The panoramic picture below was taken from a view point (miradouro in Portuguese) that offers you a 360° view.
Traditional Alentejo landscape
Alentejo is an open space that appears to have no end. While driving in Alentejo from one beach to another, from one village to another you will never be tired of driving. Golden plains will appear and disappear together with cows and bulls. In Alentejo, time passes slowly because the region follows the rhythm of the land itself.
While driving we were listening to Carminho, a Portuguese fado singer. She sang to us “O amor é assim“. We heard that song maybe 10 times.
Every evening, we were blessed with two magical moments: sunset and the stars. Unfortunately, we had say good-bye to our last sunset. Hopefully, we will be back soon but now the next summer stop will be Holland. That is the expat and, to be honest, the married life all about: compromise.