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The traditions and magic of Ribatejo

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Full Day
Availability : Jan 20’ - Dec 20’
Lisbon
Lisbon
Min Age : 10+
Max People : 6

The Ribatejo can be considered, for its location, the heart of Portugal. Crossed by the best roads and railways, it is in this region that Portugal is from north to south, with the Tagus River as a union link.

The beauty of the landscape combines the monumental and architectural heritage and traditions of the Ribatejo, where bull, horse, campino and Fandango are a must. All this accompanied by its delicious gastronomy and wines of excellence.

The course of time left in this region a remarkable trail of medieval castles, manor houses, churches, chapels, convents, sanctuaries that allow a meeting marked with the representation of the world of the time.

And at the bottom of this story, the vestiges of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Iron Age reveal the beginning of the human adventure, its initial gestures and the challenge of survival, celebrations of moments that the history maintained and the future wants to preserve in the many museums of the Region. And we have a lot to say, between times and places that shape the Portuguese soul.

The lezíria corresponds to the plain flooded by the river Tagus, of rich lands. It was there that the Portuguese bullfights originated and where still today there are typical peasant figures. The district, on the right bank of the Tagus, has a more pronounced relief and mixed soils, where many olive trees coexist harmoniously with the vine, wheat and corn. The “heath” extends along the left bank of the Tagus, where the soil is poorer and the vineyard needs to divide the existing resources with the eucalyptus and pine trees.

When crossing the Ribatejo, the region is divided into three very different landscapes and designated by “lezíria” (“campo” or “seafront”), “Bairro” and “moor”.

The fame of the wines of Ribatejo was born even before the founding of the country. The wines were mentioned by D. Afonso Henriques in 1170, in the letter of the city of Santarém.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the monarchs D. Pedro I in 1384, D. Afonso V in 1450, and D. João II in 1487, were concerned to protect the region by prohibiting the entry of wines from abroad.

The literature of Gil Vicente immortalized the wines of Ribatejo in the car “Pranto de Maria Parda”, where there are references to the wine of the region of Abrantes.

The Letters of Law published in 1907 and 1908, during the dictatorship of João Franco, considered these typical regional wines.

Here, wines generally have a higher alcohol content because of the warming of the berries by the reflection of the sun on the white sands where the vine is planted.

In common, these areas are influenced by the proximity of the Tagus and the temperate sub-Mediterranean climate. From this combination are born wines with a lot of personalities.

Due to the appearance of bullfighting in this region, it is customary to compare the behaviour of these wines in the mouth with the elegant ballet of the horses in the bullring. The young wines are very lively, do not lose their composure and have a sharp aroma of ripe red fruits with a light touch of vanilla from the wood.

It was for the quality and importance of the vineyard in the rural economy – and for the diversity of characteristics of this region – that the Ribatejo was recognized as Denomination of Controlled Origin.

Tour Details

This Itinerary begins with a boat ride at the islands in Escaroupim – Salvaterra de Magos course are some of the surprises that Tagus River gives us. We visit Ilha dos Cavalos (Horses Island), Ilha das Garças (Herons Island), Ilhas dos Amores, Palhota Island, Ilha das Cabras (Goats Island), Mouchão dos Caracóis, Mouchão da Casa Branca, among many others.

Follow to visit the Royal Falconry in Salvaterra de Magos. Since it is not possible to accurately pinpoint a date for the beginning of Falconry practice, we can mark its appearance as a form of subsistence, used by man, who played an active role of spectator, watching the effective way in which hawks and other birds of prey captured other species, often larger than their own.

We continue to Casa Cadaval. This farmhouse is the symbiosis of several sectors, in a rural environment of quality, which allow visitors a unique experience. Here we will see a demonstration of Horse Riding on a thoroughbred Lusitano horse, with Cadaval House iron, in a covered or uncovered riding arena. Visiting Casa Cadaval is discovering a place where tradition and modernity are combined, in a perfect harmony between Man and Nature.

We finish this fantastic day with authentic goat’s cheese, tasty, handmade, with that very thin film of mold that gives you a unique taste and aroma, is made here in Granja dos Moinhos, by the hand of Adolfo Henriques, a fan and active promoter of the slow food
movement.

Departure & Return Location

Pick up at 9am at hotel in Lisbon.

Drop off at 10pm at hotel in Lisbon.

Price Includes

  • Tagus River Boat
  • Lunch at a typical restaurant
  • Private Tours in a Luxury car or Sedan
  • Professional Driver
  • Mandatory Insurance
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Entrances or Tickets not referred
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Meals not referred

Complementaries

  • Umbrella (if necessary)
  • Bottled Water
  • WiFi
What to Expect

We invite you on a mouth-watering journey through the region’s products and through the skills and art that originate the cuisine and wines of this immense region. On both sides of the river Tagus.

But Tagus River is much more than just water. Is full of magical places, full of Life, Culture, History and Nature. Our Tagus is the one of Escaroupim, Salvaterra de Magos, which passes by Ribatejo and already has freshwater, green shores. A river full of life, with a great natural, landscape and ecological wealth and unique biodiversity.

Here the Tagus still has the effect of tides, high and low. There are unique and secret places known only by those who were born and live here. We have chosen these places for you in the most beautiful courses of Tagus River, populated by horses, birds and fish, where the sky is bluer and the river greener. Where nature is generous.

Follow you can use participate in olive picking, breathe the unmistakable aroma of the mills in operation and taste the olive oils. You may spend a few hours picking and treading the grapes and learning how to combine different varieties to make good wine.

You may find out about the rice cycle, from the flooded fields to the drying centres. Or even become a home-based mushroom producer. Visit ancient family farms with promising future visions. Taste cheeses and jams at the houses of local producers. Eat well and drink even better. Find out when food and wine events are being held and taste the best regional products as they come from farm to table.

  • Aldeia de Ecaroupim
  • Salvaterra de Magos
  • Muge
  • Maçussa
Itinerary

MorningAldeia de Escaroupim

Escaroupim is a typical fishing village, formed in the mid-30s by fishermen from Praia da Vieira (Marinha Grande), who seasonally came to the Tagus to make the winter fishing campaigns, especially the shad, looking for in the Tagus the sustenance of its numerous families, in a Tagus rich in fish, returning to Praia da Vieira in the summer.

Many of these fishermen stayed on the shores of the Tagus River, leaving their beach of Vieira and forming small fishing villages along the river. In these settlements, the dwellings are made of wood, painted in bright colors and set in stacks, so as to be protected from the frequent floods of the river.

The peculiarity of their houses is extensive to their fishing boats, also in wood and painted in bright colors.

The City Council created a museum – Casa Típica Avieira – whose origin results from the collections made by the municipality with the local population, with the intention of preserving the collective memory of these fishermen who once left Vieira de Leira and settled on the banks of the Tagus River.

Alves Redol defined these groups of fishermen as “nomads of the river”, as they represent one of the most interesting migrations that Portugal has witnessed.

The Typical Avia House is small, painted with vivid colors, set on pillars due to the floods of the Tagus, access is made by stairs, in the interior stand out three spaces: the kitchen where the element that stands out the most is the fireplace lined with bricks and filled with beaten earth, the dining table, and several shelves complete this division, the room is the other division where there are two chests to store clothes, in this space two mannequins wear the typical clothes of the avieiros, the last division are the two small rooms with iron beds, over the bedrooms the last room that serves as an attic to store the materials related to fishing.

We embark on Escaroupim and we go to the taste of the waters and the current, between the green banks of willows and ash trees.

We will find horses to graze freely in the islands, hundreds of birds of different species and fish jumping in the river and we will see some of the many “magic places” that the Tagus River reserves and where they inhabit, nest or stay hundreds of birds.

Places that are only seen in illustrated postcards and television documentaries.

MorningFalcoaria Real de Salvaterra

We will make a trip to visit the Royal Falconry in Salvaterra de Magos. The Falcoaria is a modality of hunting practised in Portugal from the century. XII and marked in the territory since the foundation of the nationality.

Since it is not possible to accurately pinpoint a date for the beginning of Falconry practice, we can mark its appearance as a form of subsistence, used by man, who played an active role of spectator, watching the effective way in which hawks and other birds of prey captured other species, often larger than their own.

The Art of Falconry in Portugal was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, on December 1, 2016, during the 11th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

TardeCasa Cadaval

With four centuries of history, the Palace of the estate of Muge has a secular history, dating back several years before belonging to the Cadaval family. It was once inhabited by Queen D. Leonor of Austria (third wife of King Manuel I, sister of Emperor D. Carlos V and mother of Infanta Dona Maria), who lived here until 1530, when he married her to the King of France, Francisco I.

Casa Cadaval currently has a total property of 5400 hectares and has been run for 5 consecutive generations by women and is now managed by Teresa Schönborn, Countess of Schönborn and Wiesentheid. We will see a demonstration of Equitation work, in thoroughbred Lusitano horse, with Cadaval House iron, in covered or discovered riding stables.

TardeGranja dos Moinhos

We finish this fantastic day with authentic goat’s cheese, tasty, handmade, with that very thin film of mould that gives you a unique taste and aroma, is made here in Granja dos Moinhos, by the hand of Adolfo Henriques, a fan and active promoter of the slow food
movement.

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