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      November 2013 > A slice of heaven

A slice of heaven

Self-guided walking holidays in PortugalAntónio Costa José is a quiet, undemonstrative man, happy and content to be living with his wife Idalia in the small town of Vila Nova de Milfontes on Portugal’s Alentejo coast.

They run Casa do Adro, one of the wonderful, yet uniquely different, guesthouses that feature on our walking holiday along the Costa Vicentina.

The path hugs the coast closely for most of its route but at Vila Nova de Milfontes it has to head inland to cross the bridge over the River Mira. As this comes at the end of a long day’s walk, António has taken it upon himself to offer walkers a welcome lift: he positions himself on a certain road in the town scanning the far side of the estuary until he sees the familiar figures of Inntravéis* walking along the sand. Spurred into action, he heads off to bring them back to the hotel, where Idalia awaits, cake in hand.

The charming Casa do Adro is one of the oldest buildings in the town, and exudes great character and warmth thanks, in no small part, to the tireless efforts of Idalia, whose mantra is “let them eat cake – go on, just one more slice”.

Self-guided walking holidays in Portugal*Inntravéis is a new word that is creeping into the Portuguese language; one that has been coined by António (and our other hoteliers Along the Costa Vicentina). It’s an indication that our customers aren’t just seen as any old holidaymakers, and are treated to truly exceptional levels of service. Indeed, António’s wife Idalia – and her bolo delicia (‘delight cake’) – are often singled out for praise:

The highlight? Undoubtedly a picnic overlooking a wonderful bay, looking at a stork's nest, while eating a huge slice of Idalia's chocolate cake. The owners and staff in all the properties were amazing, a really delightful part of the holiday.” (Mrs Winn, Fife)

Casa do Adro truly is a gem in every way. Idalia welcomed two wet walkers with real warmth, lovely coffee and tea – and delicious home-baked cakes. The breakfast was superb, too.” (Dr Wigham, Nottingham)

It's not just Idalia's cake that makes meal times exciting in Alentejo. The cuisine is fresh, robust and tasty so we asked our friends at Laithwaite's Wine for their recommendations:


Welcome to pioneer country!

Self-guided walking holidays in PortugalUnlike northern Portugal which is cloaked under a tapestry of vines, here in the southern third of the country the landscape is relatively vine free. And there are few wine traditions too - which means here’s where to go for something new, exciting and different. Altenjo, or ‘the land over the Tagus’ is a farmland famous for olives and bread. The benign climate reflects the rolling green hills and wheat fields, gentle and serene, perfect for charming and delightful wines full of joy and life. You know you’ve got something worthwhile when big names like Lafite Rothschild come along and invest. So whilst the Alentejo maybe the region of Portugal you have never known, once you discover it’s beautiful wines, you will never forget it.


Self-guided walking holidays in PortugalQuinta das Mouras – RRP £7.49 (64882)

Exemplifies just what the Alentejo can do, modern drinkable wine that reflects the beautiful region and country it comes from. This is big and ripe, packed with dark red and black berry fruit, spice and cedar. A powerful, concentrated wine tailor made for a juicy steak or serious cheeseboard action.


Self-guided walking holidays in PortugalAlbarrada – RRP £7.49 (64599)

Juicy and round, lots of soft spicy-red fruit and refreshingly easy to drink. Alentejo wines like Albarrada are rare in the UK yet all the rage in Lisbon, where they command high prices in smart restaurants. We found this gem at a small cellar, Adega de Redondo, where up to the minute winemaking equipment ensures luscious, fruit driven wines to rival any from the New World.


You can buy any of the featured wines at and, as an Inntravel customer, you can benefit from a 20% discount on your first order over £50 if you order before 16 February 2014 by clicking here > and quoting ‘INNTRAVEL’.*


Enter our competition to win a short holiday for two people in the beautiful Langhe wine growing region of Piedmont in Italy. Two runners up will receive a case of wine specially selected by Laithwaite's.

* offer only available to new Laithwaite's Wine customers

Posted: 12/11/2013 17:17:05 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: competitions, gastronomy, heritage, lifestyle, opinions, Portugal

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