Newsletter Monte Maravilhas December 2021

About Us

A couple of months have flown by again since we sent our last newsletter. So it is about time that we send you a new one. The big summer rush has passed and we are already looking after our winter guests.

But before we dive deeper into sharing our day to day life with you, let us tell you about the changes in the team. Don’t worry, there aren’t too many of them. Om Shanti, Arupa and Stephanie are still doing marvellous work here at Maravilhas. We are delighted that they are still here with us.

But of course, that’s not everything, you know that we are quite dynamic here. A couple of weeks ago an old friend arrived again. One of Prem’s dear friends, you might even remember him: Ekanto. He flew out of the cold Danish country to support our team.

Another tiny little thing that we have to mention is our new kitten, Tijo. Tijo has found his new home here at Maravilhas. He’s still getting acquainted with the property, but we hope to see him very soon in the valley.

As we said, not much has changed in the team and everything’s been going smoothly. Let’s have a look at the things we’ve done over the last couple of months.

Daily Activities at Monte Maravilhas

Don’t worry, we won’t give you any updates anymore on the yurt, this has been finished by now. We know that this has taken a lot of space in our past newsletters, so we won’t talk about it anymore.

What we DO want to talk about are the many activities that are taking place in our beautiful yurt.

The yurt has been a great asset for activities that aren’t solely organised by our guests. Even people from the village are booking our yurt!

When you come to Maravilhas you can always ask us about our schedule. You can register for most of these activities that are organised in our yurt. Let’s have a look at what’s been going on:

To start, we have Tala. This Swiss lady has specialized for years in the discipline of yoga. And we hear many positive things about her classes. Twice a week you can attend one of them. Don’t forget to book for these classes though, they are high in demand. You can find her in our yurt on Monday and Friday mornings.

Weekend yoga retreatIf yoga doesn’t really resonate with you, or you just want to take it a bit easier, then you can visit one of Shankari’s sessions. Twice a month she gives a sound healing. For this, you lie down on a mat and listen to the sounds and vibrations of the singing bowls and drums.

If there isn’t anything planned during your stay, you can also book a private session with her.

Do you want something even more active?

Every two weeks someone organises a dance night! Lionette, Shankari or Om Shanti regularly organise an ecstatic dance evening. Not your normal party, but dancing with your entire consciousness.

Most of these sessions start with a short meditation or some mindfulness exercises, to get you in the right mindset.

That’s about it for what’s going on here at the yurt. There are many more things being organised though, very often spontaneously even, so don’t forget to ask us for the schedule!

Discover the Alentejo: Mertola

Foto door Javier Habladorcito op

Mertola is a cute little town not too far from the Spanish border. And it’s about an hour away from Maravilhas, by car.

Well, we say small, but it’s full of history! And for that reason it’s well worth the visit!

What makes this town so special is that it’s been occupied since medieval times. Not only have the Christians occupied Mertola but also the Muslims. Because of this, you see a lot of Moorish influences in the village’s architecture.

The church in Mertola, for example, used to be a mosque.

Picture by Antlewis on

Because of this history, they organise every two years the Islamic festival in Mertola. The village gets draped back into its Moorish clothes. The streets are being dressed up with traditional Islamic clothes. And Middle Eastern food will also be present of course!

The next occasion of this event will take place in May 2022. An ideal moment to visit Maravilhas and experience the best of both worlds!

If you aren’t so interested in culture, you could visit Pulo do Lobo. This is a park located next to a natural reserve. You can go here for the day and take a hike. A river runs through this beautiful area, creating a lush landscape. This creates the opportunity for swimming too.

Just realise too that Mertola is always a little bit warmer than Maravilhas. We advise you to go on a hike from late fall until early spring (October to May). This time of year the temperatures are quite enjoyable for more active activities.

You just want to relax, you say?

In the area of Mertola, you also have a praia fluvial. Which is a man-made beach next to a river or lake. This one is called praia fluvial da Mina do São Domingos. Here you can lie down beneath an umbrella provided by the city council, and if you are hungry or thirsty there are a couple of bars and restaurants available in the river’s vicinity.

So, there’s plenty to do in and around Mertola!

Active Holidays at Maravilhas

Christmas and hiking

The Christmas hiking week is one of our traditions at Monte Maravilhas. We’ve already started the preparations for it! In the week of December 19th to December 26th, you are most welcome to join us for Christmas dinner.

Of course, it’s called a hiking week. So once again Monika will be ready to guide you. These hikes are suitable for beginner hikers as well as advanced ones.

December is a beautiful month to go on a hike in Portugal. Everything is green and flowers are blooming everywhere.

Pre-spring hiking week

If you need more time to think, you can also join us on our hiking week in February ( 19-26 Feb). This period of the year is quite lush. You can see many flowers and bushes flourish before spring makes its entrance into the Alentejo.

This lushness comes from the gentle winters we have here in Portugal. There’s also a lot more light than the northern European countries. Even in winter we still get a solid 10 hours of daylight. On top of that, you can also count the numerous hours of sunshine we have and that all together makes a wonderful holiday!

We take care of all the rest, with delicious meals and some great company. One of our regular chefs will be cooking some amazing vegetarian meals. These will be well-balanced to make sure you have enough strength and energy to go on your walks.

These hikes will be somewhere between 5 and 15 km long. And there even is a walk on the West coast! Together with Monika you’ll be taking on a little part of the Rota Vicentina. This is the most famous trail here in Portugal. It starts at Santiago do Cacém and takes you all the way to the most South-Western point of the European continent, Sagres.

Goodies from our garden

Recently we’ve been picking our olives. One day our neighbour Cesaré passed by and said it was time again to do some picking. After that, we bring these olives to the oil press. And a couple of months later we get our own olive oil back for it!

This is almost enough as a whole year’s supply. Which is also nice as an extra for our activity weeks. During these days we try to cook with this olive oil.

But we don’t take all of the olives that we pick to the press. We also cure them to be eaten. This we do by making small cuts into the olives. After that we put them into a brine for a couple of months. This will take the tanginess out of them and after that whole time, you’ll be able to eat them.

We always think that December is a month where there’s not so much to forage. However, that’s really different here. The pomegranates are ready to be picked. They are a bit hidden behind our pool, so they are hard to reach. But they are so delicious and full of vitamins.

The oranges are almost ready too, so feel welcome to come to Maravilhas for your portion of vitamin C. Our trees just grow very naturally without any artificial fertilization or chemicals.

At Maravilhas we always try to use as few chemical products as products to preserve our plants, vegetables and trees. This way we always get organic produce!

Well, that concludes another newsletter. We hope you enjoyed it and that you are up to date with daily life here at Monte Maravilhas.

All that remains to say to you is that we wish you and your family and friends a Merry Christmas and a splendid and loving New Year!

We hope to see you again in 2022!

Team Maravilhas.