Newsletter May 2020
Despite the slow spring due to the Coronavirus, here at Monte Maravilhas we have been very busy maintaining the land and our houses. We utilized these months by painting, planting more vegetables, trimming our trees, and many more things. This was all done to make sure that you’ll have a perfect stay at Monte Maravilhas.
Of course, we are a bit biased, but we do feel that our volunteers are doing a great job and everything at our property is looking amazing. We are open and ready to welcome you as attentively and safely as we can.
In this newsletter, we will talk about all the measures we have taken and some future projects we are currently working on.
We hope that you, your families and friends are all safe and well. Enjoy reading our newsletter and we hope to see or hear from you in the near future!
For those who are having a hard time finding their way to Maravilhas, we’ve done a bit of research for you! At the moment it looks like the airport of Faro is closed as there are no arrivals, nor departures. However, Lisbon airport is still going and you can fly with the next airlines:
Before you go to the airport, we advise you to check out the website of the airport of your destination. There you’ll find more information on how to proceed before, during and after boarding the airplane. This way you’ll keep yourself and others as safe as possible.
At the airport from Lisbon you have a couple of options. You can take the bus, train, taxi or rental car to Maravilhas. Timetables are not as they were, so check out these websites to plan your trip:
When you arrive in Portugal you need to be aware of a couple of things:
- The government is slowly opening up all the facilities again. Shops and bars are reopening, so you can go on a shopping spree if you’d like. We do have to say that they also decided that wearing masks in public spaces (supermarket, government facilities, local stores) is from now on mandatory for as long as necessary. Before you go on your trip it’s best to pack these in your hand luggage.
- And as in many countries, this rule is kind of the same everywhere: keep a safe distance from other people. Social distancing is still the norm, but we are lucky that we have a good stretch of land. When you book one of our houses, they’ll be privately yours and they are all equipped with their own terraces, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Portugal is opening its restaurants and bars again on the 18th of May, at a smaller capacity. Luckily, a lot of restaurants also have the option to take out food. In our village we have Casa Nirvana which is open for pizza, pasta, and lasagne. You have to order in advance and then you can pick it up at the time that you’d like. For more information, you can have a look at their website: www.casanirvana.pt
And if you really don’t want to leave the property, there is another option as well. Our neighbor Saskia makes delicious food and brings it to you! You have to order it one day in advance and she’ll bring two courses back to your place. For more information, there are flyers available in all of our houses, or you can go to our website.
We’ve had some nice and sunny weather during the last couple of weeks. This meant that we had the opportunity to do a lot of work outside. Casa Azul, Amarela, and Mimosa have been painted again, and they are looking as vibrant as ever.
The kitchen on the hill also got a few coats of paint. We’ve been staining the wood to give it protection for the coming years. The ceiling of the bathroom was painted a brilliant white as well, the space now appears more spacious and bright.
On the land itself we’ve been planting more vegetables. We’ve got tomatoes growing, lettuce, courgette, beetroot, snap peas, and more. At this moment our volunteer Kyomi is taking care of the garden with love.
We’ve also asked a tree surgeon to help us out with pruning our fruit trees. In the future they will be able to grow more efficiently and carry even more fruits that we will be able to enjoy.
At the moment we are also busy with something really exciting. As there is a bigger demand for people organizing retreats or active holidays, we are in the process of getting our own group space. We’ve decided that we wanted to build a yurt on our property to accommodate more group-related holidays.
The yurt itself will be able to hold 15 - 25 people regarding the activity that you are planning to organize.
The yurt will be placed near the houses Amarela and Mimosa, making it very accessible. It is located on the outskirts of our property, this also makes for a very private experience. The yurt itself will have a small kitchenette inside, to make yourself a hot beverage for example.
You will find a picture here to give you an idea of what it’s going to look like. This is just a prototype as we are currently preparing the grounds. The estimated time for completion is hopefully during the fall, but at the moment it depends on how things in the world will develop.
If you are interested to know more about organizing a group holiday, click here for more information.
And of course, we will show you the final result in one of our next newsletters!
If you do want to go on a nice little trip during your stay, the Alentejo area has a lot to offer. You can go for hikes starting from Monte Maravilhas, or you can go to very nice coastal towns to have a bite or a walk. However, if you’d like to be a bit more private, we’ve got something else for you.
Maravilhas is located near the Santa-Clara lake. A lot of people already know of it, but there are some secret spots where you can roam around or go for a swim without a soul in sight.
So, if you’d like to visit one of these spots, make sure that you ask someone of the team for their favorites!
William is coming back for his third time to organize our painting holiday. During a whole week you’ll be in his capable hands, teaching you a thing or two about the arts. And the team of Maravilhas will take care of the rest.
The best part of this painting week is that you don’t have to bring a lot. We will provide the materials for you, and you just have to pack your clothes and bathing suit. And of course, you’ll have to leave a bit of space to take your masterpieces home.
Find your inner muse and get inspired by the beautiful landscapes that Maravilhas has to offer.
Atul has been our yoga teacher for years now and he keeps surprising us with his wisdom every time. There’s not a single yoga holiday that’s the same. Atul works intuitively to see what the needs are for his students. And as we accommodate smaller groups, there’s a lot of space for in-depth talks.
The meals that we’ll provide at Maravilhas will be vegetarian. Our chefs always have experience with vegetarian food and they’ll make sure that you won’t go home hungry.
There’s probably no one else with more experience about this area and its vegetation than Monika. Our hiking guide has been living here for 20 years already, she has a peaceful and tranquil nature and an extensive knowledge of local plants and trees.This won’t just make it an active week, but also an educational one.
And when you come back from your hikes, you’ll be able to relax at the pool, have a beer in town, or whatever springs to mind. These weeks are great if you’d like to meet like-minded people or to walk in a group. Put your hiking boots on and join us now!
One of our highlights of the year must be the Christmas edition of our hiking week. We know, it’s still a bit early, but these weeks get full very quickly. During this week you’ll be getting the same package as mentioned above, but with tailored meals according to the holiday season. There will be some traditional things like mulled wine, Christmas cookies, combined with unconventional, but delicious, Christmas meals!
During the Holiday period, the temperatures in Portugal tend to be very mild. And on the colder days, we will make sure that the fire is going to keep you warm after your hike. What the weather will be like is always a mystery, but in general, there are always some sunny days. Are you ready to do some caroling with us?
So this is it for now as regards all the goings on at Maravilhas. It leaves us to wish everybody a very pleasant summer, until the next newsletter!
Warm regards from the team of Monte Maravilhas