Showing posts from 2017

Bringing a car? Think twice!

Thinking of whether to bring a car to Sintra? Think well before you do.  Here are a few things for your consideration:

The most visited monument in Portugal is the Pena Palace on the Sintra mountain, in  the middle of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.  The Moorish Castle is right next to it, and the National Palace and Quinta da Regaleira are in the Historical Center of Sintra.  These 4 monuments alone have an average of 3.000.000 visitors a year. The Historic Center of Sintra is like any other Historic Center - narrow streets, many one-way streets, almost no parking and LOTS of tourists on foot, in busses, in their own cars. Only, unlike most Historic Centers, Sintra is not closed for traffic. Yet. And most rental cars are with manual gears. In the summer months people spend up to 2 hours in a queue during the last few kilometers to get to Sintra or passing through it.  Add to the normal chaos, the works in the water lines that the City Hall is doing during 2017 and 2018, closing down som…

They came to Portugal

Recently the ´Queen of Pop’, Madonna, moved to Portugal.  There was a lot of talk about her buying in Sintra but she did end up in Lisbon.  Where John Malcovich lives, as do Michael Fessbender and Monica Belucci, among other famous people.

When I first moved to Portugal 29 years ago I bought a book called ‘They came to Portugal’. It was a book on the famous people who came to Portugal a long time ago.   The Spaniards, the Moors, famous authors and philosophers, foreign kings and alike.  It was intriguing, as what we know about history is that it was the Portuguese who travelled the world and went everywhere, conquering lands and colonizing.
During the Second World War, Portugal became a safe territory for thousands of refugees and exiles – among them the monarchy from Spain,
Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Austria, Hungary and Denmark.   Throughout her modern history, Portugal has also been the haven for artists of all sorts – writers, painters, people in the movie industry. Lord Byron…

Wellness summer 2017

During your escape to the green hills of Sintra, complement your stay at Casa do Valle with our wellness offers. This summer, to make the most of your stay with us, we have developed a special program for our guests, together with our expert Lena Lönnbäck.
Having Sintra as scenery you can enjoy a relaxing or invigorating massages, walks in the less known paths of the Sintra mountain, and renew your energy with a fitness session, ranging from calm and relaxed stretching to stamina building exercises. You can even have a one-on-one health promotion consultation with our expert, Lena Lönnbäck – more about Lena at the end of this blog.

Free Wellness Activities:
Guided morning walks in the mountain, to the palaces and around the neighbourhood, 2-3 days a week
Exercise classes, 5 times a week, including: Stretching and core strength Functional TrainingCircuit Training

The walks are guided by Joana, Virpi or Laura, and the exercise classes by Lena Lönnbäck. 

Other Wellness Activities: Guided hike…

Being green with the Green Key

2017 is the the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, and in June, Casa do Valle received the Green Key award.  
The Green Key award is the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry, in 55 countries. This prestigious ecolabel represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. A Green Key stands for the promise to its guests that by opting to stay with the Green Key establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. The high environmental standards expected of these hotels are maintained through rigorous documentation and frequent audits. Green Key is eligible for hotels, hostels, small accommodations, campsites, restaurants and attractions.(
At Casa do Valle we believe that the more companies that are ‘green’ the better it is for the future of everyone. Many …

Massage - the best way to finish off your day

Massage is the best way to finish off your day after a day on the mountain or walking the sites. It is also a wonderful way to start a day to wake up your muscles after a solid night of sleep and a healthy breakfast.  Come to think of it, massage is also a great way to spend a lazy, relaxing day thinking of nothing but yourself! 
At Casa do Valle, we work together with Joana, Inês and Patricia from Spirit Massage, who come to massage our guests either in the comfort of their room or in the garden, as you wish!
You can book your massage before you arrive to make sure it fits perfectly into your schedule - just send us an email to to book!

Here are some suggestions for you:

DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE WITH GRAPE SEED OIL The Deep Tissue Massage is especially indicated to aid in the recovery of lesions, to eliminate muscular pains and localized tensions. It is indicated for those looking for a massage with more pressure and vigor.
REVIVING MASSAGE A head-to-toe deep tissue massage de…

Salvador and Amália - Stirring emotions with song

Portugal’s Salvador Sobral won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with his song Amar pelos dois.
This slow waltz captured the hearts of all of Europe and finally gave Portugal its 1st win ever in the history of Eurovision.  The singer, Salvador, took part in the idols of Portugal in 2009, at 19 years of age. Though he was among the best 8 contestants, he did not win, and stopped music all together for years.  Only when he was doing his Erasmus studies of Psychology in Maiorca, did he restart performing – and soon changed his studies to jazz, in Barcelona.  The song he sang in this year’s Eurovision was written by his sister Luisa, also a singer and songwriter. Salvador missed the first rehearsals in Kiev due to a heart condition that does not allow him to travel for longer periods. Yet he sang into people’s hearts, with skill but more so with feeling.  And so after having been in the last position 3 times, and the best result ever reached by Portugal being the 6th position, Portugal…

Find and balance the INNER YOU with Chi Kung and Nature Meditation (Women's April retreat)

The year 2017 is our Wellness Year.  At Casa do Valle we are focusing on being green, sustainable and well. With wellness, we mean a sound mind in a sound body
Our first step of holistic wellness approach is a retreat for women of all ages with Conceição Espada 20-24 April 2017. The objective of this retreat is the finding of oneself and balancing it as nature intended.
The retreat program consists of group and individual sessions on ‘The ecology of being a woman' and 'Nature and the Feminine Being' with Conceição Espada, Hormonal Chi Kung practices, walks and meditation in nature, relaxation exercises and massages, and especially planned out meals to help detox the stress of our lives and awaken our inner being.

Hormonal Chi Kungis a combination of movements that work the body, muscles, breathing, emotions and concentration. Practicing it on a regular basis unblocks the Chi (vital energy) that provides us with a feeling of well-being and stability at the hormonal level, …