My Perfect Day in Portugal | Rita Valadas

This interview is part of a Soi 55 series called ‘My Perfect Day in Portugal’ which features local people and businesses in Portugal. Read more about it here.

My Perfect Day in Portugal, Rita Valadas

How do you know Candy/ How did we meet?

I met Candy during the Pandemic, 2020. She mailed me to ask me if she could collaborate with us and discover some of our Wine Experiences. She actually came to our Country Lodging already 3 times in order to discover our region, culture, food and wine. Candy is a free spirit and a very good person. She is already part of our Burrico D´Orada

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born in Lisbon on September 20th 1975. I moved from Sintra county (where I was living since 1998)  to Baixo-Alentejo Inland (Serpa county) on August 3rd 2020.

What do you love most about where you live?

Life quality, silence, nature, safety, living cost, growing my own food, sustainable way of living and of course our region’s wines! 

Can you tell us more about your business?

I own a sustainable Country Lodging & Experiences and live at the same plot that belonged to my grandparents. We have 2 Wood Eco-Lodges of 55m2 (2 Bedroom equipped houses with Kitchen, small living-room and a front porch)  and a bigger House of 120m2 . Also a 2 bedroom equipped House with 2 Large Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1 Living Room with a wood-stove, 1 Dining-Area & Kitchen and outside area for leisure and meals.

 We also provide Wine Private Tours (1 up to 3 Days) with Pick-Up in Évora & Beja Areas and for our Guests at our Country-Lodging. We speak English, French & German besides Portuguese.

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What is your favourite region in Portugal and why?

I do not have a favourite region, but I can tell that I love the inland part of Portugal from North to South – it’s a part of our territory still preserved, with authenticity, slow living and much to offer in terms of landscape, history, food and wine. Far beyond the tourism masses in the big-capitals such as Porto, Lisboa and the Algarve (Albufeira, etc).

A Portuguese phrase you think would be useful for anyone visiting Portugal?

Not particularly, but I think it would be important to learn a few basic words before coming (“Vinho” Wine; “Café” Expresso; “Água” Water; “Obrigada(o)” Thank you; “Por Favor” Please; “Olá” Hello; “Bom dia” Good morning, etc) 

If you could only eat one Portuguese dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Cod – as it can be prepared in many different ways!!!

If you could only drink one Portuguese wine for the rest of your life what would it be?

Please don´t ask me this question 😉 …. I am a wine lover and I do not have a favourite type of wine, that depends on my mood and with whom I am!!! But, I love the Wines from the Dão and Beira-Interior regions and the Sparkling Wines from Bairrada. I am now discovering amazing Rosé Wines in Alentejo 😉

And finally… describe your perfect day in Portugal.

A perfect day in Portugal…I would suggest a 1 Day Tour with myself in my region – visiting local small wine-Producers (there are many!!!), going for a dive in Alqueva River Beach or for a Boating Trip at Sunset in Alqueva Great Lake, Visiting several small historic white-washed villages (Serpa, Moura, Vila de  Frades, Vila Alva, Portel), tasting Local food, excellent extra-virgin olive oils, DOP Cheeses & Black-Pork Ham / Sausages (yum!!!)  and finishing the day with a music of Cante Alentejano and toasting with a Sparkling-Wine from a local producer or even having dinner with us at Monte, enjoying slow food, the stars outside, the crickets singing and life amongst friendly people. Life is, NOW.

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