Beautiful nature meets luxury camping in Portugal Nature Lodge, where we step off the beaten path. Although it’s early in the season and the Lodge has just been opened, we immediately feel this timing does not really matter when you are able to enjoy sleeping under the stars.
Of course there’s a tent canvas between us; our yurt is a round tent, reminding us of the times this portable way of living was used by nomads in the steppes. It was designed to be dismantled and the parts carried compactly on camels or yaks to be rebuilt on another site. Well, a hard job in this case, since “our” yurt is extremely big. The structure of the yurt comprises pieces of wood for the walls and interior posts supporting the crown of the yurt. The whole construction is quite modern: it is permanently built on a wooden platform making it very comfortable. Although it that early in the season that we are glad with the heater during the evenings inside.
Our countrymen Peter & Joke founded this lodge, making it an awesome place for families. To start with the breakfast delivered in a basket in the morning is just delicious. And if you ask for it, Joke will also cook fabulous meals for your family. The yurt is not the only way of staying the couple offers. Also a Lodge tent and the South African Safari tent are beautifully furnished and equipped with private facilities, a bathroom with hot shower and flush toilet, as well as an outside cooking area. And every accommodation enjoys a spacious terrace for lounging.
The whole place is just beautiful with only the sound of cow bells, frogs and bees around. So grant yourself a lazy day in a hammock at your tent or on a lounge bed at the swimming pool. A bit more about the nice nature pool: it was to fresh in April to dive in, but we are sure kids will enjoy themselves in summer. Please note, it’s open water so keep an eye on younger ones.
Bird lovers will be pleased to stay here as well, since over 28 species have been spotted on the lodge. And of course even more heading more inland or at the coastline, where you can find giant stork nests in spring time. Peter & Joke can advise you on what to do in the area and with our own car there’s a lot to choose from. The lodge is situated in Alentejo, the least populated region in the country, so no herds of tourists here. It’s right between the coastal villages of Zambujeira do Mar and Vila Nova de Milfontes. A short walk will take you to the traditional Alentejan village of Troviscais with two bars and a beautiful view over the hills.
Actually the lodge is in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vincenta (what’s in a name) that extends from Sines in the north to Sagres in the utmost south-western point of the Algarve. Therefore the park is officially under Portuguese protection and soon we realize why: the park hosts a stunning diversity of coastal habitats, including beaches, cliffs, islets and isolated rocks. The South Alentejan coast comprises wild, high, black jagged cliffs against which the Atlantic crashes in waves of churning surf. A dramatic scenery.
For families the best part is probably that in between the cliffs there are dozens of small secluded beaches. It is wonderful to play in the waves here, swim or body board or just enjoy the beach and listen to the birdlife here. For getting to a beach, a car is recommended. The closest one is 22 km by car, with a beautifully clean and clear ocean. Ideal for smaller children are the river beaches on the mouth of the Mira at Vila Nova de Milfontes. Sure if our kids would have been somewhat older, we would have tried a few surfing lessons.April
Hiking and cycling is a great option here as well. Even with younger kids you will find a short trail to explore the beauty of Alentejo. Or go canoeing on the Mira river, a calm river with lovely waterfalls and fishes all around. It is an oasis for waterfowl and fishes. In Vila Nova de Milfontes you can plan boat trips to go (sea)fishing and more.
Again, in April the seawater is a bit cold, be we are having a lovely time here playing with all the beach has to offer. And we relax and enjoy the area where every day more blossoms appear. Beautiful fields with olives trees lead our way, while visiting nice villages such as Porto Covo.
If you don’t mind the crowd: the famous Algarve is only one hour drive away. In Lagos you can take a boat trip along the spectacular red coastline with its cliffs and grottos or see dolphins if you are lucky. Or try places like Albufeira, Faro, Silves and Portimao, just a 1,5 to 2 hour drive. More nearby is the beautifully situated little town of Odeceixe with its surf beach on the river mouth of the Ceixe.
# This destination leaves an impression lasting much longer than the stay itself; glamping pure sang.
# The surroundings, coastline and beaches are stunning, and offer many adventurous things to do with only few other tourists around.
# Relax, chill and unwind into a slow pace of life.