Three years ago, Pedro and Renata decided to “make people happy”, this is how Pedro Silva characterizes his motor-home business, which Renata Guia named Discovering Portugal. It all started with the dream of having a Hymer, an old motor-home, retro style, which, with humor, a customer called a “diabolic van”, due to some characteristic noises that give it personality and a unique driving style. Married for 17 years, this lovingly couple, adopted that funny name to their first “girl”, the Hymer with whom they started the business.
Regarding the target audience, Pedro says that “60 to 80% of the people looking for a motor-home to rent for vacation have studies and good culture,” and characterizes them as having “an alternative personality and the desire to know Portugal in every detail.”
He also says that “most of these people are up to 40 years old and have children, but they are not the only ones looking for this service. Young people also want this type of accommodation with wheels to go to concerts, and also to make circuits that include surfing. The most usual destination is the Portuguese Vicentine coast.”
Renata proudly adds that the public opinions attributed to the service they provide to these people are very positive since they have “5 stars ratings in almost everything.” This statement is confirmed by Pedro Vilela, a photographer who during the pandemic time, decided to travel with his wife and their 7-year old twin daughters through Alentejo, with Discovering Portugal. I will tell you this sweet history.
1. A unique road trip
“The experience could not have been better,” says the photographer with enthusiasm.The route that he was able to enjoy safely, thanks to Hymer, is recorded in his memory, and if he already thought of buying one, after this experience he says he has made his decision.
It was 11 dream days, during which Pedro Vilela made a journey that amazed him. In the Alentejo, he admired the sunrise and the sunset several times and looked at the stars, one can count, as if at that moment nothing else existed.
“From Lagoa of Santo André to the wonderful Alqueva, passing through the Odivelas dam, a nature reserve near Alvito, it was a unique journey.” It states. Pedro and his family toured the wonderful national 2 route, they did it by motorhome in a period troubled by the pandemic, so it was a luxury to be able to “enjoy in isolation with family, the long summer days, so typical of June, that brought them enormous peace of mind.”
Pedro Vilela says that in the first days he needed to ask some questions and that Pedro Silva was always available at all times, the photographer also highlights Renata’s sympathy and concern. As a customer, he says he is impressed with Discovering Portugal, which he found through Yescapa.
Pedro opted for a motor-home trip not only because of the pandemic but also because he had previous experience of the same kind in Italy. “I wanted to try it because we want to buy one, so this was a good solution, this way you can get a concrete idea of how everything works.”
He says that “the price was great and there was time available”, conditions that made him make the decision and start a different vacation. As he can’t usually take vacations during summer, having been able to do it this year, in the company of the whole family, was wonderful and a breath of fresh air.
2. Living experiences to give best advice
Trips like the one that Pedro Vilela made, are the kind of experiences that Pedro and Renata want to provide. To make that, they pass to the experience several times. They have traveled the Costa Alentejana, Ericeira, Sesimbra, Schist Villages, the fantastic national 2 route, that goes from Boticas to Faro and others. Truly worthwhile experiences!
Despite the major idea of this project, that is to get people to know Portugal, on a personal level, Pedro wants to make a motor-home trip through Italy. Renata recalls with passion in her voice the wonderful vineyards and all the romantic atmosphere that the surrounding nature provided them on a previous trip to Italy that they made, at that time without a caravan. Now they want to go to Corsica and spectacular Sardinia, but already in their “diabolic van”, they say, laughing. “It is very important to have this kind of experiences to become experts and advise even better our clients”, says Renata.
3. Future dreams
As for future dreams and goals, Pedro Silva says he wants to increase his caravan fleet and complete his offer with a sailboat in the Tagus. The idea is to rent the sailboat for river trips with romantic dinners and also trips to the Balearic Islands during which Pedro will be the tourist guide. This sailboat is in their plans in 4 years.
But, while that dream does not arrive, Pedro and Renata enthusiastically tell me another story. A 9-year-old boy who wept with emotion when his father told him that he had rented a caravan for the holidays. Renata stresses that “in addition to wanting to foster knowledge of our country here and abroad, emotional feelings, like the ones from that boy, are what we want to continue to stimulate, so that we can make more and more people happy!”
If you want to discover Portugal and marvel with dream landscapes, isolated from the world, having only those you love with you, try a trip in a fantastic diabolical van. With these wheeled houses, the sky is the only limit to your imagination.