At Herdade do Amarelo, inserted in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, between the foothills of the Serra de São Domingos and the sea, the only clock that exists is stopped because the owner Fernando Almeida, took the batteries from it, confesses laughing. He says he managed to stop time, from the moment he saw the estate for the first time, at the time in ruins. It was the year 2002, when he fell in love at first sight with the 100 hectares and the shale house, he left everything and changed his life.
The passion of someone who created a space, raising it from the ruins dating from the 19th century, runs in his voice. Everything was rebuilt with materials found on the property and planned with the same love as if it were done just for him and his family. The inspiration for the decoration of the suites came from the trips he made to Africa, he loves the warm colors of Morocco and even cut tiles by hand, so that they look similar to the places that inspired him so much.
Above all, the owner, wanted to share his homestead with guests in an intimate way, as if they were family, but never thought that the success would be so great, to the point of having to move with his wife and daughter to a small wooden house on the estate, due to the very high occupancy rate. He left his job as a banker and aviculture entrepreneur behind, to dedicate to Herdade do Amarelo which became more self-sustainable in terms of resources.
1. Self-sustainability: A Natural Process
Fernando Almeida says he never made self-sustainability his flag, but it happened naturally. The water comes from a borehole and is heated by solar panels, the breakfasts served on the property are made with some local products. In the estate they mainly have olive trees and produce olive oil, they also have orange trees, lemon trees, vines, grow lettuce, among other vegetables and fruit.
In addition, they also have animals, a pony called Pinguim for being black and white, a donkey named Amarelinha, a name curiously assigned by the first guests of the estate, and sheep and goats, who walk happily in some places of the property.
At Herdade do Amarelo you live slowly. You enjoy the surroundings, the open air, the nearby places are a complement for those who like to stay around this area. The traditional commerce, the old taverns and the food that the owner says is a “constant discovery”, make the delights of those who visit them. There are wonderful seafood and oysters on the Mira River, people fish and have all the resources to be self-sustainable.
Perhaps due to all the discoveries it provides, the estate continues to be full, even in a pandemic time. The owner says that he follows the rules of the General Directorate of Health, and that he has already exceeded the result, in relation to the homologous period of the previous year.
2. The Bet on Romance
The 12 suites inspired by Morocco, the Arab influence and also by traditional Portuguese houses, attract lovers, the suites are superb for romantic getaways or wedding nights. Inside the room everything inspires love… the warm tones, the private spa, or even the fireplace for those traveling in winter. Nights with candles and champagne or whatever else that may be part of your imagination, may also be included.
In all suites you can lie down on your bed or take a relaxing bubble bath and still continue to enjoy the impressive panoramic view of the estate. Everything was thought to stimulate love, the dream, the imagination, the reflection, the truth that exists in each one of us and leave behind our agitated lifestyle. The deepest authenticity of the human being emerges in the silence of the countryside, 7 km from the sea of Vila Nova de Mil Fontes.
Outside, the landscape remains idyllic. At the estate, guests have two magnificent saltwater pools and two paths with two and five kilometers long, which can be covered on foot. In one of them, a stream runs and the sound of the running water makes the walk even more relaxing and peaceful, everything provides a disconnection from the stress in which one usually lives.
Because there is no pollution, at night the stars become much more visible, so there are beds scattered around the estate, for those who want to observe the sky in detail, comfortably, and in an environment of absolute romance.
The experiences offered by the place include small boat trips, romantic packages, picnics, massages and a spa. Marvel at the jacuzzi suspended in a breathtaking landscape or go horseback riding on the beach during the winter, next to Pessegueiro Island. If you want, you can still take a tour on the 400 superb kilometers of the Vincentina route.
3. The Owner of Time
The owner says that he feels he is the “owner of time”, which is why he already thinks about creating another agrotourism, this time in the north of the country, perhaps because he knows that the realization of his dreams brings love and tranquility to many people, and within places like this they can’t know what day of the week it is.
This is the sublime miracle that the countryside and the sea provide to those who let their soul dream and calm down. The challenge he pursues is this … to remain the true “owner of time.” A time that just seems to have stopped, at the estate that went by the name, “Amarelo”, color of the earth and schist. Find the golden light of this unique place. And don’t take a watch with you.