Jully 2018

The most beautiful vineyard valley

Time flies when you’re busy doing what you love and surrounded with beautiful people in incredible locations.

Although I’m constantly in touch with my family and friends back home (skype, whatsapp, email … you name it) I noticed that 2,5 years already went without going home, so I decided it was time to book my next trip back home and visit another “Out-of-The-Ordinary” property: Six Senses Douro Valley

My dad was turning 65 in July I thought that would be fun giving him a good birthday present … a surprise!! Yes you guessed … he didn’t have a clue I was coming!

I arranged everything with my mom and sister, we made up a story for my dad to pick me up at the airport, thinking he was picking up my sister. I’m still not sure how we were able to keep this secret for 3 months … but we did it.

The day before my dad’s birthday arrived and so did I. I got out of the gate and my dad only “saw me” when I said “Hi Dad, Happy Birthday!!!” and hugged him. He couldn’t believe on his eyes and, for a while, the only thing he could do was asking me “what are you doing here?!” … the 3 of us (my sister couldn’t make it) ended up crying at the airport.

Knowing that for this visit I was planning to stay a little bit longer back home, why not exploring my country and check if a lot had changed. I spent some quality time with my sister, in the south: walkings, boat tours, beach time (you might not believe but here, the sun is so hot that I don’t do beach time), eating a lot of good Portuguese food …. most of the time I stayed with my parents and visit family and friends, I missed everyone.

From Algarve (south), to Lisbon area (where my parents live) I decided to explore the north of Portugal: Douro Valley, the region of some of the best wine in the world and an Unesco World Heritage site. I headed Six Senses had a property in Lamego, so I decided to try my change and reached them out for a photo project: I really wanted to do some photos for Six Senses Douro Valley and immerge myself in the “old” part of the country.

To get there, I took a beautiful train ride from Lisbon to Porto and then a short 1 hour car ride to my final destination: Peso da Régua. During the trip I could only admire all the changes of the landscape outside of the window: from the big city buildings to the traditional Portuguese architecture of the country side, from the forest to ocean side, from the white and bright Lisbon, to the old and dark Porto.

I was mesmerised with the beauty of the valley where Six Senses is nested and noticed that I had forgotten how incredible my country is. The hotel, a 19th-century manor house completely renovated, is located high on a hill, surrounded by vineyards and overlooking Douro River … one of the most magical places I’ve been.

During my one week in house:

  • I trekked the vineyards to reach the wine house were I was able to taste a 60 years old White Porto wine (OMG deliciousss);
  • I had the chance to check my artistic skills and see if I could still do tile painting (last time I did it, I was in junior high school);
  • I learned how to do pickles, yogurt, create my own tea even fermented drinks;
  • I learned how to cook some of the most traditional Portuguese dishes;
  • I watched movies under the starts …;

and all this while working on what I love.

During this time, I’m pretty sure I put up some extra weight: the food was so good that, even eating “little”, I couldn’t resist to try every flavour on each restaurant.

To end this busy week, I had the chance of enjoying some time in the spa … and the only thing I can say is: I was in heaven.

Everyone was super nice and helpful. The (young) team was always ready to assist and to make my stay as comfortable as possible.

Check their instagram account and you can see some photos of mine.

Hopefully, I can come back soon to capture everything else it’s possible to experience in Six Senses Douro Valley.

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