At the foot of Serra da Estrela, in the middle of the Dão Demarcated Region, we find the Casa das Palmeiras, a barn in Gandufe that was reborn from the ruins and that originated two cosy houses, a Museum in the old wine press and a biological pool to refresh the hottest days of the mountain.
Here it is possible to let oneself be enveloped by the mountain landscape, the landscape of olive groves and hazel trees, and have moments of leisure in full communion with Nature. The location of the two houses, between Mangualde and Nelas, is perfect. The Casa do Celeiro and the Casa do Carvalho are two cosy lodgings where you can spend good moments with family and friends.
In the houses, all windows have double glazing to provide an appropriate level of thermal insulation and the air conditioning is energy efficient A++. The rainwater is directed to a plastic tank being used for watering and watering the animals. Watering of green spaces is done early in the morning and at night in order to avoid evaporation on the hottest days.
Instead of a conventional swimming pool, a Biological Pool was chosen to promote the biodiversity of fauna and flora being a place of leisure for guests and a source of water for birds and other animals that go there to drink early in the morning or at night.
In Horta da Ritinha the seasonal vegetables, consumed at the farm’s meals, are grown in a permaculture system. Here pesticides are forbidden, giving way to aromatic plants and natural pest control products that are usual in a garden.
In the Casa das Palmeiras the cycle is closed, there is no waste! The maintenance of the whole farm space results in the green residues (leaves and branches) that are placed in the Aldeia da Bicharada, where the animals are in charge of mixing them with the manure and making an excellent compound used in the Horta da Ritinha for the production of vegetables and fruit. In fact, the presence of the animals moving freely around the farm is part of everyday life, so don’t be surprised if you see a galaroon, a guinea pig or the Ritinha goats, Snooze and their puppies coming to us to say hello!
The Houses are of type T1, bedroom with double bed, can be for 4 people, since there is a sofa bed in the living room. The kitchnet is equipped with refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave and all utensils to prepare and make the various meals without leaving the farm!
The heating in the living room of the houses is done by wood-burning salamander, keeping them warm in winter. In the summer the houses are very cool and pleasant, being able to enjoy the outside spaces with barbecue and tables, overlooking the garden and the pool.
As for the amenities, we have opted for non-disposable toilette products in refillable packaging and of Portuguese origin, in order to reduce the production of waste and the environmental footprint related to its transportation.
Besides the biological pool, the farm where the houses are located also has a bar, esplanade and a living room with free internet access.
What to do
The Casa das Palmeiras has bicycles, a playing field and a football field to enjoy the time spent on the farm. Children can draw in the lounge next to the bar, or simply enjoy the outdoors and play on the swings. In the library we can also order a book to read by the pool in the summer, or a DVD to watch with the whole family in the lounge.
The Charco existing in the farm is an important educational resource in the context of ecotourism, because it allows to carry out various activities of a playful and scientific nature such as bird watching, amphibious and other animals.
If you wish to explore the Serra da Estrela, the people in charge of the house will also give you the opportunity to get to know the region by taking the Camilo Castelo Branco Route and the Millennium Monuments Route, including transport and accompanying by guide. Bicycles are also rented to get to know the region!
Casa das Palmeiras also has a partnership with Aventuris, an accredited and certified company in Nature Tourism that gives you to know the region through more radical activities and environmental education. And in the summer, you can’t miss the opportunity to take a dip in the fantastic river beaches of the region!
How to get there
By train – the Beira Alta Line connects Lisbon to Vilar de Formoso, passing Coimbra, Nelas and Mangualde, the closest city to Casa das Palmeiras. For more information about the schedules please consult the following CP link.
By bus – There are connections from the main cities of the country to Mangualde, the closest city to Gandufe, 8 km away. Check here the schedules.
By car – Coming from the North by the A1, take the exit to Viseu, taking the A25. Once on the A25, take exit 22 towards Serra da Estrela. At the Rotunda, take the 2nd exit towards Nelas, on the N234. After approximately 6 km, be aware of the signs and turn left towards Gandufe. Follow Rua Largo Santa Marinha. After 2 km turn left and you will reach your destination.
Coming from the South, by the A1, you can exit at exit 13 Coimbra/Viseu towards IP3. After the tolls go towards Viseu, always on the IP3. Then exit to IC12 towards Mangualde. Continue then on the N234 passing Nelas. 6 km later, be aware of the signs and turn right towards Gandufe. Follow Rua Largo Santa Marinha. After 2 km turn left and you will reach your destination.