FATIMA

 

FATIMA Since the early 20th century, Fátima has been associated with events in which three local children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, purportedly saw visions of a woman known as Our Lady of Faitma, since believed by the Catholic Church to be the Virgin Mary. On 13 May 1917, whilst guarding their families' sheep in the Cova da Iria, the children first claimed to have seen an apparition of a "lady dressed in white" and shining with a bright light. The three shepherd children were born in Aljustrel, a small hamlet about 1 kilometre from Fátima. To the west, near Aljustrel, is Loca do Cabeço, a smaller agglomeration of rocky outcroppings where, in 1916, an angel purportedly appeared twice to the three children. The children claimed to have seen the Marian apparition on six occasions; they said the last would be 13 October 1917. An estimated 70,000 pilgrims went to the site for the last prophesied apparition in October. Some of them reported what has been referred to as the Miracle of the Sun, when some observers reported it appeared to be behaving unusually. The local bishop investigated the events and determined that the apparitions were worthy of belief. The site was marked by a cross erected by locals. In 1918 they built a small chapel, built from rock and limestone and covered in tile. It became a centre for Marian devotion, receiving names such as a fé de Fátima, cidade da Paz ("the faith of Fátima, City of Peace"), or Terra de Milagres e Aparições ("Land of Miracles and Apparitions"). The chapel has since been enclosed within a large basilica and sanctuary, part of a complex including a hotel and other facilities.[5][4] In 1930, the statue of Our Lady in the Chapel of Apparitions was crowned by the Vatican

OBIDOS
 

OBIDOS

The name "Óbidos" is a Latinised "oppidum/citadel" derivation of the older Celtic "Eburobricio". The municipality had its growth from a Roman settlement near the foothills of an elevated escarpment. The region of Óbidos, extending from the Atlantic to the interior of Estremadura Province along the rivers and lakes has been inhabited since the late Paleolithic A settlement was constructed by early Celt tribes, that was later a centre of trade for the Phoenicians. The area of the town of Óbidos is located on a hilltop, encircled by a fortified wall. Óbidos remains a well-preserved example of medieval architecture; its streets, squares, walls and its castle are a popular tourist destination. The castle now houses a pousada. The municipality is also home to the famous Praia D'el Rey golf complex, one of the top golf resorts in Europe, and Royal Óbidos - Spa & Golf Resort.
Each July Óbidos castle hosts a traditional 'Medieval Market'. For two weeks the castle and the surrounding town recreate the spirit of medieval Europe.
Flowing banners and heraldic flags set the mood together with hundreds of entertainers and stall holders dressed as merchants, jugglers, jesters, wandering minstrels, soldiers and more. Visitors can shop at the traditional handcrafts fair or watch medieval shows, horse displays and a costumed parade that winds its way through the streets. There are also displays of jousting knights and armed combat.
The specific of this castle is that the town itself is surrounded by the Wall. Inside castle you will find a massive amount of small local shops altogether with inside/outside restaurant serving local meals. It is recommended to taste BBQ dishes.
A MUST TO DO is to taste a local cherry liquor called GINJA DE OBIDOS. You can buy this drink everywhere in Obidos and it cost around 1 Euro. Please be aware that this liqueur is drank from a chocolate cup, which should be eaten afterwards

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CALDAS DA RAINHA
 

Caldas da Rainha is a medium-sized city in western central Portugal in the historical province of Estremadura and the district of Leiria. The city serves as the seat of the larger municipality of the same name and of the Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste (OesteCIM, Intermunicipal Community of the West). At the 2011 census, the municipality had a population of 51,729 in an area of 255.69 square kilometres (98.72 sq mi), with 27,378 residing in the city. Although the city itself lies about 10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi) inland, three of the municipality's civil parishes lie on the Atlantic Ocean. Caldas da Rainha is best known for its sulphurous hot springs and ceramic pottery.

The settlement was founded in the 15th century by Queen Leonor (Rainha Dona Leonor), who established a hospital and a church at the site of some therapeutic hot springs. The Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor (Queen Leonor Spring Water Hospital, or Thermal Hospital) is the oldest purpose-built institution of its kind in the world, with five centuries of history. The city's name, often shortened to simply "Caldas", can be translated as "Queen's Hot Springs", "Queen's Spa", or "Queen's Baths".

Caldas da Rainha is home to many cultural institutions. The city's nine museums cover art, history, and cycling. Cultural and sports venues include Centro Cultural e de Congressos (CCC, Cultural and Conference Centre), a centre for performing arts, exhibitions, and conferences; Expoeste – Centro de Exposições do Oeste (Exhibition Centre of the West), which hosts exhibitions and festivals; a bullring; several football (soccer) pitches; and a multi-sport municipal complex. Caldas hosts six professional and higher-educational institutions, including a major arts and design school and a school devoted to ceramics. In 2014 Caldas da Rainha had the best public secondary school in Portugal based on national test scores.

MUST TO DO: in the heart of Caldas is a lovely Fruit Market opened 7 days per week (!!). I do recommend to visit this market (PRACA DE FRUTA) around 9-10am then you can buy very fresh vegatables, fruits, very sweet oranges and beatiful flowers from multiple stalls just picked-up from local farms. And everything with affordable prices. I do recommend (!) See pictures inside the Gallery..

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FOZ DO ARELHO

With miles of coastline and the stunning waters of Óbidos lagoon, the Silver Coast is heaven for watersport enthusiasts. Surfing is the major activity but it is not the only one. With its mild climate and good winds, there is something here for almost every type of watersport.

The inland waters of Óbidos lagoon provide a sheltered location for sailors of all abilities. There is a sailing centre, Escola de Vela da Lagoa, on the Foz do Arelho side which caters for experienced sailors by providing a range of equipment for rental, and beginners through its sailing schools. Here it is possible to learn a watersport such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing (including catamarans), canoeing, wakeboarding and water skiing, all in a beautiful landscape where forests roll down to the water’s edge and the Atlantic pounds on beaches at the entrance to the lagoon. For those who are expert and daring enough to venture out into the waves, the lagoon offers an ideal launching place and a safe harbour to return to.

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NAZARE

The Nazare Canyon causes very high breaking waves.This makes Nazare a hotspot for big wave surfing.

In November 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a record breaking giant wave: 78 feet (24 m) from trough to crest, at Praia do NorteNazaré, Portugal In January 2013 it was reported that he successfully rode a wave measuring a maximum estimate of 100 feet (30 m) at the same location and possibly exceeding the size of his previous record-breaking wave.

Hugo Vau could have smashed a world record amid claims he surfed one of the biggest waves ever seen at Nazare, Portugal. The wave — nicknamed ‘Big Mama’ — was reported to be up to 35-metres-high, which, if confirmed, would beat current Guinness Book of Records holder Garrett McNamara

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PENICHE

Peniche is known for its long beaches, which are popular for recreational activities and sports such as surfingwindsurfingbodyboarding and kite surfing. These beaches are consistently windy and have good surf breaks with Supertubos, i.e., waves forming fast and powerful tubes, considered among the best in Europe. The area has been called the "European Pipeline", after the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii.

The Berlengas islands, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) offshore from the peninsula, are part of the municipality. They form one of the world's first nature reserves. In summer, the islands can be visited by taking a ferryboat from Peniche.

Peniche, with its scenic harbour, white windmills, chapels and long sandy beaches has inspired famous artists like Maurice Boitel.

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SALINIAS DE RIO MAJOR

In 1979, after long delays, the Agricultural Cooperative of Rio Maior Salt Producers was finally established, which aims to commercialize the salt of the cooperants and promote actions to support them, in the transformation of brine and its utilization.

Being a non-profitable activity, the number of workers interested in the production of salt diminished annually.

 

The creation of the Cooperativa, from the association of the Rio Maior Salt Flats, allowed the salt to be placed on the market, duly packed, and part of it ground, which resulted in the valorisation and increase of the quality of the product and its price.

The activities of the Cooperative transformed the environmental conditions of the salt mines of Rio Maior. The hills of land where weed vegetation grew that defiled the salt were replaced by concentrators of the brine extracted from the common well.

 

The Cooperativa is committed, in collaboration with the City Council and the Direction of the Natural Park of the Sierras de Aire and Candeeiros, in the development of Tourism in the beautiful "Valley Tifónico", where is located this original and typical salt saline source.

 This collaboration allowed the construction of a typical house of the mountain range, to support the tourists, and the reconstruction of several houses of salt collection, with their curious locks in wood. In addition, Cooperativa actively works for the recovery and maintenance of public beaches, the old river and access to the transport of salt to the warehouses.

The river that crosses the salty was lined with lages and the ropes (cockroaches) were cemented in order to facilitate the transit of the Saltmen and the transport of salt, allowing a greater hygiene.

 

Traditionally the salt was kept in the houses typical of the salinas. At present Cooperativa collects this product for a warehouse built for the purpose, in the style of these very old wooden houses.

In that warehouse, some of the salt is ground and packaged for shipment and placing on the market.

 

In the recent past, the majority of salt producers were farmers, seasonally (from May to September) for salt production, with profits being shared between the owner of the slash and the salt producer.

 

At the moment a team of workers hired by Cooperativa develops the exploitation and harvest of the salt of the majority of the salinas.

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AQUAPARK-NORPARK-NAZARE

Norpark is one of Portugal´s leading water parks. It occupies a prime location north of Lisbon in Nazaré, right next to the Praia do Norte. It is easily accessible from the capital by road, situated as it is close to the A8 motorway and offers plenty of parking facilities. Rail links are also in place, South to Lisbon and North to Oporto.

The park is set in an area of 42,500m2, of which 12,500m2 is laid to grass. Here guests can take a leisurely stroll, relax in the shade of the trees and enjoy the views across the park and out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Families and friends visit Norpark throughout the summer season to enjoy its broad range of high-quality facilities. Changing facilities are clean and modern and lockers and towel rental service are available for a small fee.

Once inside, the more daring can take the plunge down one of its 4 high-speed slides while little ones clamour for more after trying out the three dedicated children´s chutes. Further facilities for the younger generation include a dedicated children´s leisure pool. This area was especially designed with fun and safety in mind. Spanning an area of 272m2 the pool height varies between 0.15m, suitable for the smallest of people to paddle in, to 0.55m to provide adequate depth for a safe descent on the mini slide. The children´s pool is monitored by lifeguards and security staff throughout opening hours to ensure their safe enjoyment.

Fitness fans will enjoy swimming a few lengths of Norpark´s semi-olympic pool that is also available to visitors wishing to take a refreshing dip at any time of day – highly popular during those hot summer months. For the more indulgent the giant Jacuzzi beckons. Heated to a constant temperature of 30 degrees and with a capacity for 25 people, it really is the ultimate place of luxury and relaxation in which to while away your day.

If all that relaxation leaves you yearning for more action, simply hop back on the water slides or join an aqua exercise class in the hydro pool. Classes are held daily and last for 50 minutes, and are led by qualified instructors who will provide all the necessary equipment.

All that exercise will no doubt leave you feeling peckish. If so, help is at hand from the snack bar which offers a variety of refreshments to suit all tastes and budgets to complete your fun-packed day at Norpark.

Opening hours10:00 – 19:30

Price:Adult and children over 11 full day: €12.00
Adult and children over 11 half day (10.00 – 14.30 or 14.30 – 19.30): €9.50
Children 5 – 10 years full day: €9.50
Children 5 – 10 years half day: €7.50
End of day ticket (after 17.00): €6.00

Opening season:Summer Season

 

Location:Estrada da Praia do Norte – Sítio
2450-065, Nazaré

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AQUAPARK-SPORTAGUA-NAZARE

Walk through the entrance gates to Sportagua in Peniche and you´ll feel yourself break into a smile. The ambient music tells you that this park is all about fun – and fun you will surely have.

The park is situated in a convenient location at the entrance to the town of Peniche in a pretty touristic area surrounded by beaches. Access is easy from the A8 and there is plenty of car parking on site.

Families, couples and groups of friends are well catered for with a range of installations. Take a dive down the Kamikaze tube, a highly popular run offering a high-speed descent down to the warm bathing pool at its base. Once you have taken this in your stride, challenge your friends and family to a few simultaneous runs down the multi-track chute before moving on to the toboggan slide.

The park is thoughtfully designed with all these major rides converging in a single spacious pool, minimising time spent looking for your fellow group members and giving you added opportunities to catch a glimpse of their glee-filled faces as they lurch from the bottom of their rides.

For the less adventurous, or indeed if you simply feel like taking a break from hurling yourself down vertical water chutes, take a dip in the 35m x 12m leisure pool or join in with one of the organised classes or activities on offer there throughout the day.

Sportagua at Peniche caters well for younger guests. The multilevel children´s pool rises to a maximum level of only 0.60m, suitably deep for the little ones to land in as they slide down the children´s multi-track chute and mini hills. Elsewhere it is even shallower, providing a great area for the smallest of visitors to enjoy some water fun.

Lifeguards are stationed next to all slides and pool areas to ensure your safety and whilst medical incidents are rare, the park retains a qualified nurse in residence to provide speedy attendance should it be necessary.

There are a range of snack facilities throughout the enclosure including poolside bar and ice cream kiosk as well as a larger restaurant and snack bar.

If you have any energy left after your day at Sportagua at Peniche it is well worth taking the time to explore the village and its pretty harbour. And what better way to finish off than with a meal at one of its excellent seafood restaurants.

Water Park: SportÁgua – Peniche
Website: www.sportagua.com

Opening hours10.00 – 19.00

Price:Adult (full day): €12.00
Adult (after 15.00): €9.50
6 – 11 years (full day): €9.50

6 - 11 years (after 3.0pm): €7.50
Children 0 – 5 years: Free

Opening season:Summer Season

 

Location:Peniche
Av. Monsenhor Manuel Bastos
2520-206 Peniche-Portugal

PLEASE HAVE A LOOK ON THE GALLERY (Left hand side)