When we first got in contact with the word ”Glamping”
we didn't really know what to expect. It sounded a bit pretentious. Like something rich Italian ladies does - not an ordinary Swedish couple.
But the more research we did, the more fascinated we got of the thought of eating the cake (the nature) and still have it (be able to go to a real toilet and sleep in a real bed). So after we secretly got married on the Swedish countryside we took the flight to Porto in Portugal to experience our first glamping adventure.
It was trough intense googling we found two Yurts
and one bell tent located in the mountains in central Portugal. The food was going to be organic, the yurt romantic and there would be amazing opportunities to wild swims. Our adventure started by renting a car in Porto and a two hour drive southeast towards the midlands.
The further up in the mountains we drove, the narrower was the roads and and the weaker the iPhone reception got. When we arrived our hearts were still beating in double speed after the steep dirt roads that took us there with no safety barriers whatsoever - and we were isolated from the rest of the world. No internet, no phone. We were here and we were going to ”glamp” for a week.
Our home for the week was located in a lush valley
in between the dry mountains. A small spring that was going through the valley made it totally green, even though there was 30 degrees and Portugal was filled of forest fires at this point. Beside from the garden plot -where vegetables were growing for our dinners - there was fig trees, kiwi bushes, grape and apple trees. We had fresh fruit for life. We were delegated one of the two Yurts that was called Chestnut Tree Yurt and was placed in the shadow from a massive chestnut tree. There were two hammocks and a big area to hang out without being interrupted by the other guest in the opposite side of the valley.
Belonging to our yurt was also
a small cabin with stairs up to a shower and an earth closet that our hosts took care of when we were away exploring the nature. There was also a bale of straw where the gentlemen could go for a leak that then, together with the earth toilet was used as energy for the plants.
The Yurt was colourful and decorated in Mongolian style and besides from a comfortable bed there was a sofa and furnitures for us to storage our clothes. There was also a small “fridge” that was made of a smaller clay pot inside an other, where the space between was filled with wet sand. There were two power points that was run by solar power – but we had to think about when we used the electricity. To much charging of cameras during the day would mean that we would be without reading light in the evening.
We choosed to go for an all-inclusive option
Mostly due to that there basically was nowhere near to buy or eat food. That was one of the best choices ever made! Breakfast and dinner was served at the terrace to the owners stone house that was positioned in the middle of the valley, between the two yurts.
There food was vegetarian and made from their home grown ingredients. Vegetables from the garden plot, egg from the chickens and if needed they would add some ingredients that was local produced by their neighbours.
With dinner we were served a fruity Portuguese red wine that went down like strawberry squash. The meals were eaten together with the guests from the other yurt which gave this amazing opportunity to meet and have deep discussions with new people that also was curious about glamping and eco-tourism.
Lunch was served in a hamper to bring
when exploring the nature during the days. And there was a lot to explore! We went swimming in waterfalls in the mountains - totally private with our hamper and bags of books. We went hiking in the mountains and sneaked in through windows to abandoned churches. We experienced the nature, picked wild fruit, almost stood on snakes, was running from angry, barking dogs and above all we got the time to just be with each other without anything that interrupted apart from the nature that we was a part of.
So back to the glamping
How did we sleep? Did we feel fresh and clean? How was it?
To fall asleep to the sound of the nature while watching the stars through the mosquito net in the roof is really the best way to fall asleep. We slept like a babies. The yurt kept the heat even though the roof was open, and since it was placed in the shadow of a tree it never got too hot.
We got local handmade soaps made of goat milk that smelled amazing, and the shower was working even that the water sometimes was slightly colder then preferred. It was not like a luxury hotel but that was also the whole point. This experience was about embracing the nature rather then trying to control it.
Maybe you can recognise the feeling
when you are on your way home in the car to the airport. When you pick up you phone and want to share that happy face after maybe the best vacation you ever had. And then - when you open the Instagram app to take a selfie - you realize that you haven’t seen yourself in the mirror for one week, and you haven’t thought about it for a moment. That's a sign you have had good week. That you've experienced a new kind of luxury.
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