Shops and Cafes

Café O Bigodes
The nearest Café is ‘O Bigodes’ about five minutes walk away. It Offers basic drinks, coffee, beer, and simple snacks, but don’t be expecting any cocktails. There is internal and external seating, a pool table and a football table. Senor Bigode and his wife are lovely people, they will always give you a warm welcome and are excellent hosts.

There are a number of small and very basic cafes dotted around the local area. Each has a warm welcome with a chance to interact with the local communities.

Nearby Villages & Towns

Maçãs de Dona Maria
The nearest village is the hilltop village of Maçãs de Dona Maria a couple of minutes drive away. The village has a church, two mini markets each with its own Café bar, three other bars, a small restaurant, a Paderia (Bakery with Café) Pharmacy and a jeweller’s shop. There is a small market held every Sunday, a chance for people to go to church, do some shopping, meet, catch up with the village affairs and spend a leisurely time in vibrant discussion about who’s wine is the best.. Hopefully you will not be needing their services, but there is also a funeral directors. The village is home to two old people’s homes and the funeral directors are kept busy. Deaths are announce by posting a photograph of the deceased with the funeral details on the local lampposts – you do not want to appear on a lamppost.

The nearest larger town is Alvaiázére, about ten minutes drive away. The town is home to the local Council (Camara) and has a Mini Preco store and a Super Meu. The stores are larger than in the village but not super store size by any means. The town also has a Doctors, a public swimming pool, football stadium, Gymnasium, farm shop, and a number of small shops and Cafes. A market is held every Wednesday.

Avelar is a small town about fifteen minutes drive away. A nice small town with a Paderia, bars and small shops. If you like browsing local antique shops there are two in the town.

Ansião is about twenty minutes drive away and has a larger Intermarche store as well as a number of shops, cafes and bars. The market is held every Saturday which is larger than the other local villages and towns Pombal Pombal is about thirty minutes drive and has a larger Intermarche and Bricomarche hardware store. There is a small waterpark in Pombal as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. The railway station connects with Lisbon and Porto (about 1hr 30-50 mins train ride dependent upon the timetables). Both cities are definitely worth a visit if you have time.

Local attractions

Castelo do Sol is situated in the middle of totally unspoiled fabulous countryside. There are 19 amazing river beaches where you can swim and picnic. We are only 50 minutes from the gorgeous long white beaches of the Silver Coast. We are within an hour of Portugal’s stunning third largest city of Coimbra. The capital city of Lisbon and the city of Porto (both have international airports) are just a train ride away or easily accessible by car.

Horse riding, hiking, kayaking, river trips and spa days are all available locally not to mention the plethora of historical and cultural attractions. If you are interested in the Knights Templar then this is the place for you with the Convent at Tomar being their last stronghold, and numerous Templar-built castles in the region such as Almourol – all less than an hour away.

If you are interested in the Peninsular war (Wellington v the French) then you have come to the right place. Bussaco an hour away, Redinha 30 minutes, Vimeiro, Roliça, Torres Vedras an hour and a half. More further afield you can reach Badajoz, Ciudad Rodgrigo, Salamanca, Almeida, River Coa and more in as little as 3 hours. Military history buffs will be in their element.

In fact, there is plenty to do and see and something for everyone.

Below is just a small selection of places to visit. Some images link to more information about that attraction 🙂