||InfoHub supplier since Dec 2007!
Base of operations: Portugal
We run a family agro-turism service in Castro Marim, a small and very old town in Algarve, the southest region of Portugal. We are located inside a special Ramsar convention area for aquatic wild birds in the Natural Reverse of Castro Marim, so we have been ecological farmers for a long time (over the last 20 years) growing endogenous fruit like fig, carrob, almond, olive and orange from old tree species already adapted to the climate. Also we have a ecological milk farm (we produce ecological milk, yogurt and yogurt-cheese) and we continue to hand harvest sea salt (we produce hand harvested sea salt and the famous Salt Flour) the traditional way romans did 2000 years ago when they built the old "salinas" of Castro Marim.
Lasts years we decided to grown our business offer by rehabilitating some old cottages inside our farm adapting then to nice and cozy accommodations for visitors to stay in. We try to use maxim ecological, traditional and local material according to our possibilities (all wood and ceramic). We are still rehabilitating the main building that will be a small restaurant with local products and gastronomy, but also a eco-library and a small shop with local traditional local products and local ecological product from our farm and from other farm in the neighborhood.
We provide special activities for our visitors like visiting the farm, experience traditional activities like hand harvest sea salt or collecting fig, or be near our donkeys or participant in jelly production in our house. We also provide explanations of how its all done, how its important to maintain local agriculture heritage (the uses less water resources) and how its important to support this kind of way of business because of the pressure the natural reserve is being put from the big unsustainable tourism corporations. Also, because Jacinto (my father) has a history degree, you can also ear stories about our moçarabe (Arabic occupation during 800 years) and Portuguese (last 800 years) history.
Anabela (My mother) works in the natural reserve as ambiental educator and can teach you how to behave inside the reserve to birdwatch without disturbing then. We can also provide very accurate information about the best spots to visit in the neighborhood, like alcoutim and cacela-velha, the best fresh fish restaurants, other quality local produces and ethnographic museums. We are buying bikes for the visitor to travel around because they're the healthy and ecological way to do it. Also its the only way the really appreciate the environment, ear the birds and smell the fields and flowers.