Horses by the banks of the River Tagus
Are your children fond of horses?
Then take a trip through the meadowland region of the Ribatejo and show them the famous Lusitano breed of horse, bulls and “campinos” (the typical Ribatejo herdsmen), as well as a very special castle.
In Benavente, visit the “Companhia das Lezírias”, the country’s largest farm. See some beautiful examples of the Lusitano breed of horse and let your children play at the special Educational Farm, where they will be able to learn more about animals and even how to make bread! For those of you who are more energetic, there is also the possibility of enjoying some extreme sports.
In Santarém, let your eyes rest awhile as you enjoy the view from Portas do Sol over the never-ending meadows down below, and then move on to the Torre das Cabaças to visit the Clock Museum. There, your whole family will be able to find out more about the history of our measurement of time over the centuries. When the time comes to leave, and if your stomach is rumbling and telling you it’s time to eat, then pass through Almeirim and taste the famous “sopa da pedra” (“stone soup”), made with everything that can fit into your stomach and into the saucepan. End this full day at a beautiful museum house: the Casa-Museu dos Patudos, in Alpiarça.
On the second day, stop at Golegã, a town with a longstanding equestrian tradition, which holds its famous Horse Fair every November. Make sure to visit the town’s Igreja Matriz (Parish Church), with its beautiful Manueline doorway and then take your family on to the Paul do Boquilobo Nature Reserve, an internationally important wetland, highly favoured by the migratory birds that you can see here.
After all these horses and “campinos”, take your children on to see one of the most unusual castles in Portugal. Standing on an island in the middle of the River Tagus, Almourol Castle is the home of many legends and myths associated with the adventures of the Knights Templar that will certainly stir the imagination of the younger members of your family. Round off the day in Tomar, visiting another Templar Castle and the Convento de Cristo – the monastery that was the headquarters of these religious knights and monks.