Cell: 34 680 206 221
email info@aqua-ventura.com

Written by Karen Williams, a well known American Author
Jonathan and Vio have managed to bring the magic that is Hort de Gloria to the Algarve of southern Portugal. The trade off, if there is one, is the charm of pastoral farm country for the energy of the sea. A ten minute walk from the ocean, their home decorated with treasures from South Africa, Spain and Morocco is your home for as long as you stay. The dining table fashioned by Jonathan from rare South African rail ties is the center of life in this vibrant house- hold.

Woofers, young enthusiastic volunteers from around the world have followed the family to an idyllic Portuguese landscape. The kitchen bustles with woofers, family and guests cooking vegetarian meals or fish or meat if that better suits your appetite with fresh ingredients from the market in Vila de Visbo five kilometers away. The same eclectic collection of music from around the world that was a part of Hort de Gloria is the background for boisterous banter around the stove. But if you prefer to find a quiet space in the sitting room or out on the veranda that abuts the garden in both the front and back of the house no one will complain.

If the house is full Vio will make sure that you have a room in a nearby cottage where all your needs will be met with caring generosity.

Walk or drive to Ingrina Beach a Kilometer and a half away and enjoy a cappuccino or a beer or a full meal with seafood and other choice Portuguese meals. Or just enjoy the sand and water. Another kilometer and a half brings you to another picture perfect beach with crashing waves and fantastical rock formations. The beach offers the perfect waves for the beginning surfer and magical walks through craggy rock tunnels. At sunset the light filters through the craggy formations in splashes of light and dark that create a dreamscape.

If you have come for walking, Jonny will lead you on a hike designed for your personal abilities. Or let him surprise you with a combination of landscapes that will provide challenging uphill climbs, leisurely, winding, mostly flat narrow paths all with the exhilaration of magnificent panoramic views of clear white-capped turquoise ocean spreading to a deep blue horizon of clear sky. Just around the next bend or over the next ridge you will always find the unexpected. The breath-taking scenery and breezy temperatures will temp you to hike one cove further than planned. Hike in a loop or plan to have Vio meet you at the village square.

On a hike to the west above the ocean you can spot swells dotted with hundreds of surfers practicing the sport on the second break of the waves or more practiced athletes waiting for the perfect wave. Stop at a deserted beach cove to swim or wade, beach comb or picnic on a pre-packed lunch of bread and cheese and fruit. Sea spray hangs in the air like silk and flowered shrubs cascade down slate rock to the white sand. Continue on to the next red tiled white washed village nestled on a rocky cliff for a cup of coffee or an ice cream.

For hiking farther afield, opt for a walk through the cork forests of Monchique where one trail takes you up a peak where you can look out to the sea and view the area for 180 degrees.

Jonny is happy to lead the hike or allow his guests to meander choosing their own path of the many that criss-cross the hillsides of the Algarve, perhaps first tread by local fishermen or sheep and goat herders.

If you crave the farm country or just prefer a day in a different landscape Jonathan can offer you a hike that begins an hours ride away from Ingrina beach where it is easy to catch glimpses of a farmer plowing tiny fields with donkey and windmills ancient and new turning in the wind. Almost every drive or hike is filled with history of the land from crumbling ancient forts, stone farm house to new whitewashed villages meant for tourists who crave uninhabited beach coves or the charm of the hippie era where caravans of dread locked campers add a bohemian flavor to your adventure.

For more adventures, life in southern Portugal claims some of the best surfing in the world. If you are a novice, Jonny will prove an apt and dedicated instructor with encouragement and know-how. If you already have experience, he will help you improve your surfing skills.

Jonny applies this same enthusiasm, care and expertise to kayaking adventures and to rock climbing in the area. It is all there waiting for the adventurous and not- so- adventurous in magical landscapes that will capture the imagination for families, singles, young and old alike.

Aqua Ventura
Tel: +34 680 206 221