Sarah Banks, September 2016

We were fortunate enough to be the very first visitors to Dolittle Holidays, arriving after a very straightforward car journey from Lisbon. Ali met us in the local village in order to show us the way to the site, where a very welcome cold drink awaited us. The camp is set in a lovely glade surrounded by fruit trees, eucalyptus and vines, and Dave and Ali’s simple white cottage sits at the top of a slope looking down over the valley. While we were there, only two of the bell tents were set up, but eventually 8 people will be able to stay at any one time in 4 tents.Our tent was the nearest to the cottage and contained a double bed with a crisp, cotton  duvet (in this heat?!), a small table, a coat stand and rug, and was very clean; Ali had added a couple of her beautiful decoupaged items to give the tent a homely feel. Outside was cheery bunting and a couple of deck chairs so you could read, snooze and listen to the marvellous sounds of the countryside. The Kurleys took us back to the local village where we had a delicious-and incredibly cheap-3 course such with a carafe of wine, and coffee; 7 euros a head! As Ali was driving, I showed her the courtesy of drinking her wine for her…. That evening, after a small snooze in the great outdoors, we ate together outside and partook in some of the local spirit. The weather was hot and sunny during the daylight hours but the temperature did drop significantly during the evening (late September), and we were very grateful for that duvet having ridiculed it on first sight! The washing facilities and toilets are new and spotless and we were given a torch to wend our way down the the tent in the early hours. The day is started with a simple but tasty breakfast, beautifully set out on the threshing circle at the top of the land. This is an area of Portugal that has very few tourists and is quite off the beaten track, but is within easy reach of gorgeous beaches, rolling countryside and interesting villages and ruins. There are a number of very authentic bars within walking distance and not an Irish Bar or Full English Breakfast offer to be found!! We loved the peace and quiet of the area, broken only by the many varieties of birdcall, the sound of the (somewhat erratic) church bells and the horn indicating the arrival of the bread/fish van. As friends will confirm, I am NOT a camper, but this was a fabulous introduction to life in the great outdoors; we slept underneath the stars but had the comfort of a decent shower and toilet, and more importantly, a plug socket within seconds walk! We would recommend a stay at Dolittle Holidays to all those who would want to explore, feel at one with nature and yet be relieved that great facilities were on hand. Thank you Kurleys!

Sarah Banks, June 2017