Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Visit Quinta do Vale

It’s possible to visit the quinta and take a 2 to 3-hour tour of our off-grid sustainable systems, food forest, water retention landscaping, ecological sanitation systems, etc.

The quinta is currently CLOSED for visitors.

I get a lot of requests for fact-finding visits, particularly from people setting out on a similar path, and many people have visited here over the last few years.

During the tour, I’ll show you everything done so far, briefly explaining –

  • the various infrastructure systems
    • solar and hydro power
    • water supply
    • grey water processing
    • composting toilets
    • solar and wood water heating
    • wood-fired and solar cooking
  • the growing areas
    • the developing food and fuel forest
    • water retention strategies
    • soil repair and fertility building
    • the geodesic dome greenhouse and aquaponics system (badly damaged in the fires so not presently functional)
  • the building works to date

and how everything works – or will eventually work – all together.

In the wake of the October 2017 fires, you’ll also get to see first hand what these fires can do, learn from the mistakes which contributed to some of the quinta’s losses, and get to understand some of the contributing factors to fires of such destructive ferocity.

A visit to the quinta

I’m happy to share some of what I’ve learned along the way with you, including our best successes as well as the things I wouldn’t do the same way again. If there’s anything in particular you’re interested in from reading the projects, the blog, or keeping up with us on Facebook, then let me know and I can go into more detail.

Please note the quinta is located on a mountainside of 30-45° slopes and the terrain can present considerable difficulties for anyone with mobility issues. There are a number of levels of terraces with steps and/or slopes between them. The steps can be steep, uneven, slippery in the wet, and have no guard rails or hand holds. Away from the buildings, none of the land is flat. Wheelchair access is impossible.

Children are welcome, but small children can get very quickly bored with a lot of adult talk going right over their heads so can be very disruptive. With the nature of the terrain, it’s impossible to take your eyes off them for one moment, so bringing them on a tour can be a highly stressful experience. You’ll need to carry them a lot of the time as steep steps can be hard for them to negotiate and it’s not possible to use a stroller/buggy on the land. (You know your children best of course, but there have been rather too many frazzled parents going away from here for me not to at least warn you in advance!)

Please note visits are limited to the 2-3 hours of the tour and are not available at weekends. We don’t offer accommodation or camping space, any other variation of a visit such as a day visit, or the opportunity to work with us. If you’d like to stay longer, then you will need to apply to volunteer, to come on an internship, or take one of our courses.

There are Airbnbs in the area if you need overnight accommodation.

Understand it may not always be possible to make time for you if we have a course running or a lot of work on, but I’ll do what I can to fit you in during the time you’re in the area.

Visits are by appointment only, so please email first to arrange a date and time to come.

With the increasing number of visit requests and amount of time I spend showing people around, the disruption to working days has necessitated a charge for visits. I ask for a minimum donation of 20€ for one adult, 30€ for a couple and a further 5€ for every additional person. Children under 12 are free, but please note the paragraph above about very small children.

This donation goes towards the project for my time and knowledge. It’s payable in advance. As soon as you have confirmed a date and time by email, please make your donation. I’ll then confirm your booking and send you directions to the quinta. Tell me where you’re coming from and if you’re using GPS – I can then make the directions more specific and include GPS coordinates if required.

You can either donate directly through PayPal or “offline”. If you chose the “offline” option, I will email you with details for direct payment.


If you have to cancel for any reason, this will be refunded in full up to 24 hours before your visit. Less than 24 hours and I reserve the right to keep the donation if I’ve gone out of my way to reorganise my day around you. If I haven’t, you can either get it back or reschedule your visit.

Generally the quinta is open for visits all year but there may be times when it’s closed for a while, especially during summer courses and over the winter. If it’s closed, then it will say so at the top of this page. I’m sorry if your visit to this area coincides with one of those periods, but if it says closed, then it’s closed!

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