Why did you choose to live in Portugal?
Guests ask us this all the time as we are from South Africa and settled in Portugal in 2016. The truth is, we did not choose Portugal exactly: we had been looking for a property to convert into a retreat centre and searched in many countries on many continents, but it was in Portugal’s Ribatejo that we found our dream farm. From the moment we drove up the driveway and got out of the car, we knew we were home. We have made deep connections with truly wonderful people here; we love our new home country and are truly blessed to call this magical place home. Read more about our story here.
How do you keep the farm so clean?
We constantly keep it clear of litter and anything that no longer has use is re-homed – recycled or given away. Keeping the farm clutter-free and litter-free is part of why the property has such wonderful energy. Caring for the environment does not only mean nature ‘out there’; it also means your immediate environment inside your house and right outside your door.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, it is. Our water supply comes from Aguas de Santarém so is perfectly safe, and we also have filtered water on tap available at Oak Café.
What does a massage cost?
Our most popular massage is the top-to-toe, full body massage which our guests return for time and again. Value: €70 for 90 minutes of extreme pampering. Our massage menu (link) includes information about all our offerings.
How many horses do you have?
We have 11 horses of our own, and also some livery horses. Our horses live out all year, enjoying the big fields and the freedom to move around. Five of these horses form part of the horse interaction (link) team – Mr. Blue, Bentley, Danny, Kalahari and Toby.
Why do your horses have coats and masks on?
In summer the flies and midges bite the horses, and some of them have reactions to the bites. The masks are see-through and don’t impede their vision, but stop the flies and midges biting. The blankets are actually super light-weight and breathable and protect the rest of the body in the same way.
In winter some of the horses need thicker rugs overnight and in the mornings to keep warm; we only rug those who really need the extra warmth.
Do I need to know about horses to do a horse interaction?
No prior knowledge is needed; the interaction is on the ground usually and involves connection with the horses (link) with the aid of a facilitator. Horses have incredible energy and can mirror what we are feeling and experiencing – giving us feedback for deep insights. Everyone has a favourite horse after the interaction – some loving the big Mr. Blue and others preferring the smaller horses like sturdy Bentley.
What does the name of the farm mean?
‘Quinta’ is pronounced ‘keen-tuh’ and means farm, and ‘Carvalhas’ is pronounced ‘car-vull-yush’ and means oak trees. So it means, Oak Farm.
Can I have the recipe for…?
For many people it is a new experience to enjoy such delicious vegetarian food; it has become famous for its taste and wonderful variety of flavor and texture. We are asked all the time for recipes, which we are happy to share with you. Many of these are included in our newsletters so if you would like to receive extra culinary inspiration in your inbox, sign up here.
Do you offer cooking classes?
What activities are there on the farm?
Aside from our experiences (link) that are on offer, guests can enjoy country walks, reading (we have a selection of books), games, swimming and table tennis. Although we want people to relax here, we do have a number of excellent spots on the farm for work and many guests are able to continue with their remote working while still taking time out for massages and walks.
How much olive oil do you produce every year?
We are small producers: we produce enough for our B&B kitchen for the year, and some extra to sell to our guests and a growing market in Germany. Our olive oil is organic and hand-picked, and the harvest yields between 500 and 1200 litres.
What kind of yoga is offered?
We offer private classes as well as group classes on request. We have three yoga teachers, offering Vinyasa, Couples Yoga, Hatha, Yin and Ashtanga in our beautiful yoga shala with its incredible energy, Pine Hall with its added space or the deck at the pond for the connection to nature.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, if your dog is well socialized and you are here as a private guest. However, unfortunately if you are here on a group retreat taking care of the dog becomes a challenge and can impact on the group, so the policy is – no dogs on retreats.