Why visit Galveias?...
do Laranjal', Galveias still wonderfully portrays some very vintage characteristics. With its splendid narrow cobblestone streets, which make for a noisy and bumpy ride, to its magnificent old buildings some of which unfortunately are barely still standing, this pretty little village will charm the pants off you. It definitely won't disappoint the inquisitive and those who enjoy the sound of silence, especially once the summer months are over. This is the time when families return back home to the cities or to their homes abroad, leaving their senior relatives behind.
during the 70s when the majority moved to London. So much so, today you will find that a number of those who emigrated during that time have now returned and retired in this quiet little paradise - this is the reason why you'd find a wide variety of languages spoken here today, especially English.
chickens, pigs, sheep and goats. This is somewhat a dying occurrence as many of the younger residents have had to take on different types of jobs compared to their elders. Both my grandads were shepherds and spent most of their time out in the surrounding countryside farming and looking after sheep - how surreal is that.
travelling long distances, spending the day out.
In the summer months when the pool is open the silence is broken with the sound of happiness. All you can hear is children's laughter, playing and having fun in the pools as well as a few grown ups too, after all we're just big kids at heart.
There is now also an outdoor gym (fitness park) for everyone to use whenever they fancy. These machines are simple, hardwearing, resistance machines with which use your own bodyweight to workout.
only through the village but also through the surrounding sensational countryside off the beaten track. Or take a drive to the nearest lakes for some breathtaking views, either to Montargil or Maranhao. There are also some lovely towns and villages nearby, Avis is around 17 kms south and Ponte de Sor 13 kms north. From there you should visit Tramaga, Vale de Acor and Herdade das Fontainhas as they too are equally as charming.
from this special little place. I experienced such incredible moments during my childhood and love taking time out to reminisce every now and then.
With so much surrounding land and orchards within the village, Galveias was very fruitful in growing olive and fruit trees, producing olive oil and an array of super delicious fruits from oranges to figs, lemons, apples, sharon fruit, pomegranates, melons, watermelons and many, many grapes. My great uncle used to bring me bucketloads of fresh figs to eat as he knew they were my favourites. Homemade tomato jam and honey was a special treat too, we used to bring it back home from Galveias and still do so to this day.
through the dirt tracks into the countryside, rather than on main roads and the drive would seem endless until we reached the most beautiful setting. Parked the cars under trees for shade and laid out the rugs, the picnic chairs and tables ready for a delicious picnic. Our mums would cook using a little gas stove or build a BBQ. My dad used to put up posts in the water so us kids would have swimming boundaries - even though the water seemed very still, it had a slight undercurrent. As well as sailing trips in the rubber dinghy, we also used to spend hours on my swing, which my dad used to hang from a tree. We did so much swinging over the years until one day the rope finally snapped and someone went flying forwards (I can't remember who). Adults spent their time fishing, chatting and playing cards and the kids would have so much fun playing lots and lots of games, the only downside was the 'not so fun' rule following lunch. We'd have to wait 3-4 hours before being allowed back in the water - a Portuguese digestion tale.
Galveias is also noisy when the village 'Festas' festivals take place. We always enjoy going along to these for the tasty food and entertainment. It also once had a folk dance group (O rancho), I don't believe it exists today but recall attending the rehearsals with my cousin when I was a young teen, I just couldn't help myself and had to join in and dress up in the traditional folklore outfits too. I believe Galveias still has a brass band to this day which perform every so often - I remember seeing my uncle playing the trumpet when he was very young.
Discover Barragem de Maranhao
Discover Ponte de Sor
Discover Barragem de Montargil
Discover Herdade das Fontainhas