Quinta do Pisão :: Cascais’ Lung
| Technical File
Open all year long
Schedule: 9.30am to 6pm
If even during the Summer you like to enjoy the fresh air from the countryside, if the sand and salty water are not your favourite scene, or if you are an unconditional admirer of nature in its purest state, then this is one place you can’t miss visiting and discovering during your next trip to Cascais.
Bring some comfy clothes and shoes and, if you like, a picnic basket. You’ll see how good it is to spend a day here, at this exemplar space, designed by mountains and valleys.
Located in the heart of Sintra-Cascais’ Natural park, Quinta do Pisão invites you on long walks, in natural outdoor living, a true lung of this municipality.
Its long trails of dirt roads can be taken either under the shade of leafy trees, or near rural bucolic views. Many times you will be guided by many different species of birds, such as the noble eagle. During the summer, a lot of trails become surrounded by meaty berries while small grasshoppers happily jump between your steps.
Quinta do Pisão is characterised by its agro-forestry-pastoral activity, representing an import landmark for Cascais municipality natural heritage – both in the structural organization of the landscape, the compartmentalisation and rational utilization of the soil and by the presence of high cultural and architectural value ruins.
Around here, ancient history is easily visible. In the Porto Covo cave, some remains were found and identified as belonging to a community from the Chalcolithic period, as well as some human burials from the Bronze Age. During the Middle Ages the Casal de Porto Covo was built in Pisão’s territory. Casal de Porto Covo is constituted by a series of manifestations such as the Our Lady of Conceição Chapel, some agricultural equipment, such as stalls, threshing floors, ovens and wells. After years abandoned, these small buildings were repaired by the Cascais Municipality and are now accessible for all visitors.
During the XIX century, Quinta do Pisão hosted chalk production. Its baking had a seasonal character and occurred only during the summer months, for not more than three batches. It was a cycle of hard work, made by people who spent the rest of the year involved in agricultural tasks.
When it comes to the richness of the natural heritage, what you may find here is equally relevant. Different landscapes, moulded by centuries of occupation, include not only a great variety of plants, corresponding to diversity in representative habitats of this area’s ecology, but also many different species of fauna, worthy of their conservation status.
Besides its wooly donkeys, Quinta do Pisão has some horses and a bunch of sheep and lambs from the “campaniça” breed that you may observe while passing by. However, the realm of animals doesn’t end here – many different species of wild animals live in harmony, in their natural habitats. If you are not a noisy visitor and you keep a close eye, you won’t have any difficulty spotting some wild rabbits, red partridges, kestrels, herons, foxes, hedgehogs… and, depending on the time of day (or night), even bats!
Quinta do Pisão has much more to offer than trails. Here, children can enjoy some amusing donkey rides, during which they cross different parts of the Quinta: the meadow, the forest, the agriculture space and the small river. An excellent opportunity for the younger to meet, live and in colour, Nature, plants, typical trees from this area as well as some animals that live in Pisão. Besides riding children, wooly donkeys also help managing these bio diverse landscapes and controlling the forest, avoiding the use of other space control tools, such as mechanical ones. This means that besides being excellent companions, Pisão donkeys are excellent gardeners that help managing the natural resources and all the ecosystems. Wooly donkeys integrate the Portuguese breed Asinina de Miranda, an endangered species, making their presence at Quinta do Pisão an important and responsible way of contributing to their preservation.
Are you amazed enough to pay us a visit? Then you should know that the things the Quinta has to offer don’t end here!
At Pisão there is also a space for selling agricultural products. Their biological and season certified products can be had by visitors directly from the ground. At this space you can even find some herbs, honey, marmalade, homemade jams and bagged firewood, whose wood comes from the forest cleaning works done at the farm. Around here the motto “nothing is lost, everything is transformed” comes to life. Products are commercialised by kilo or unit, according to the market value for biologic products. During the spring and summer, this space increases its selling period to Sundays from 9am to 1pm and every weekday from 9am to 12am (except holidays). Interesting, don’t you think?
Complementarily, to enjoy your ride and make some exercise, you have bike and Segway rentals at your disposal, through pre-booking. Finally, as a curiosity, you should know that Quinta do Pisão is found along the “farms route”, as well as the pilgrim’s path to Fátima.
Quinta do Pisão is an excellent example of how you can close a sustainable, environmental, social and economic cycle and how Cascais’ municipality occupies and cares about the life quality of its inhabitants. From citizens to environmental heritage and even animals, there are many reasons and 360 hectares of ecologic and social responsibility for you to discover.