15 November 2013

A View of Colares, Portugal

Someone asked me recently to give them a 'feel' for where I go shopping and have coffee, so yesterday we went out and took some photos to show you why we love Colares so much.  It was a lovely day - this time of year (November) you can usually guarantee some beautifully sunny days although the temperature does drop in the evenings.  You can still sit outside cafes and watch the world go by if you wish.

It takes about five minutes to drive down to Colares and as you turn the corner, after the Cooperativa Agricola de Colares - where you can get everything from animal feed and equipment for agriculture to wine and pet food, past the Estalagem de Colares and the little butcher on the left hand corner, the road straightens up and we have our local Pharmacy and Post Office.

Estalagem de Colares - a lovely spot for lunch or dinner and, should you wish, as a base for exploring the area

The Pharmacy which also sells beauty products, does various medical tests and is much appreciated in the area.

Our Post Office which is now run slightly differently and offers help with things IT.

Spacious free cark parking for the Pharmacy and Post Office opposite.

A little further along you come to the Bombeiros - our fabulous fire station which has, at the rear, a heated swimming pool which is very impressive and very warm!

Although shown closed, at weekends the shutters go up and the barbeque is lit and you can buy wonderful barbequed chickens, pao com chourico and other goodies as shown on the sign below.

Next we come to the first of our two petrol stations.  Both play an important role as the next one is in Sintra.  No self service here - all done the old fashioned way.

Around the next corner we find The Salvation Army Home.  This place has lovely gardens and a little shop.

The main building

A shot of the garden and chapel

Need a woodburner installing?  Then you have this place on hand to advise and install for you.

Next is our second petrol station opposite Riberinha de Colares - a super little restaurant (on the first floor) and cosy cafe downstairs - and our local GNR headquarters with the Council Offices upstairs.

The restaurant/cafe Riberinha de Colares

GNR/Council Offices above

The second petrol station (BP) which we use as they are so nice and helpful. 

We have now reached the T junction where if you turn right you can go to Praia das Macas and Azenhas do Mar - and also where the Council have just revamped the little square where the bands play in the summer.

The newly refurbished square with the first of our banks (Banco Espirito Santo) is opposite

A recent addition to the square showing who is is named after

Opposite the junction is the wonderful Paper Shop where the two ladies have an impressive array of magazines and newspapers in various languages as well as taking care of the lottery, bus tickets and much, much more for the local community.

So, not taking the road to Praia das Macas quite yet, we continue along past the Paper Shop and on the same side of the road we have a taxi rank, public loos, another cafe, a gift shop - Pau de Canela - you can always find a good present in here - and then an excellent estate agency.

Nice view from the car parking area

Public loos are in most villages and are usually of a high standard of cleanliness

Cafetaria O Moinho Cafe - also sells bread along with a good selection of cakes

Pau de Canela Gift Shop - lots of lovely stuff and a lovely lady who is always helpful with Zurich Insurance above.

Riberinha Imobilaria - great estate agent - some wonderful properties available here

Looking back towards the T junction

The T junction 

A view of the river which is rather low at the moment but will soon fill up with the winter rains.  Here the ducks get their daily bread from children and adults alike.

A view to the hills of Sintra

At the side of the river here is a lovely cafe that does wonderful pastries, flans and cakes and in the summer is a lovely spot to sit and watch the world and the river go by.  

Cantinho da Varzea Cafe 

On the same side as the cafe we then have our second bank (Caixa de Geral de Depositos) and another estate agent (Remax) and then on the other side of the road, my greengrocer/grocer run by the wonderful Manuel and Fernanda. I spend a lot of time in here as they stock all that I need and I love to have a coffee at the tiny bar and listen to the local chat and watch the serious business of choosing bread - Janas or Assafora.  Everyone has their favourite.

The wonderful 'Poms' as we call it.

Back across the road and nearly opposite is a small children's playground - not unknown to see the odd adult playing on the swings!

The playground

Opposite the playground we have our electric charging posts for electric cars.

Just ahead now is where the tram comes out in Colares before it starts heading towards Praia das Macas.  We also have the Adega Regional de Colares.  A fabulous building and open to the public.  The size of the barrels is breathtaking.

Note the tram track cutting across the junction.

A fantastic view of the barrels of the wonderful Colares wine

Opposite the Adega is the local Health Centre - not ours unfortunately as we miss the limit by yards - I kid you not.  We also have another bank - Montepio and down the side of that is a Builder's Merchants who have been extremely helpful to us.

Colares Health Centre

Montepio Bank with entrance to Builder's Merchant's on the right

Very sadly the superb local Drogaria where we have bought so much in the way of DIY stuff, closed its doors a couple of months back due to the owner's ill health.  We really miss it.

Back across the road and just after the main entrance to Adega Regional de Colares, we have another bank, Millenium BCP.

Millenium BCP Bank

The bank is on the corner of the road which leads up to the village of Mucifal.

And also on the opposite corner is our final bank, BPI which we belong to. They are so helpful in here as have all the BPI branches we have dealt with. To the left of the bank is an insurance agent and the pink building on the far left just in the shot, is the second butcher of the village.  On the right of the bank is a nice little cafe, a Chinese shop (there is another one round the other corner) and bit further along is an area which has some small shops opening in a patio.  Also another restaurant - Central - on the same side.

Instead of turning right here, if you look up the road to Praia das Macas, on your left hand side you will see this wonderful building.

Caves de Visconte de Salreu

Close up of the front

This fabulous place is usually open for exhibitions and food tastings at various times of the year and the photographs of times past, are truly fascinating.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick look around Colares and if you are visiting Sintra, grab the tram and come and have a look round.

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