Exploring Vallehermoso in La Gomera

It's March. It's cold. Hanne, my partner in crime, suggests we go to explore a warm place. I personally wouldn't mind going to Lofoten again, so I figure - why not combine both? And thus, many hours are spent googling for places that include mountains and beach in the same search query. Guess what - the only result you get is still Lofoten. 

Lastly a friend suggests Tenerife, and being shy and kind of misanthropic, I decide to check out a nearby island called La Gomera instead. I am hoping to avoid tourists and populated areas, so I can get landscape photography done in peace and solitude.

 

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Exploring Portugal - Sintra

Step 1: Love ocean. Step 2: Look at map. Step 3: notice big blue area. Step 4: Zoom in and find Portugal.

Well it wasn't as simple as that, but if I had to write a plot synopsis for it in case it was a Netflix tv-series, that is how it might have looked like. Truth is I spent about a week searching google for "calm remote places in Europe" and followed the Atlantic shore line from France to Portugal looking for not-too populated areas. Lastly searching for Portugal on 500px revealed some fantastic, seemingly wild beach scenery that farther convinced me to focus on this area. In the end it was an article on Lonely Planet about Sintra and one specific hotel that finalized my search: Quinta da Faianca. I don't think you can summarize this spot as a "hotel" as it is rather a place of its own, something so much more than just a place to sleep. Living there is like entering a sacred grounds deep inside a forest. It is perfect for photographers and trekkers as it connects to a bunch of paths scattered across the shore towards the Atlantic, and in the opposite direction towards Sintra and its woodlands. It is also the perfect place if you don't have a car, as many of the wild beaches are within walking distance, and if you have good shoes and don't mind using your legs for a few hours - you can easily walk to Sintra. I would like to give a big shout out to two dogs who lived in Quinta da Faianca who followed us everywhere we went. I know you guys probably can't read, but you have a special place in my heart and I can't wait to see you again!

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Ramunas Kazakauskas