Press release ~ Caminho do Dão for regional residents.

On Saturday morning April 27th 2024, at the source of the Dão river at an 740m altitude, on the edge of the village of Barranha (Aguiar da Beira) a small group of hikers will start to descend down the Dão river. They will walk for 6 days, pass through 8 concelhos, sleep in local alojamentos, cross the river numerous times and end at 120m altitude in Santa Comba Dão where the Dão meets the Mondego at the barragem de Aguieira. The hiking experience is called the Caminho do Dão and can be done in one go or two 3 day tracks.

The Caminho do Dão was founded in 2019 by two hikers who successfully explored a trail through the river valley. Since then the route is a guided experience as it remains unmarked. To date 20 people from the region and beyond have walked the Caminho and deepened their appreciation for the river, from its small beginnings to its wide end. They have seen the changes in the landscape and felt the different micro climates as the river descends the 600m in altitude. They shared with the locals along the way and tasted the food this region has to offer.
For those who want to immerse themselves in the region named after the Dão river this multiple day experience on foot might well be the best way to do it.

The Caminho do Dão is offered at a reduced rate to people that live in the Dão region or have a strong connection to it. The goal of this offer is to make it as easy as possible for the regional population to join and experience the intimate communion with ‘their’ landscape and river which is the namesake of the region. Knowing is loving and, in the eyes of the founder of the trail Freya van Dien, the Dão river and region, as so many in the interior of Portugal, would benefit from more appreciation by locals and foreigners alike.

Participating in Jardins Efémeros – Art Festival Viseu

'O Real é Magico'

Moinhos do Dão is participating in the Viseu art festival Jardims Efémeros with an excursion to Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Maceira Dão & Moinhos do Dão - Eco Quinta.
Dates & times: 8-07 11h - 14h & 16-07 11h30 - 14h30 (both sold out)


- Guided visit to the exterior spaces of the Monastery of Santa Maria do Maceira Dão by António Tavares, archaeologist, Mangualde City Hall;
- Short walk to Moinhos do Dão
- Welcome Tea with herbs and homemade cakes
- Tour of Moinhos do Dão eco-quinta; visit along the river, from the fluvial beach to the restored mill, to the permaculture garden and to the solar and hydroelectric installation;
- Visualization of the artworks Thinking Box of Pedro Pires and ‘The Nest’ by Anne Friné.
- Gastronomy workshop «The best vegetarian hamburger»;
- Lunch buffet - 2 salads, baked potatoes, bread, hamburger toppings and natural juices (with products of proximity)

One of the stops on the tour of our quinta is Pedro Pires's art piece: "Thinking Box (Dão)"

About the piece:

Thinking box is a project created specifically for Moinhos do Dão, inspired by the Thinking Boxes of the artist Anne-Katrin Spiess. This artist has performed a series of projects with this title in different places of the United States of America. Initially they were designed for people living in large cities, as a place of escape from the outside world, or from other people. Later they were also installed in rural spaces, always with the aim of functioning as a private and personal space.
For ‘the Moinhos’, I wanted to recreate one of these Anne-Katrin Spiess Thinking Boxes, also building 4 white walls where one could isolate oneself to think. But after thinking and living the space of the Moinhos do Dão I realized that the essence of the project Moinhos do Dão, developed by Steven and Freya, is that the entire quinta is a Thinking Box by itself. The river, the houses, the trees, the vegetable garden, the mills, the chickens and their usual residents are what we need to get ourselves out of our hectic lives.
The house that had been planned with 4 opaque walls that hid its occupant, thus gave rise to a house without interior or exterior, in which the inside and the outside are confused. The "island" was the place chosen to install this sculpture inviting the public to visit a more wild part of the Moinhos terrain.
To be in the Thinking Box is to be in Moinhos do Dão.

Pedro Pires
London, July 2017.

More information about the artists who made site specify pieces at Moinhos do Dão:


Fall harvest 2016

Hi, fall harvest season here like everywhere else in the northern hemisphere!
Just felt like sharing some of this years harvest and canning highlights and hues, mainly red hues.

I’ll start off with my brightest highlight: roasting and pickling peppers. We have peppers in the garden but due to the wet and cool spring and extremely hot summer ours are behind when it comes to changing color. In other words: they are still green. For this project I deeded reds, yellows and orange colors so I went to the market at the hight of the pepper harvest and got 5 kilos of peppers in all shades and sizes. Back at home I got a fire going and figured out how to burn wood to get charcoals for a 40 min. roasting session. Even thought we have so much wood we still mostly grill on store bought charcoals…….. now that just does not make any sense! Unless you don’t know how to ‘do it with wood’. Well, now we know!

Roasted the peppers on all sides for the skin to give and to give them that nice smoky flavor. Placed the peppers in a large bowl which I covered with a lid so the peppers could sit in their own steam for a while. (at least 20 min) Pulled off the skins and removed the heads and seeds and cut the peppers in thin strips. The pickling mix I made contained balsamico, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar and water. I added sliced garlic and chili peppers to each jar and sliced ginger to some. The cans were processed using the hot water bath method.
We finished the 1st jar in 1 week. Yum!!!!
roastingpeppers2016  pickedpep

I don’t think we have ever had as many different tomato varieties as we have this year nor as many plants. I am counting 8 varieties and 24 plants from the top of my head. Luck has it that it is also the worst years for growing tomatoes so far with tomatoes developing late and leaving us with a bumper crop of green tomatoes. But, we have been eating delicious tomatoes, be it since the second week of august (late!!) and have so far canned: soup, tomato sauce and salsa. More to can soon because we want to ‘do something’ with all those green tomatoes. Thinking of making green salsa and pickling green tomatoes. We are also doing the ‘upside down tomato plant’ trick which is a way for tomatoes to ripen on the plant when plant-growing or fruit-ripening conditions stop being favorable.
Favorites this year are the medium sized orange and small yellow tomatoes. Both very juicy and sweet!

tomato-harvest-2016  upsdpwntom-2016

Back to the peppers. I have to say something about the peppers since I would not do Steven’s (head gardener this year) work justice without mentioning his/the peppers.
Maybe I should say something to the peppers since many of them are still on the plants and still need to ripen…. Dear peppers, you sparkle in our garden, spice up our dishes and brighten up our mood. It would be o so good to see you all be kissed by the sun and blush with warmth. Then we can bring your warmth into our winter and decorate our house with strings of yellow, red and orange. Just looking at you will warm our hearts. ……
Something like that.
Two peppers jump out this year: the long skinny and crunchy Jimmy Nardelo’s and Cherry Chocolate’s.

jimmynardelos2016   cherrychocolate

More to follow about the pumpkin, gourd and quince harvest…..

pumpkins2016  quince