For those who live or are staying in Lisbon and dream of a day spent in the countryside, Arruda dos Vinhos is a good choice, as it is not far away and offers the typical scenery of the region lying West of the Portuguese capital: small hills, vineyards and valleys, coupled with tiny villages of white-washed houses and a series of memorable and picturesque windmills.
Arruda dos Vinhos has an ancient origin, having been dominated by the Arabs and conquered by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques, in 1160.
Its well-known wines, which have received several prizes, also bear an ancient history and owe their quality to the nature of the soil and the way the slopes of vineyards are exposed to the sun.
In the town, the Mother Church and the Baroque water fountain are worth seeing.
But the truth is that most people visit Arruda dos Vinhos for the pleasures of an excelent meal. The fine wines accompany gastronomical specialities such as a baked cod or an enormous grilled cutlet, cooked in a home-made way and served in enormous portions.
It is not strange that this quiet little town is invaded on weekends, as the Portuguese are extremely fond of eating well at reasonable prices.
In August, the popular feasts of Nossa Senhora da Salvação
feature a religious procession and bull-running through the streets.