When to go?
Ever. But, in our opinion, in the early autumn days, when there is sun and it is not too cold, but there is already that little chill that allows a cardigan with a glass of wine to enjoy the view and, who knows, already a fireplace ... are the ideals!
How to go?
By car. By road, coming from Lisbon, it is just over an hour away and costs you around 10 € in tolls.
Where to stay?
We chose the Hotel Segredos do Vale Manso. It is 10 minutes from the center, right in front of the river. The decor is classic and traditional, the views are great, the breakfast is quite good and the friendliness and service are fantastic. In all rooms there is a view of the river and our room was quite spacious. We recommend a glass of wine on the balcony at sunset.
All care is respected and we feel very safe and calm. The hotel has a number of facilities and it was there that we spent Vicente's birthday and where he was pampered by everyone. Thank you!
Where to eat?
We recommend the restaurant at the Hotel Segredos do Vala Manso, where we stayed, and also the terrace Pezinhos no Rio. Simple space, affordable and where you eat well. As the name says, right in front of the river.
What to visit?
In addition to walking along the riverside, not to be missed are visits to the Tropical Butterfly (and the garden and park where it is located). The kids paid € 1.50 and us € 2.5. Prior booking is required and we must arrive 15 minutes before the time of the visit. Here, masks are also necessary for children, given the special characteristics of the space.
We enter a closed space, with controlled temperature and humidity (tropical), where butterflies fly freely and even interact with us. We saw a series of butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalis (which we learned to be the cocoons of the daytime butterflies, we just call cocoons to the night butterflies). We learned that the life span of butterflies is very short and we watched them feed on the nectar of flowers. We also experience the unpleasant odor emitted by caterpillars when they feel threatened.
At a distance of 10 minutes from the center of Constância, we find the Centro de Ciência Viva. We paid 5 € for the family ticket and it was a very well spent morning, although many of the activities are conditioned by the measures adopted in this pandemic period, such as, for example, the planetarium space is closed, instead of the viewing being done at the dome, we see in a amphitheater (which makes a lot of difference), we cannot get on the jet or experience the flight training swivel chair.
But there is a lot to see and the visit is well worth it. We have learned a lot and the visit is adapted to the age of the visitors. The kids loved getting to know the planets, learning more about the "vain" Saturn, experimenting with the ball that flies with the dryer, watching the jet and spinning on chairs that simulate the movements of rotation and translation. We also love to know more.
It is a tip that we can book in advance to, on a Saturday night, observe the stars with telescopes.