The original farmhouse has two beautiful communal areas with vaulted ceilings in the Alentejan tradition; here you can relax with a drink or hold more intimate discussion sessions.
A spacious hall seating over 100 people provides a flexible space for talks, dining or concerts. Two lecture /seminar rooms are equipped with blackboard, overhead and slide projectors. There is a science library with sections on local flora and fauna and the analysis of ecological data. Part of the old house (the winery) has been converted into a dedicated laboratory and is available for visiting scientists. A large terrace room is also ideal as a dining or meeting room. There is a large outdoor tiled games board where you can enjoy a game of giant chess or draughts or you can challenge each other to a game of table tennis, badminton or table soccer.
Ecology within the Quinta
The real strength of the Quinta lies in the wealth of natural resources on site or nearby. Students of botany, zoology and geography will appreciate the Centre is located in a zone between the Atlantic climate of NW Europe and the Mediterranean climate to the South. That, and other influences (such as the River Tagus) result in an exceptional diversity of habitats.
The walled Quinta estate covers over 10 acres (4 hectares) and includes various soil types (clay, loam, coarse sand and gravel) supporting areas of macchia and garrigue, pine, eucalyptus and acacia groves, as well as dry and marshy meadows. Flowering annuals and perennials attract a rich diversity of insects, which in turn support reptiles, birds and small mammals.
Nearby are extensive sand dunes, and mature and regenerating pine forests, all in protected parks. Within an hour's drive is the Serra da Arrábida - a mountainous region of climax macchia. Close by is the fossil reef at Costa da Caparica - an escarpment packed with fish and invertebrate fossils. Students of human geography may be interested in the impact of tourism on this coastline.
The Quinta offers you the facilities and accommodation, but you must bring your own teaching staff or group leaders.
Letters of recommendation
For more detailed information of what you can do here with your group, please feel free to read some of our short letters of recommendation from the Universities:
What should we bring for Biology Field Courses?
Students in the dormitories need to bring a sleeping bag and a towel. Additionally you can rent sleeping bags from the Quinta.
We suggest you pack a mixture of warm and light clothing, sensible footwear and a waterproof jacket.
Anyone planning to spend time on the beach should bring an extra towel.
Equipment Available at the Quinta for study trips:
8 binocular microscopes and lamps
1 dark field microscope
1 drying ovens
2 heated pads
Numerous British to European international adaptors
2 'butterfly' nets and mosquito netting for catching insects when tree beating
1 moth trap
1 precision balance
50m and 20m tapes
Some Longworth traps
Numerous plastic aquaria and plastic containers large and small with mesh lids
Some universities drive a van to the Quinta each year but this is not necessary. Other groups parcel out equipment to students prior to departure, they then pack the items with their belongings.
If you require chemicals, ask us, if we can get them for you. We do have links with the nearby university. Otherwise you must bring them with you, in which case safety may be an issue (both for your safety officers and airlines).
Checklist of items you may need to bring:
(example list provided by Nottingham University Genetics Department)
Transparencies for OHP
A4 and Graph paper
Marker pens (assorted colours)
Parcel string and garden twine
Sellotape and masking tape
Petri dishes (large and regular sizes)
Sandwich boxes and lids
Small and medium plastic bags
Small and large black bags
White and coloured chalk
Computer software manuals and application discs
Local road maps
Lecture notes and overheads
Photographs of students
Folders, notebooks, mark sheets