Stay at São Lourenço do Barrocal and experience the rusticity and wide-open space of Portugal’s little-visited Alentejo region.
São Lourenço is a working farm – owned by the same family for 200 years – where terracotta-tiled whitewashed buildings and cobbled courtyards are set among 780 acres of gorgeous farmland, studded with olive trees, bee-filled meadows and neat rows of vines.
The owners have paid meticulous attention to detail to create a tranquil, rural idyll for families and couples seeking to get away from the trappings of modern life. Airy farm rooms, suites and cottages provide calm living spaces with a simple, pared-back aesthetic. Original wooden furniture mixes with vases of meadow flowers; and black and white photos of ancient olive trees hang above deep velvet sofas.
Every day here has a rustic simplicity – start with a breakfast of artisanal breads, homemade jams and local ham. Being a farm, the quality of food is extremely high, especially as they produce their own olive oil and excellent wine, which you can sample from the casks during on-site wine tastings.
Guests are encouraged to explore the surrounding countryside and connect with nature on walks, picnics, bike rides or on horseback. The sleek swimming pool, a tranquil place to while away a few hours, is carved around a granite bolder with a cement finish to allow it to merge beautifully into its natural surroundings. The whitewashed spa, set in a high-vaulted farm building, is the epitome of cool calm. Start with a flower-filled footbath then relax into a knot-busting massage.
For something extra special, lift off in a hot air balloon to soar above the farm and get a bird’s eye view on this ancient, peaceful landscape.