When Pedro Franca Pinto found out he was going to be a father, his long-cherished dream came true. He got off the hamster wheel of his everyday life in Lisbon and started a new sustainable life that could be a good example for his children and the generations to come.
Craveiral Farmhouse opened in 2018. It is geared to sustainable agriculture in connection with gastronomy and hotel and integrates the communication of regional culture and lifestyle. The area in which Craveiral is located offers many opportunities for activities for the whole family. The terrain of the farm itself, with the various pools and paths and animal enclosures, is beautifully varied, the cottages are equipped with all the necessary comfort, guests are allowed to bring their own animals and pet and feed the animals on the farm. Vegetables, fruit and herbs for self-preparation in the well-equipped kitchens of the apartments can be harvested directly from the farm garden.
And the nearby coast is partly almost untouched. Even in the high season there are still fairly empty beaches here.
ArchitectureThe houses in Craveiral Farmhouse are architecturally planned in such a way that energy consumption can be avoided by as much natural light as possible. The interior consists largely of local products and sustainable cork. Soil sealing was avoided as far as possible on the site.
FoodThe farm produces its own kombucha drinks, beer, muesli, bread, jams and many other products, and of course there are home-grown vegetables and herbs. Only organic food is processed in the farm restaurant, a lot of it from their own gardens and otherwise from the direct region, such as meat or fish, which is always delivered fresh directly from the Atlantic by the local fisherman. Guests receive recipe suggestions at reception for using the vegetables and fruits that they can harvest themselves from the farm garden.
The Craveiral Farmhouse employs a few people with disabilities and donates 1 euro from every pizza sold to the organization VilaCom Vida, which supports young people with Down Syndrome, Asperger's and autism. The operators also support the local football club and various other charity projects every year. Craveiral also supports artists from all over the world with their own project “Blank Residency”. There are two meetings per year with up to 6 artists, each of whom can devote one month to their work in Craveiral.
EnvironmentFirst, 1,550 trees were replanted. All trees are regional varieties adapted to the climate and local fauna. Many are fruit trees, the fruit of which is now available in the restaurant or for guests to pick themselves. Otherwise, the warm water here is largely heated by the sun. Water in general is collected, cleaned and reused as irrigation water. The operators drive an electric car. There is also a charging station at the parking lot. Waste is avoided where possible and otherwise naturally separated and recycled. All food leftovers are either fed to the animals or composted. On the farm's premises there is a special animal protection project with nests for bats, snakes and various bird species. The farmhouse has been on the way to being managed more and more sustainably since 2018.
Well-BeingCraveiral Farmhouse offers three beautiful outdoor pools and an indoor pool for swimming and splashing around. There are also various saunas and a whirlpool that can be used at any time. Yoga classes, which take place twice a week, are also included in the stay. Massages can be organized on request.
A close shot from the seaside village of Zambujeira do Mar where the Portuguese landscape transforms into bucolic Alentejo countryside, Craveiral Farmhouse is a eco-forward quinta with a cultural heart. From its inception, former Lisbon lawyer Pedro Franca Pinto has championed artisanship with a dedication to rustic minimalism and programming that supports the arts through the lens of sustainability. Underway this month, the property is partnering with the nomadic organization BLANK100 to host an artist residency.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Pinto’s “sustainable quinta” has taken shape impressively since Craveiral opened in 2018. Winding wooden walkways link the 22-acre property’s various sectors: the hamlet-like groups of low-slung white houses, the spa, the main building with a reception area, bar and restaurant, and the Centro de Interpretaçao da Natureza. This woodland pavilion, designed by young Portuguese architects Pedro Vladimiro Rodrigues and Emanuel Cecilio, was the site of a residency during lockdown by the jazz-funk group Bizu Coolective — music and visual art being part of the project’s cultural dimension.
Farmhouse living has never been so photogenic as at Craveiral, in the southern Alentejo, a collection of 38 understated villas mirroring the region’s rural architecture. Owner’s House is the largest and has a cork bath and a small library. Breakfast is included at the farm-to-table restaurants, and all properties have kitchenettes, but the two-bedroom house is best set up for self-catering. Guests can pick fruit and vegetables from the grounds and enjoy the countryside views from the main pool.
Eight years in the making, this project—a self-sustaining quinta set in the dusty hills of Odemira in the Alentejo—has finally come to fruition. The founders became fixated with the idea of communal living; of forging a place where families could get up close to nature and experience the workings of a modern-day farm—and their rambling, village-like set-up offers exactly that.
Fotos: Ricardo Catarro
It takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Lisbon to São Teotónio (221 km). It takes about 5 hours (495 km) from Porto and about 1.5 hours (110 km) from Faro. The exact address can be found on the website.
There is the option of taking the train to Sabóia-Santa Clara and taking a taxi from there or requesting a pick-up service. The journey takes about half an hour by car (28 km). Having your own car is recommended for exploring the surrounding area.
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