Why haul your towels and suntan lotion all the way to the beach when you can feel the sand between your toes before you’ve even left your holiday home? That’s exactly the experience guests at CasasNaAreia, Portugal, can enjoy while staying at these restored old masonry buildings one hour south of Lisbon.
The beach cottages lie in the picturesque Alentejo region, near a fishing hamlet and a 20 minute bike ride or five minute car journey to the real beach. For those who can’t wait for that soothing underfoot feeling, or prefer a more sedentary, motor-free holiday, owner João has brought in bucketfuls of fine golden sand to floor the kitchen and dining areas. João, who in his other capacity as a pilot flew his first guest in personally, went for a minimalist approach to the architectural overhaul in line with the area’s Government development restrictions.
CasasNaAreia, under the Welcome Beyond luxury accommodation umbrella, now has a more natural feel thanks to the addition of local wood and other materials to the original stone. Among the surrounding features the authorities are so keen to protect are panoramic rice paddies, a pine forest, and an estuary boasting flamingos and dolphins. A castaway idyll just a stone’s skim from a European capital city? A natural choice.