Settled in the depths of an abundant triangle, Casa da Volta sits at the intersection between the sleepy village of Grandola, the hum of nearby Comporta, and Melides, a rural place where a community of creatives, have quietly settled into an alternative groove behind the dunes of the coast, amongst the undulating rhythm of cork forests and traditional Portuguese villages.
Drive 40 minutes North of Casa da Volta and you will find the village of Comporta, flanked by the dramatic beaches of Carvalhal, Comporta, Aberta-Nova, and many wild, deserted spots to explore in between. The Comporta beach area is a vast and single, continuous sand line that goes on for more than 40 kilometers from the tip of Troia to southern Sines. Here is a rustic, fuss-free way of life.
Besides the quaint, barefoot yet elegant beach-shack vibe of Comporta village filled with quirky shops, must-go restaurants and lazy beach clubs, the surrounding natural landscape is a magical place. Salty vineyards are bordered by rice paddies, great, stripey fields farmed for centuries which stretch all the way down the coast, sheltered from Atlantic breezes by sandy dunes. Paddies merge into heavy dunes dotted with pine trees, every step edging closer to the ocean. Exploding with wildlife all year round, it’s the perfect spot for those who also love nature or outdoor activities like sailing, surfing, fishing, cycling, or birdwatching.
To the West of Casa da Volta, Melides. A place filled with the scent of sand, eucalyptus, and pine paired with that familiar fragrance that comes at the end of a hot summer day or that after an autumn rain shower, the air filled with the sweet smell of the earth rising. With its white-cobbled central square, the town itself is dotted with secret spots to find local Portuguese pottery and objects, organic vegetables, and lazy cafes.
Out of town, creative communities play host to their own architecturally designed secret homes, artist residencies and art installations, exhibitions worth visiting during your stay. Sitting at the edge of where the Alentejo’s rolling countryside meet its sandy plains, the constant in Melides is the ocean, a smudge of inky blue on the horizon. Here, local life revolves around the land and sea, harvesting olives, catching fish, and planting in the sandy soil…so embrace a slower life and set your watch to Melides time.
While Grândola is geographically close to Comporta’s beach bars and elegant boutiques, it has an altogether different feel and energy. Laidback and located in a raw and rugged landscape, the village itself has been in existence for more than 500 years. Here, everything happens at its own pace and people still operate the way they would have done a hundred years ago.
Take Casa da Volta’s Discovery 4×4 and rattle along gravel and dirt roads that run over hills studded with cork trees, many exhibiting freshly peeled bark, bright as Portugal’s succulent oranges. Grandola will leave you feeling transported to another time; passing small farms with neat vegetable gardens, alpaca farms, and fields filled with coiling green vines. On your adventures by wheel, by foot, by bicycle or on horseback, soak in the daytime air which is clean and sharp, before returning to the house with a glass of local wine. Here, at night, with virtually no light pollution we embrace a canopy of stars, an infinite mass in the dark sky…