If you have never heard of this village, São Brás do Regedouro is a small place with only 70 inhabitants in the Alentejo, which gives its name to a recent local accommodation project located in São Brás do Regedouro’s hearts.
Arriving at São Brás do Regedouro we were welcomed warmly by the locals and by Margarida and Ricardo (the owners). But not only humans welcomed us, we were also very well received by a cute puppy and two ducks that walked freely through the stream that passes directly by the properties. It was the beginning of a wonderful story in this charming hidden village!
As a tiny village, São Brás do Regedouro has a low economy and an ever diminishing population. However, this new tourism village project brings new a life to the site and is helping the local producers. All this has been possible thanks to the efforts of siblings Ricardo, Margarida, Carlos and their father, Vítor Ribeiro.
“They have already ordered fruit. They always buy my fruit for the breakfasts, which helps a lot!”, said the owner of the only cafe in the village when we went to buy water.
“Casa do Vitoriano”
All houses have names. Our house was called “Casa do Vitoriano” – the name of the previous owner. When Ribeiro's family started this project, these properties housed residents like Vitoriano and his wife. However, these people lived without basic living conditions such as electricity and bathrooms. Now the houses have been renovated to welcome tourists and the previous residents have moved into new modern homes. Furthermore, the promoters of the project have decided to keep their names on the doors, something the locals are very proud of.
However, not all houses have the names of the residents on the door, as some of them were not used for housing, such as the “posto medico” or “casa do forno”. For example, the “casa do forno”, which means the “house of the oven”, still has a large oven inside – that was once used as a community oven in the village.
On one of our walks through the village, we had the pleasure of meeting Vitoriano, who was working in his vegetable garden, where he spends all day. He is retired but continues to grow his own vegetables. “My wife tells me I can buy potatoes cheaper at the market, but I keep working the land anyway.”
São Brás do Regedouro
São Brás do Regedouro
Countryside house of your dreams!
When we got inside the house, it was like breathing fresh air. The house was very well decorated, with artist’s artworks that make some pieces look gorgeous such as the wardrobe.
Although traces of the house's antiquity have been preserved, such as the stones on the walls or the oven of the “casa do forno”, the owners have made it very comfortable and homely to receive guests. “We wanted to recreate the village experience while maintaining the comfort people are used to”, they told The Portugal News.
With 15 houses spread throughout the village, the properties have a traditional Alentejo façade and are fully integrated into the space. There are one-bedrooms, two-bedroom houses and studios - all well fitted with everything we need.
However, the best is already to come. Casa do Vitoriano has a lovely patio – perfect for a good read or having a Portuguese wine in the evening. It's almost hard to put into words how wonderful we felt there. With such a cosy outdoor space, you won't want to leave, especially because in the Alentejo even on winter days the sun shines.
What to visit in São Brás do Regedouro?
São Brás do Regedouro has a lot to enjoy. You can stay for a walk, meet the locals who will do their best to chat with you, or relish the beautiful pool which has all the amenities as well as music all day.
In addition, São Brás do Regedouro has two small museums (Cabanas de Memória) where you can enter for free and find a lot of information about the population of the Neolithic period that lived there before and that left traces that can be seen in some of the tourist attractions. If you fancy that, just check the São Brás do Regedouro App (where you’ll find several touristic points) and get on the road. By car or by bike, it's hard not to fall in love.
In addition to all the points that you can find out in the surroundings of the village, São Brás do Regedouro is 20 km from Évora, which is a beautiful city to discover full of history and romance. In fact, Évora has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many monuments, museums and ruins to visit, of which I really suggest the famous Roman Temple of Évora.
Where to eat?
For breakfast you have nothing to worry about. Every morning Margarida and Ricardo knocked on the door (at a time that suits you best) with a breakfast basket. The breakfast seemed like a brunch. It was a very pleasant surprise to be taking the food out of the basket and discovering what was inside. In addition, it was one of the best breakfasts we've ever had - not only for the delicious food, but because of how it touched our hearts. It was all prepared and delivered with love.
For lunch or dinner, Margarida and Ricardo will give you some insights of traditional food restaurants in the next village called Alcálçovas, which only takes 10 minutes by car. You can also have lunch and dinner in Évora. Also, eating at home is always an option as all kitchens are fitted with literally everything you might need.
Indeed, Margarida and Ricardo, the owners, are always very helpful, nice and passionate about this village like it was their own homeland – you can see it by the genuine way they talk about the people and how they really want to help the community.
All in all, it was an immersive experience that we are looking forward to repeat soon!
We have been going to Alentejo for 30 years and find it truly beautiful.lovely article.
By Dee Goodwin from UK on 16 Feb 2022, 12:56
With 15 houses up for rent, how traditional can it really be? The reality of a small village is the vision of the absolute poverty some Portuguese endure!
By Ian from Lisbon on 17 Feb 2022, 07:31