Casas Caiadas — Arraiolos, Portugal
A group of old water mills have been transformed into a trio of whitewashed cottages in the heart of the Alentejo. The project of Paula and Mario, a young couple from Lisbon who abandoned a world of banking for rural tourism, the property is designed to host up to eight people in two of the houses, while a third one comprises a shared living room and kitchen area. The uncluttered décor sees flagstone floors adding narrative to a series of handmade wooden and cork objects and minimalist creations by furniture designer João Bruno Videira. Located 30 miles north of the city of Évora, close to Arraiolos, a town renowned for its handmade carpets, the property – which feels blissfully remote – is accessible via a two kilometer dusty dirt track, through a cork forest, along a gurgling stream that winds its way between ancient standing stones and Neolithic menhirs. Surrounded by centennial olive trees, a beach-like swimming pool reflects the azure sky above, while daily cleaning, a smorgasbord of hams and cheese and meals prepared by an onsite cook, will ensure guests will never want to leave.