CASA MODESTA OLHAO
When I arrive at Casa Modesta Carlos, one of the owners of Casa Modesta, is welcoming me. He tells me the story of his grandparents who build their life around this place. Grandfather worked as a fisherman while grandmother was taking care of the food and the house. They got kids, Carlos was even born in this place and so were his sister (an architect who worked at the studio of Manuel Aires Mateus, the designer behind Cabanas no Rio and Casas na Areia among others) and his brother (a physiotherapist). When their grandfather passed away they decided to keep the house and rebuild it completely in order to receive guests who love to the historical aspect of this place and the nature surrounding it.
Pancakes for breakfast
Casa Modesta consists out of two buildings. First I see the building where they do the workshops – learning how to cook Portuguese dishes for example. I still see the original fireplace and they have made an altar for Christmas. There’s a massage room and a very impressive wine cellar. There are rooms in this part of the house as well. The other house is more spacious and you’ll find the communal areas here: a dining room, a check-in/living room, a kitchen and a bedroom. I was invited for breakfast and everything is homemade and the ingredients come straight out of their vegetable garden or are at least locally produced. The pancakes are amazing, the tea very refreshing and the cake, baked by the mother of Carlos, is delicious. The rooms (9 in total) have a serene atmosphere and all have an outside space – some with a hammock. They’ve used a lot of local products in the interior: such as bricks, cork and curtains made of fishnets.
One of the Seven Wonders of Portugal
The people who stay here like the quietness of the place. There’s a garden where you can read, take a swim or just snooze a bit in the hammock, but there’s a lot to explore in the area surrounding the property. Almost directly next to Casa Modesta the Natural Park of Ria Formosa starts, one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and a birdwatching paradise. I saw a baby stork and a lot of flamingos. The park goes all away to the boarder with Spain so you can walk, bike or explore for hours. Then there are islands off the coast which are also worth visiting – if only for the oysters you can find there. But the beach is also very quiet as you can only arrive here with a private boat. Perfect if you want to escape the tourists of the Algarve.
Check out: casamodesta.pt