Twenty-five years ago we left London for Portugal and later on discover the Alentejo with its warm welcoming people. We decided that Marvão was the ideal place to create our project for tourism and built the CorkShacks as a tribute to the region's heritage.

Over 2000 years ago, in the region of Marvão, “choças” were the homes of the Iron Age people. You can still see some of these historic roundhouses with their granite walls and wooden rooftops covered in thatch. Some are now abandoned or in use as shelters for animals, while others have been restored.

Some years after moving to Portugal we bought a house in a local village, Barretos where we discovered the “choças". These provided the inspiration to design and construct something unique which is how the CorkShack project came about. They are a modern reconstruction of these medieval roundhouses with the addition of luxurious comforts.

Local craftsmen were used to construct the CorkShacks as well as eco-friendly materials where possible to reflect our respect and concern for the environment. Cork was chosen as the main material for the external walls, a 100% natural product which acts as an ideal thermal and acoustic insulator as well as being carbon negative. Each Shack is a decagon with a diametre of 6.5 m and has a natural thatched roof and a private deck.

CorkShack Marvão Ecolodges are located on a small "quinta" in the traditional Portuguese village of Escusa and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the Monte Roxo hills. The CorkShacks provide a tranquil and relaxing setting where the pace of life is gentle, the ideal place to recharge your batteries!

 

Over 2000 years ago, in the region of Marvão, “choças” were the homes of the Iron Age people. You can still see some of these historic roundhouses with their granite walls and wooden rooftops covered in thatch. Some are now abandoned or in use as shelters for animals, while others have been restored.

Some years after moving to Portugal we bought a house in a local village, Barretos where we discovered the “choças". These provided the inspiration to design and construct something unique which is how the CorkShack project came about. They are a modern reconstruction of these medieval roundhouses with the addition of luxurious comforts.

Local craftsmen were used to construct the CorkShacks as well as eco-friendly materials where possible to reflect our respect and concern for the environment. Cork was chosen as the main material for the external walls, a 100% natural product which acts as an ideal thermal and acoustic insulator as well as being carbon negative. Each Shack is a decagon with a diametre of 6.5 m and has a natural thatched roof and a private deck.

CorkShack Marvão Ecolodges are located on a small "quinta" in the traditional Portuguese village of Escusa and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the Monte Roxo hills. The CorkShacks provide a tranquil and relaxing setting where the pace of life is gentle, the ideal place to recharge your batteries!

 

"The main feature that makes our "choças” unique is the cork walls. We live in a region where there is an abundance of cork oak trees, the national tree of Portugal where nothing goes to waste and everything is transformed."
Dewi Jones

Our first memories of life in Portugal began with a funny story. On the journey to our new home we accidentally boarded the wrong ferry. We thought we were sailing to Santander, Spain and had prepared for the 31 hour trip, but after only 15 minutes aboard we realised that French was the predominant language. It was too late to get off even though we had clearly been let on the boat with the wrong tickets. After only 6 hours we arrived in Northern France and faced a 24 hour drive to Serra da Estrela, Portugal. It was an incredible moment. It was winter and the mountain was covered in snow, really beautiful. We were truly grateful to find a hotel with a huge open fire and a warm welcome.

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Our story and mission

Originally from Wales, we ended up in Portugal by chance when I was offered the opportunity to transfer from my London based job as a graphic designer to the Lisbon office as creative director. The position was supposed to be for 3 months, but when I was offered the position permanently my wife Clare joined me and we have never looked back.

We lived in Lisbon for a few years and later moved out to Sintra with our children. After some years we looked for a holiday home and bought a ruin in Barretos which we lovingly restored with the help of local builders. During this time we discovered the local abandoned "choças", the dwellings of Iron Age people and were inspired to develop the concept. Although we later sold this property, we were determined to return to this region one day.


The CorkShacks are unique ecolodges comfortably equipped with private deck affording fantastic views of the outstanding scenery. An ideal base from which to explore the many delights this area has to offer and what better than to end your day exploring with a swim in the 11m x 3.5m swimming pool. Just perfect for two!


The aim of our project was to combine history and tradition with sustainability and use eco-friendly materials as much as possible. Due to the abundance of cork in this region we opted to use it as the main feature of the Corkshacks. It provides an environmentally friendly solution while at the same time is excellent insulation against both the cold and the heat which is essential in this Alentejo climate. Furthermore, the swimming pool pump is solar powered and is chlorine free.

Our aim is to provide a luxurious rural experience in a tranquil environment, providing guests with the ideal opportunity to relax and unwind. We want people to experience the Alentejo lifestyle and share our story with them.

Accommodations
CorkShacks

A romantic retreat where contact with nature and the essence of the Alentejo is apparent.

The CorkShacks are unique ecolodges comfortably equipped with private deck affording fantastic views of the outstanding scenery. An ideal base from which to explore the many delights this area has to offer and what better than to end your day exploring with a swim in the 11m x 3.5m swimming pool. Just perfect for two!

Accommodation
Alto Alentejo
CorkShackMarvao Aveleira
Perfect for couples, each CorkShack is made up of a 6.5m diametre decagon with exterior walls covered in 100% cork, a natural...
from € 85.00
Accommodation
Alto Alentejo
CorkShackMarvao Castanheira
Perfect for couples, each CorkShack is made up of a 6.5m diametre decagon with exterior walls covered in 100% cork, a natural...
from € 85.00

Best for nature, better for your spirit.

"We want people to experience what our inspiring rural life is like in Portugal."
Dewi Jones
CorkShacks

Location

North

Alto Alentejo

Know the region

We’re close to the border between Portugal and Spain, in the middle of Serra de São Mamede - a natural reserve that stretches for 31000 hectares and is 1025 metres high. A beautiful area created to protect nature and preserve local traditions.

We live on a small "quinta" in the village of Escusa with fantastic views of the surrounding landscape including the hills of Monte Roxo and an abundance of olive trees. The V of the valley creates the perfect backdrop to the most spectacular sunsets.


CorkShack Marvão Ecolodges are the ideal refuge and the perfect base from which to discover all that the Alentejo region has to offer.


The hilltop town of Marvão is but a few minutes away and is the highest peak of the Serra. This picturesque town with its whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, gothic arches, Manueline windows, and the magnificent castle is the perfect place from which to see the panoramic views of the stunning landscape.

Within easy reach of our home are some of the Alentejo's most historic towns, places rich in culture and history such as the beautiful town of Castelo de Vide, a favourite of ours, Portalegre, Estremoz and Évora.

We have been made welcome by our neighbours in the village and have made friends in Marvão and Castelo de Vide. Here people are very genuine and kind and always have time, even going out for a coffee is a social event for us!

Festival de Música Internacional de Marvão (FIMM - Marvão International Music Festival) is one of the best-known events in the region. In July, it attracts people from all over the world to listen to music and attend unique concerts in special locations. A festival that honours Marvão and promotes this beautiful town to the world. Not to be missed.

First-hand news

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