For us, a rural tourism business had to be connected to the region and the locals. That’s why we chose the crafts theme and associated each room with a specific artisan who made the décor elements. The blacksmith (he loves his room!) is from the Venda village, the potter from São Pedro do Corval, and Mizette, the weaver, is from Reguengos de Monsaraz. The basket maker is the only one who lives further, in Beja.
This is not a touristic region, but there’s lots of cool stuff to explore. You can visit Terena, that I always introduce as a small Monsaraz, the Lucefecit creek (linked to Endovelicus, a Celtic deity), the place with an old Roman temple that’s in a lovely location, Roman bridges, watermills. Two or three kilometres along the creek resemble the landscape in the North of Portugal. Then you have Juromenha, in the Alandroal county, near the border.
We’ve been here for two years and, in the meantime, I started the farming side of the business with a herd of a local breed of goats (“cabra serpentina”) and planting nopal cactus. I can assure you that you can spend two weeks in Herdade dos Mestres and find different things to do each day. You can relax by the pool, enjoy the outdoors, or explore the area.
There’s a trail on the property that goes to the dam, alongside the creek that crosses the farm. Sometimes you can observe some local species of birds and water animals.
Our story and mission
Herdade dos Mestres is a family business. Even not having roots here, my parents always took us to Alentejo for holidays. Later, I began to come alone or with friends. This is a region I always felt connected to. After years of working in the real estate industry, I decided to change my life. My parents supported me, and we decided to start this business together. It took us one year and a half to find the property we wanted.
In a way, we are also guardians of information about this ancient knowledge. We plan to create other outdoor places for other arts and crafts, specifically some occupations that don’t exist anymore like a particular carpenter (“abegão”, in Portuguese) that built ploughs and wagon wheels.
We aim to make each guest feel at home, knowing they can come to our property to unwind and relax. In addition to that, we have several activities to choose from. The personalisation of service is what defines us. Each guest is unique. Some of them return often, and we’ve become friends.
At Herdade dos Mestres everything is about relaxing and every day can be unique. At the property and surrounding towns, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to recharge and experience diverse activities during your stay, from visiting a historical village to exploring nature and Ancient History.
The power of a starry sky
To me, Herdade dos Mestres is connected to the region. Accommodation shouldn’t be thought of as something separate from an area with so much to offer. I always had an emotional relationship with Alentejo: a certain melancholy, how people lived. Furthermore, Alentejo changes a lot visually throughout the year and, to me, that’s its main attraction. Now it’s greener, then it will be flowery, later it will be golden and then brown, and then it goes back to green. In other parts, you don’t notice the change that much, but here it’s clear.
The chapel of Nossa Senhora da Boa Nova, near Juromenha, is an unusual fortified building with wonderful frescoes.
From the beginning, I tried to establish bonds with the locals. The honey, cheese, and liqueurs we have at Herdade are sourced from local producers, and so is the gin that comes from Reguengos. We’ve also partnered with some restaurants in the area, and we’re trying to partner with herb producers.
The animals we have at Herdade dos Mestres also helps us have this connection with the region. The goats (“cabras serpentinas”) and the shepherd dogs (“rafeiros alentejanos”) are of local breeds. Everything is in its early stages so the herd is still growing and the dogs are still learning their trade…