Travel inspiration: Herdade da Matinha is a luxury hideaway just off the beaten track
Discovering what feels like the ultimate luxury hideaway along a rough and sandy track, Leonie Corcoran visits Herdade da Matinha in Portugal and it's safe to say she wasn't disappointed.
Driving along on rough and sandy tracks to “discover” what feels like the ultimate luxury hideaway is all part of the experience in southwest Alentejo. The Vicentina Natural Park stretches for 100km, from Porto Covo to Burgau in the Algarve, which means the region is home to the finest preserved stretch of coastline in Europe. It also means there is no beachside accommodation, so boutique offerings are found hidden in valleys and down bumpy trails.
It was down such a trail that Alfredo and Mónica Moreira da Silva stumbled upon a derelict farmhouse in the 1990s. They tracked down the owner, convinced him to sell, set about restoring it and opened to guests despite still having no electricity.
Today, Herdade da Matinha has 35 bedrooms across several buildings – the restored “old house” with its red tile roof and blue shutters; the modern surf lodge, which is open to canine guests; the family barn with large-format rooms and a shared lobby; and the Rose Club, an adults-only space with its own swimming pool (there is a second pool).
The original building is now a series of welcoming lounges and libraries, decorated with incredible artworks by Alfredo. If you can drag yourself away, trek or ride a section of the Rota Vicentina, a network of the most beautiful hiking trails in Portugal.
A couple hours walking through cork, pine and eucalyptus forest will bring you to the beaches of Aivados or Malhão, perfect for relaxing before turning for home, which is just what Matinha feels like.
Rooms from €123 (to €478) per night.
This article originally appeared in the Spring issue of IMAGE Magazine.