The 'Vale das Ovelhinhas Ecological Farm' is located in central Portugal in the district of Castelo Branco.
This beautiful, forested county is cherished by rivers, streams and reservoirs, beautiful natural sights and excellent regional gastronomy. The area includes the 'Naturtejo Geopark' (UNESCO European and Global Geopark) that is a vast geomorphological, geological and paleontological heritage site.
Located 220km from Lisbon, about two hours by car, with excellent road access from the capital. It is a truly idyllic place for those who enjoy being surrounded by peace, tranquility and nature. The agricultural and forestry estate is roughly 45,000m2 in size, comprising cherry trees, olive trees, lilac, arbutus, quince trees, pine trees, cork oaks, holm oaks, peach trees and orange trees.
There are two dwelling houses, built in schist stone, fully restored using quality and natural materials, in the traditional methods. The dwellings are traditional with aspects of contemporary architecture. There is also a third dwelling (approx. 78m2) requiring restoration that can be transformed to further accommodation for as potential rental income.
THE CHAPEL HOUSE:
The large house, known as the Chapel house, has an area of about 260m2. There is a large open-plan room, ideal for events and workshops, etc. The room has some shale stone walls and others in terracotta clay; the floor is in stone and natural terracotta. It has excellent insulation - cool in summer and warm in winter, contributed by the old stone construction and consequent recent restoration. On one side there is a road that gives access to the house, on the other it borders directly with the countryside.
There is a very large kitchen, approx. 50m2, fully-equipped with ceramic hobs, exhaust fan, 2 dishwashers and refrigerator. There is a further room of 16m2 with some shale walls and others in white masonry. There is interior access to this room from the living room, but also access by schist stone staircase to the outside. There are 3 bathrooms with showers constructed from shale stone and river pebbles.
The house has a rear garden of approx. 600m2 and borders the above-mentioned agricultural property of 45,000m2.
This house has an adjoining chapel, which has been restored and befits the property entirely. Dating from 1772, the chapel is referenced in the book of 'Villa de Oleiros'. There is also a small sacristy integrated in the chapel. It can however be used for another purpose, possibly a living room or a bedroom. The chapel is about 25m2 in size and houses a wooden altar. The patron of this chapel was São João de Deus (Saint John of God), of the Order of Hospitallers. The Chapel House was remodeled using many natural principles and processes and carried out under the vision and guidance of a master in this type of construction. Apart from the shale stone already in existence, clay, wood and other natural elements were used, cement was also used in some aspects of the flooring and pavement.
This house and the chapel date originally from 1772, according to the inscription in the lintel of the chapel door. In the book 'Memories of the town of Oleiros and its county', reported by Bishop d'Angra, D. Joao Maria Pereira d'Amaral e Pimentel, published in 1881, reference is made to the existence of the Chapel of St. John of God in Vale das Ovelhinhas.
THE SCHIST HOUSE:
The schist house is smaller than the Chapel house, it is also constructed in schist stone with well-built stone walls. It is ideal for couples or small families. It has an area of about 60m2 meters and an outdoor patio with stone walls. It has a sitting room with 16m2, living room with 16m2, kitchen, toilet and outdoor patio. It also has a tank for watering the gardens in the summer.
ANIMAL SHELTERS AND FACILITIES:
The farm also has facilities for animals such as goats and sheep, chickens, horses, donkeys or mules. These facilities, approx. 150m2, are made from traditional shale stone and straw tiles.
This is a unique property, lovingly restored and surrounded by natural beauty.