Name: Tradicampo EcoCountry Houses
Sometimes to really get away from the pressures of modern life going somewhere totally unique is the best remedy and can leave you totally refreshed. For a wonderfully unique holiday check out São Miguel Island in the Azores where Tradicampo Eco Country Houses can be found. São Miguel Island, known as “The Green Island”, is the largest and most populated of the nine volcanic islands in the stunning, unspoilt Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The Azores are one of those places where you’ll feel a million miles away but they’re actually surprisingly accessible, you can connect in Lisbon but SATA Air Azores also offers direct flights from London Gatwick to São Miguel which only takes 3 and a half hours. They only operate on Saturdays from April to October but somehow this just makes it seem all the more exclusive.
Tradicampo Eco Country Houses are all situated in the beautiful, untouched, Nordeste district on São Miguel Island in the Azores, surrounded by a backdrop of deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Original ancestral homes have been lovingly restored to create four rustic, stone houses. The finish is luxurious and in keeping with the age of the houses they have been largely decorated with traditional furniture which sit alongside modern comforts. The gardens are a major feature at the properties, they are beautiful and provide the perfect backdrop to the breath-taking sea and mountain views from which each of the houses is fortunate enough to benefit. Sustainability is important here and the owners pride themselves on their eco credentials including: installation of solar panels, monitoring of water consumption, recycling and the use of natural toiletries.
For larger groups, the Casas Do Patio complex comprises a 4 bed manor house and a separate 2 bed annex. There is a 1,500 m2 garden plus a swimming pool and even a croquet court. Casa Da Fonte is suitable for 2 guests and also includes a covered veranda with a barbecue grill, a large fenced garden with sea and mountain view.
Casa de Talha
Casa da Talha is a beautiful one-bedroom private stone detached villa located in the village of Sao Pedro Nordestinho. The property sits on 650m2 of land which has been turned into a charming fenced garden. The villa was painstakingly restored and expanded in 2009, and although retains its rustic feel, it now includes all the modern amenities needed to make your stay a comfortable one. A double bedroom, bathroom with bath and shower, living room with a wood burning stove and kitchen/ dining room make up the internal living spaces. Outside the sun-deck includes a BBQ and a stunning covered veranda with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall which is the perfect space for cooking a delicious meal then sitting back and taking in the magnificent views and forgetting your normal life. Also provided are robes and slippers, natural toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TV, DVD player, Hi-Fi, a small library, indoor games, two bicycles and a croquet court.
The villas are very well-equipped for self-catering, the kitchen at Case de Talha includes a traditional wood-oven which is typical of the houses. A welcome basket is provided which includes a delicious selection of local produce including bread and homemade jams, milk, coffee, tea, fruit, water, butter, cheese and basic grocery items. For a real treat, a traditional meal can be prepared in your villa and cooked in the wood-oven (you can assist as much or as little as you wish!), what a great way to sample typical Azorean cuisine. For nights out a selection of restaurants can be found a 30 minute drive away in Ribeira Grande and the nearest restaurant is just 5km away; your host will happily provide recommendations.
This is an off-the-beaten-track kind of a place and it is strongly recommended that you rent a car for your visit to explore the island as while there are local buses, they are not really adapted for tourism. The villa owners can assist with car rental if required. São Miguel Island has an old world charm that really adds to the feeling that you are somewhere remote and far from your normal existence. Your hosts are fantastic at local recommendations and it’s really worth quizzing them for tips, they also partner with local companies to offer a range of activities for guests including: canoeing on stunning volcanic lakes, bicycle tours around some of the unique island trails, as well as bird watching. There are some amazing off-road vehicle tours that let you make the most of the hills, valleys and volcanos on the island and take you to some fabulous view spots too. Another way to take advantage of island life is by boat; boat tours and coastal fishing are popular with tourists, as well as whale and dolphin watching and even swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat. Of course you don’t have to be busy constantly, time seems to slow here and sitting on your sun-deck gazing at the ocean is a very good way to pass the time.
Your hosts will deliver traditional bread to you each day if you request it; it’s delicious and I’d certainly recommend that you take advantage of this!
To feel a million miles away, sometimes you don’t need to travel that far, but rather just find a little spot of paradise that is unspoilt by modern society; the beautiful Tradicampo Eco Country Houses offer exactly this.
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