Weekend cabin retreat: Casas Na Areia in Portugal

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Seeking a peaceful escape that’s both eco and modern? Look no further than Casas na Areia, a stunning place to sit back and relax, situated on the coast of Portugal near Comporta, about an hour south of Lisbon. Casas Na Areia is a collection of four thatched, sandy-floored huts nestled inside a privately owned 12,000-hectare wildlife sanctuary of Sado River in Comporta. The land used to belong to fishermen and rice farmers, where the houses were built with straw and wood back and the floors were compacted earth. The compound was purchased by a Portuguese businessman named Joao Miguel Rodriguez, who brought in architect Aires Mateus to design a renovation that stayed true to the original feeling and design while bringing features like doors, windows, and plumbing up to modern standards. He then added two more huts for a total of four, with sleeping for eight.

According to the architect, “The sand transported to the interior becomes the unifying element between internal and external worlds, making us believe we live in an extension of the natural environment. This particularity transforms the space scale and living in these houses becomes more poetic and comfortable. This project, materialized in a sequence of volumes with a minimalism and apparent weakness revealed by traditional construction that camouflages modern technology, leaves us the feeling that there is something more beyond the simplicity of things.”

The property rents for $645 USD a night in the low season, minimum three nights, and $774 USD, minimum seven nights, in the high season, from here.

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When you stay at Casas Na Areia, you are living in an extension of the natural environment, especially when gathered in the communal kitchen/dining/hangout hut — the white-walled bedroom units are indeed luxurious, with concrete floors and gleaming interiors that mirror the brilliant white of the Comporta sand, but everything else suggests a seamlessness where the roof over your head is just that, a roof and nothing more.

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Photos: Courtesy of Casas na Areia

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