Three houses in the heart of the Alentejo region to enjoy with (all) the family A group of old water mills has been transformed into a rural tourism specifically for families: a house just for meals and for get-together and another two for resting and sleeping. Relax by a stream that runs between stones, surrounded by centennial olive trees and menhirs and a beach-like swimming pool. An immense sky above. Close to Arraiolos, the authentic Alentejo. The "Casas Caiadas" (Whitewashed Houses) project is a rural tourism estate in the Arraiolos region, north of Évora, designed for hosting families of up to eight people. Casas Caiadas consists of three independent houses (plus a support house), fully restored from a core of old water mills, in the heart of an Alentejo with waterways, luscious green landscape most of the year and megalithic rocks. Casas Caiadas are an idea of Paula and Mario, a young couple that lives in Lisbon, Mario with a carrier in banking, having worked in Greece and Mexico, Paula with a carrier in marketing. Both found in this piece of Alentejo surrounded by centennial olive trees, stone walls and menhirs, the ideal place to restore small whitewashed houses of overwhelming beauty. They then found in arquitect Luís Pereira Miguel the right partner for a project that has already been acknowledged nationally and internationally: was candidate to the Vasco Vilalva Award, attributed by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; and has been published in the book “Portuguese Restored Houses” (Uzina Books, 2014). “Our target market is largely the foreign one”, says Mario Domingues, “but we are also counting on Portuguese families that are looking to spend some days in a beautiful and authentic Alentejo”. The couple’s idea is to offer all the facilities required for an unforgettable stay, keeping always in mind independence and maximum privacy of who chooses to settle into the small “village”: besides breakfast and daily cleaning, it’s as if you were alone in the world, despite the fact that the small village of Sabugueiro is located a little over a kilometer away… For families that enjoy spending some days in a very pure, very preserved, rural atmosphere, Casas Caiadas offer three houses. The largest one consists of a living room and dining room, a kitchen and a bathroom: the meeting place per excellence, very welcoming, where handicraft objects combine with great elegance with furniture and minimalist pieces of international design (see photos). In this house, besides every morning breakfasts, local dishes may be prepared at all meals by a cook – hosted families may decide, each day, if they wish for one or two meals be prepared for them, or if they prefer to prepare them themselves. The other two houses are, respectively, a suite installed in a stone house and a house with more rooms: a suite (room + bathroom) and two bedrooms with a sharing bathroom (see photos). On land with a gentle slope towards south, the beach-like swimming pool installed between an ancient waterway of the mills maintains its most natural form. The days spent at Casas Caiadas can be dedicated to birdwatching (with enthusiastic singing of the birds all year round), following waterways or taking a stroll by foot or bike (available for guests) along rural paths and over neighbor estates. For those interested in cultural and historical heritage, there are nearby towns of unique beauty and historical interest, with castles and other monuments, great restaurants, etc. When night falls, back at the estate, the sky offers a chance to contemplate the stars with visibility conditions like no other place in the south of Europe (see photo). The final part of the access to the Moinho do Barroco, the property on which the Casas Caiadas are located, is done by country road. Arraiolos is about 12 km away. Évora is a half hour drive away and Lisbon an hour.