Venda do Duque
While escaping is certainly not easy, finding the perfect refuge often seems like impossible until you set foot at Venda do Duque.
Only an hour and half's drive from Lisbon, Venda do Duque isn't simply rural tourism, but rural Alentejo itself. Its essence is captured within the fabric of several houses that have been carefully refurbished with the care of someone protecting their great grandparents memory. A family tradition handed down over 5 generations.
The refurbishment is authentic- white-washed houses charm and shelter stories to be shared in the central courtyard they embrace. What was once a grocery, a bakery and barbershop is today the perfect retreat to rest body and mind. The courtyard, once upon a time a busy place for day-to-day chores now transformed into a tranquil space. The swimming pool, framed perfectly by the landscape seems to always sat there.
The small decommissioned train station adjacent to the houses reinforces the idea that time has stopped to preserve peace and tranquillity for guests at
Venda do Duque.
After immersing yourself in this earthy-toned landscape you'll certainly struggle to be brought back down to earth. But is this not the true meaning of rural tourism?
Historical references toVenda do Duque are recurrent, during the 19th Century it was one of the stops of "Mala-Posta" or "Real Deligência". This was a transportation system for goods and people that linked Montijo – Badajoz, a journey of 36 hours made by horse carriage. In 1873the Venda do Duque train station opened, being later called estação do Vimieiro.
Our family first aquiered the properties in 1919. Although a small site, at that time it was a vibrant village due to different factors: the activity from train station, local shops, agricultural work such as wheat crop and the opening of a school in the 40’s.
With the closure of the station, school and shops in the 70’s the small village lost its dynamic life.
In 2014 our family decided to start a careful refurbishment plan, in keeping with the local and traditional architecture and maintaining the character of the property. Finally in 2016 Venda do Duque becomes something totally different from its past – rural tourism.