Located in a historic town and vibrant agricultural center of the Algarve, Community Culture Retreat is a 100-acre organic farm that produces figs, olives, apricots, oranges, pine, cork, and carob with an emphasis on green garden production. Formerly the ruins of an agricultural settlement, the farm’s urban core was restored by architect Pedro Ressano Garcia to reflect the Community Culture concept. Designed around two courtyards from previous construction, the site integrates agricultural scenery and pathways, updated with a focus on hospitality and gastronomy.
The architecture, both exterior and interior, invites contemplation and uses repurposed spaces and pre-existing materials to reflect new ways of inhabiting the contemporary world. The result is a formal and conceptual nod to the aesthetics and ethics of the ‘arte povera’ movement.
Community Culture Retreat has four bedrooms, four suites, and four apartments. The latter have kitchenettes and their own outdoor areas – the bungalow sleeps up to four guests, while the three two-story apartments sleep up to six guests.
An ancient olive press area has been transformed into a library and hall for seminars, concerts and workshops. With no television, the house provides a reprieve from the outside world, but still offers an internet connection and technology for image projection and sound.
The newly designed Hamam is modeled after traditional Roman baths and is a relaxing respite offering a variety of spa and massage treatments and all natural regional aromatherapy products. You can find homegrown products and a selection of interesting items from different regions of Portugal at the on site store. Relax by the outdoor pool, participate in one of several annual harvests, or hike a vast network of nearby trails. There are also workshops offered on topics ranging from Wild Food to Bird Watching.
Completely catered from the on site restaurant including daily breakfast from 9am – 12pm featuring organic seasonal produce.. Partially unplugged, there is wifi in common areas plus use of a laptop if needed and image projection and audio systems. Library with books and videos. Daily housekeeping, personal care products and robes. Meeting room and wine cellar. Bicycle rentals through reception.
Just under a mile away from the coast, and close to Guadiana river and the hills, Castro Marim dates back thousands of years and remains a quiet town typical of the Algarve region. The salt marshes and protected reserve lies between Castro Marim, Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António at the mouth of the river, and is home to over 150 species of birds. On the Monte Gordo side of Praia Verde is the modern resort of Altura, a long stretch of beach that runs from Manta Rota to Vila Real. Head north and the landscape changes into green hillsides where you’ll find the sleepy town of Foz de Odeleite.
Castro Marim, Portugal. Nearest Airport: Faro International Airport (40 min)
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring through Fall
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