The Bread-Oven Cottage


Farm stay hosted by Miranda

4 guests, 1 bedroom, 2 beds, 1 bathroom
Entire home
You’ll have the accommodation on the farm to yourself.
Enhanced Clean
This host committed to Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the lockbox.
Miranda is a Superhost
Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
Perched on a hill on a quinta once owned by Dominican monks, the cottage is a tranquil base for exploring the Alentejo countryside, convenient for many delightful day-trip destinations (see "The Neighborhood"). Closer to home, relax by the pool, stroll in the 15-hectare olive grove or along the lovely quiet road to Varche, grill on the patio, or wander around the lovely World Heritage fortress town of Elvas, 5 km away.

The space
Our quinta is perched on a hilltop, with views over oranges and old olive trees to the mountains of Spain. At night, the stars are bright, and the lights of Olivenza, Spain, shine against the distant mountains. The music of sheep bells competes with the songs of birds (hoopoes, bee eaters, tawny and little owls, and nightingales, depending on the season) and the occasional crow of Sir Stilton, our late-to-rise rooster. Our 15-hectare olive grove is a magical place to explore, and a valuable wildlife habitat.

The cottage's sheltered patio offers a view, beyond a courtyard shaded by wisteria, past the quinta's entrance arch toward the mountains of Spain. Windows at the back in the kitchen and living room look out into an olive grove where sheep and our two horses graze.

At one side of the patio is the forno (bread oven; much like a tandoori oven or traditional pizza oven) for which the cottage is named, and which was once used by all the inhabitants of the quinta. (There is a smaller grill for you to use more conveniently!) The garden in front of the cottage contains rosemary and other herbs as well as roses, geraniums, a fig tree, a young lemon tree, and much more.

The cottage was remodeled in 2015, with entirely new wiring, roof, windows, tile, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing, but retains its original charm. Its thick stone walls and double-glazed windows—equipped with pull-down netting to keep out insects while letting in the cool night air—make it quiet, comfortable, and energy efficient.

The living room is furnished comfortably with a sofa and armchair and a small wood-burning stove (we provide wood). The eat-in kitchen is small but well equipped with refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave, and everything needed for basic cooking and dining (if you don't see what you need, ask: we can usually provide it). There is a small table in the kitchen that can be extended.

The bedroom has a double bed, a chest of drawers, and a place to hang up clothes (with hangers). The sofa in the living room opens to a comfortable double mattress—however, the living room is the entrance room, and not very private, so the cottage is best suited to a couple with children, or good friends who don't need a lot of privacy.

Both kitchen and bathroom are decorated with hand-painted reproduction 17th- and 18th-century azulejos from Viuva Lamego in Lisbon.

What this place offers

Free parking on premises
Pets allowed
Washing machine
Air conditioning
Patio or balcony
Indoor fireplace

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4.95 out of 5 stars from 116 reviews


Where you’ll be

Elvas, Portalegre, Portugal

The tiny road to the nearest village of Varche winds for 2 km (1.25 miles) through olive groves and fields studded with holm oaks. A local shepherd drives his sheep across the road and back again every day, and his flock is often grazing unfenced along the roadside, an enchanting sight and sound, with the sheep's bells ringing.

There are spectacular views of Elvas and the distant mountains of Spain at the top of the village and just outside it. In the village are several restaurants, our favorite, Casa Alentejo, outstanding for its regional cuisine (many people drive from Spain to eat there). Very good wine from the local vineyards of Juromenha can be bought at the Varchotel shop.

There is an active riding stable in Varche, which offers lessons and hacks out at extremely reasonable rates.

The ancient fortified border town of Elvas (5 km from our front gate) is a fairy-tale place. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 for its astonishing fortifications (the world's largest bulwarked dry-ditch system), small castle, beautiful churches, and immense Amoreira aqueduct.

Day Trips and Festivals

Elvas is an excellent base from which to explore many of the most beautiful spots in the upper Alentejo. Some of our favorite places and festivals within an hour or so's drive:

Badajoz (26 km/35 minutes):
Just across the border is the Spanish town of Badajoz with historical sights, a large water park, golf courses, a large shopping mall, and many restaurants and cafes.

Juromenha (16 km/19 minutes):
A magical ruined fortress, almost untouched by tourism, with Islamic walls, 17 towers, 45-meter-high keep, and spectacular views of the broad Guadiana River far below. A footpath runs along the river north and south of the fortress. Kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing classes may be arranged with Wadnature in the little village of Juromenha.

Olivenza, Spain (31 km/39 minutes):

The Ponte de Ajuda (Puente Ayuda; 17 km/25 minutes)
On the road to Olivenza, this is a beautiful place for a picnic on the rocks by the river.

Marvao (84 km/80 minutes)
This otherworldly tiny fortress town perched on a ridge of rock high above the Alto Alentejo may be our favorite day trip of all—we have been known to drive up just to have a walk around and a sunset drink, the ultimate quick getaway. There are two great festivals in Marvao: the fantastic Al-Mossasa Islamic festival ("the Festival of Three Cultures," in cooperation with the Moroccan national tourism board), in early October, and the internationally famous 10-day Marvao International Music Festival (July 22 to 31 in 2016), with artists such as the Gulbenkian Choir, the Novus String Quartet, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble, the Wiener Klaviertrio, and many others.

Evora (84 km/1 hour)
Our favorite place in this very elegant city is the little Roman temple.

Monsaraz (66 km/1 hour)
We were married here, so of course we love it! Spectacular views from this tiny hilltop fortress over the Alqeva Reservoir and rolling cork-oak-studded plains. The wonderful restaurant Sem Fim, outside town down by the water, offers olive oil and wine tastings and tours of the reservoir on a Dutch sailing barge built in 1913.

Hosted by Miranda

Joined in May 2014
  • 116 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
I am a freelance book editor, and my husband Krister works as a book designer and indexer as well as renovating the quinta and managing our large olival (olive grove). We moved here in June 2015 from a farm in Virginia, and though renovating the quinta and the gardens, orange grove, and olival has been a huge undertaking, we have loved every moment of living here. We are both avid gardeners, and committed to preserving Veloso's historical character as well as making it a fruitful place. We love cooking a wide variety of food, and it's especially rewarding here, where it seems we can grow almost everything we need. We also love animals, and came here with three cats, a dog, and two Irish horses, which we board in the nearest village (we first came to Portugal for a week of dressage lessons on Lusitanos, and loved it so much that we were married in the Alentejo, not far from Elvas). We have a thirteen-year-old son, who is attending public Portuguese school in Elvas.
I am a freelance book editor, and my husband Krister works as a book designer and indexer as well as renovating the quinta and managing our large olival (olive grove). We moved her…

During your stay

The cottage is very private, and guests may be completely undisturbed there, but there is shared space in the gardens and around the pool. The quinta is a working farm, so our regular helpers will be here most days, and at some times of the year, especially at olive harvest, we also host WWOOF (Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms) volunteers, who come from many countries to help us on the quinta. Many guests enjoy socializing with us or even joining us for cookouts, but if you prefer quiet and privacy, just let us know if you would like to be left alone, or if you'd like to have part of the gardens or the pool area to yourself at specific times. There is a lot of room!

We work at home and are usually available if needed. We enjoy meeting AirBnB guests from different countries and with different interests, and often can show guests around, offer a drink in the pool house, or play board games, boules, or croquet.
The cottage is very private, and guests may be completely undisturbed there, but there is shared space in the gardens and around the pool. The quinta is a working farm, so our regu…

Miranda is a Superhost

Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
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Things to know

House rules

Check-in: 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Check out: 12:00 pm
Self check-in with lockbox
Not suitable for infants (under 2 years)
No smoking
No parties or events
Pets are allowed

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Security Deposit – if you damage the home, you may be charged up to ₹8783

Cancellation policy

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