Portugal has a rich cache of contemporary architecture peppering its extraordinary scenery. Architects like Manuel Aires Mateus and Eduardo Souto de Moura are rethinking local building traditions to create striking villas that are embedded in their landscapes. We’ve scoured the country to find seven of the best modern holiday homes in Portugal to rent this year.
This concrete country home may look modern, but architect Manuel Aires Mateus took cues from the traditional countryside architecture of Alentejo for the compound’s design. Interiors blend the contemporary and traditional with a mix of vintage and modern furniture, and there’s room for eight guests across the property’s three independent bungalows – each of which has its own terrace. Completed last year, the modern holiday home sits at the edge of a chain of hills about an hour’s drive south of Lisbon.
Set back from the busy streets of Lisbon, the solid concrete exterior of this brutalist bolthole by Bak Gordon belies its welcoming interior. No less than five courtyards offer space to soak up the sun, while pools and ponds dotted about the four-bedroom Portuguese villa are on hand for cooling off.
Casa no Tempo is another bold piece of design from Manuel Aires Mateus, who has turned a crumbling ruin into a sleek four-bedroom holiday home. Its simple form, capped by a gabled roof, is a minimal intervention into the landscape, comprising 400 hectares of rambling pastures, lakes, olive trees and cork groves.
Less is more in this revived townhouse in Porto’s art district, which has been carefully restored by collective Departamento Arquitectura. Many of its 19th-century features have been retained and paired with modern, minimalist interiors including custom furniture, patterned tiles and tall beamed ceilings. Out back there’s a sun-soaked garden, while the top floor apartment has a deck overlooking the city’s rooftops…
Not far from the coast, this 19th-century Porto abode has been refurbished and expanded by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. The property’s minimal stone and wood interiors offer a calming respite from the city’s winding streets while two interior gardens are ideal spots for relaxing with a book in hand. Casa 1015 sleeps up to six.
Designed by architect Pedro Ferreira Pinto, this single-storey villa is a stone’s throw from Pego Beach on the Alentejo Coast, voted Portugal’s best for its clean waters and sand. Built in a protected nature reserve, the house – which sleeps up to six – sits on stilts and its landscaped gardens blend with the surrounding dunes.
Trees rise from the courtyard of this low-slung Portuguese holiday home, hidden in the pine forest of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a 30-minute drive from Lisbon. Designed by local architect Frederico Valsassina, Casa da Rampa is composed of interlocking spaces that open onto the landscape. These minimalist white boxes – sleeping eight people – are dotted with contemporary design classics.
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