Vale das LobasHealth, Education, Biodiversity
A Regenerative Nature Resort for Well-Being and Education
Vale das Lobas is using regenerative organic farming, low impact ecological construction, and biodiversity restoration to transform an idyllic mountain valley in Portugal into an educational, well-being and nature tourism destination.
Vale das Lobas is restoring a 17th century manor into a nature spa hotel; an historic olive mill into a riverside restaurant; building a camping park in an ancient olive grove; constructing a tourist village from Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB); & transforming 50 hectares of fields, orchards and forests into a regenerative organic farm, all set within a wild mountain landscape “Biodiversity Zone.”
In partnership with nature
Core to our regeneration model is the development and application of low impact technologies; including land, energy, water and waste management systems, designed to promote resilience, improve soil quality and enhance biodiversity; and demonstrate how farming, housing and tourism can work together, not only with respect for, but even for the benefit of, nature.
The restoration of a17thCentury manor house and chapel to create a Nature Spa Hotel with: 23 bedrooms; Spa; therapy rooms; conference suite for 80 participants; restaurant; workshop spaces; gallery tea room; and apothecary. The terraced landscaped grounds of 15 hectares include botanical and forest gardens with nature trails and hides for wildlife observation. The design includes ecological water and waste management and renewable energy systems.
A newly constructed riverside camping park for up to 90 people, set in a 7 hectare olive grove, to include: a circular bath-house built from Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB); a straw bale built common area and kitchen; 6 luxury camping studios and a granite reception building, The camping park is an ideal base for activity and adventure vacations. The design includes ecological water and waste management and renewable energy systems.
The restoration of an iconic 19thcentury granite olive mill to create a riverside restaurant, on two floors, providing: café/bar; dining area for 120 people; gallery and performance space; waterside terrace; walled garden with natural shade from walnut trees. Located on Grand Route 22, it will be a focal point for walkers and cyclists. The design includes ecological water and waste management and renewable energy systems.
A new construction tourist village with nine 1-bed studios, nine 2-bed cottages and nine 4-bed villas, built from CEB, to be sold off-plan. The village facilities include: reception; natural swimming pool with changing rooms; 50 acres of meadows and orchards with 800m of riverfront. Sustainable energy, water and heating systems include ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, borehole fresh water supply, grey water recycling and biological wastewater treatment.
Using a new version of an ancient technique, we will fabricate Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) with earth from our land, for the construction of Artisan Village, and for the wider market. Buildings built from earth have a high thermal mass – they stay cool in the summer, and warm in the winter; they are organic – the walls breathe, and the air and moisture levels are perfect for living. Earth has low embodied energy and is the ultimate “local material.”
The regenerative organic farming surrounds the tourism and property developments, and is central to the educational and well-being mission. Trees include cherries, plums, peaches, apples, walnuts, chestnuts, oaks, corks and olives. The vegetable and botanical gardens will supply produce for the restaurants, and medicinal plants for the apothecary. All our produce is organic, free from chemicals, and grown with fresh water and according to agroecology principles.