Villa? Heck, Stay in a School in the Alentejo!

One of the interesting things about rural Europe is that many of the tiny little schools that used to dot the landscape have been decommissioned in favor of larger and more efficient learning factories for the kids. But have you ever stayed in one?

Schools remodeled into vacation rentals tend to be delightfully quirky. The living spaces tend to be large and sprawling. If you don’t like little boxes all in a row, you might think about these rare and oddly structured places.

Yes, I’ve stayed in a remodeled school, in France. It was inside a hilltop village that had been brought back from the dead. Great experience.

One such vacation rental in the Alentejo is Santana da Serra. Today it sits in the middle of an Ecological Reserve, so the rural attractions are immense. One can imagine the solitude.

Give it a look. You’ll need a car, of course, but if you’re intrepid, you’ll discover a lot about rural Portugal

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