We are the Family Gouveia. It is very good to remember how this experience started: as a family project, it still is!! ;)
In 1995, we were living in Funchal and we were looking for a calm place to spend our weekends and holidays. On a sunny day, we were visiting the area and we found Calhau Grande, a beautiful wild place with big rocks and terraces. The name “Calhau Grande” – big rock - originates from the great rocks of basaltic origin – calhaus - which you find here, some 5 meters high.
The main house belonged to a poor family that lived by the agricultural lands and the fruits.
We immediately felt in love with it: there was enough space for garden, a good stone house with 2 bedrooms and close to it one Palheiro - a smaller house, which was used as shelter for animals during the night. We could also find ruins of other houses around! It was what we were looking for and the view and the quiet helped a lot! The decision was taken and Calhau Grande was ours!!
We started restoring our house. Every weekend we came from Funchal, working all together for our rural holiday house. The house was restored by us, in accordance with the models of the region, with local rock, very carefully in order to protect the surrounding ecology and the integration in the landscape. It got finished on April, 1998! We will never forget our first night here!
The main house was ready but Palheiro was still waiting, so we decided to make a basic restore creating a small cottage, with a kitchenette and bathroom. If some friends wanted to join us, they could stay in house Palheiro.
Then, we thought about the pool. The terrace down of our house was perfect and with a lot of work it happened.
At this time we had 2 houses, the swimming pool and a good area of gardens! The Palheiro was a very good choice for family and our friends loved to join us. It was fantastic to share Calhau Grande with them… It was like giving them a bit of our heart, because we worked so hard to have our dream come true and see their happiness was the best reward we could have!
In 2004, the idea of renting the house Palheiro was born and our first guests stayed with us a week in March. It was such a good experience, it was like having our family with us, they were so friendly and they share the same ideas of us: to recycle materials, bringing life to old things. We could share our life stories, our experiences...
Recently, we are living in Calheta, our daughter Sofia is now working in Calhau Grande and our son Pedro is finishing his studies in Lisbon. In Calhau Grande, the other cottages are also restored with the same feeling and strength. The spirit hasn´t changed, we love Calhau Grande and we work for having it alive.