Mountain destinations have always been the favourites since their honeymoon 20 years ago. “We were pure backpackers. We slept in tents and went to the Andes, the Himalayas, Nepal, Costa Rica… Then we had children and it got harder,” says Joana Morais e Castro.
The idea of having a weekend getaway came from there. It had to be relatively close to Porto, where the family lives, but above all to have the landscape they wanted so much: mountain and forest, “that reassure and quiet a lot”. Due to the influence of a friend and his childhood spent camping and hiking in the mountains, Miguel Martins dos Santos wanted to visit a plot of land in Gerês. They went with their daughter Teresa in their arms – this was 10 years ago – and their eyes almost always on the ground, to see if they did not fall, because “the terrain was very inclined, had no paths, nor could it be perceived”.
“This was almost unconsciousness,” says Joana. An unconsciousness pushed by her husband, who fell in love with the native forest of oaks and birches, the view over the reservoir of Caniçada with the natural park on the other side, and above all the idea of having a mountain house in the middle of almost untouched nature, 400 meters above sea level. “We are not far from civilization, but we cannot see it and it can not be heard,” he says, as she walks the path of access to the house. “We have only the constant sound of water and birds.”