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The village of Barão de São João is located in the Algarve – close to Portugal ́s and therefore Europe's most south-western edge. Sagres, which is is 8 degrees west of Greenwich, is the Southern equivalent of Finisterre (fini terra = the end of the world) near La Coruña in Galicia. Both are very unique locations on the map, reflected in the climate, the geology, through the currents of the Atlantic Ocean. Both have the status as Biosphere Reserves. It is always interesting to be at the edge of things. (why this line?)
The Algarve is a well-characterised geographical entity in Portuguese territory. It occupies the southernmost border of the country, comprising 9 municipalities. It is capped to the North by a mountainous range (Serra), to the West and South by the Atlantic Ocean and to the East by the Guadiana river marking the boundary with Spain.
The Algarve Serra is difficult to cross. That has been decisive for the isolation of the region from the rest of the country. This natural barrier separates the Algarve from northern influences accentuating the Mediterranean characteristics of its climate.
It also facilitated - throughout history - the development of a strong regional identity, both private and rich. An identity recognised by successive monarchs of the Kingdom who kept the designation ́King of Portugal and the Algarve's` until the establishment of the Republic in 1910.
Historically, the links between the Algarve coast with the Mediterranean world were almost always preferential: the design of the coastal geography favoured relations with the Mediterranean population. This was already very evident since the first millennium BC with the ports of Castro Marim, Tavira, Faro, Portimão and Silves, Lagos and Aljezur establishing regular contact with Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian and Tartessian merchants. The Algarve is the last Mediterranean Riviera equal to Andalusia and North Africa (west of the Strait of Gibraltar). It is called pre-Mediterranean territory.
The five centuries of Arab presence, between the 8th and 13th centuries, deeply influenced the region, emphasising its connection to the cultures of the Mediterranean basin. The Moorish heritage in the Algarve continues today, first of all through it ́s name Al- Gharb, meaning The West, and is clearly visible in the architecture of the houses and the monuments: the terraces that replaced the roofs, in the cubism of the buildings or the creative chimneys. The Arab culture subsists in farming practices and techniques – such as watermills, the levadas ́(water channels) and dams, the fruit orchards that grow species that were introduced and spread by the Moors, such as Carob, Figs, Almond and Olive.
The landscape is defined by the character of the Costa Vicentina Nature Park. The soil type and microclimate form the biotope of very specific vegetation genres. The traditional agricultural land use is the guiding principle. All these are external preconditions that affect - from outside to inside - the quality of the garden & landscape design by CO Cerro Mouro.
The planting design for the gardens and the collective green spaces fit in with the natural environment. A good example is to make the design connect with the existing - traditional - buildings in the village of Barão de São João and the 24 new CO Cerro Mouro homes within their surrounding landscape in a visually attractive and natural way. Existing indigenous tree species will be planted to create this connection.
These include: Parasol pines (Pinus), Alfarobe, Stone & Cork oaks (Quercus), Medronho (Strawberry tree), Figs, Quinces, Almonds.
The landscape should not only be partly edible (fruit trees, nut trees, berries, flowers etc), but also in bloom throughout most of the year on all the 'layers': trees, shrubs and bushes as well as the herb-rich undergrowth with botanical bulbous plants that do well here. Plants and flowers that are beautiful to the eye, and a good carrier for the bees. A selection of edible flowers will enrich dishes on the dining table, as is already common practice in many top restaurants today. It is all freshly available for the enthusiastic home cooks of CO Cerro Mouro.
CO Cerro Mouro guarantees a superior eco-profile with regard to the construction and future maintenance of all the homes including climate neutral building techniques. Additionally it is committing to be in harmony with the unique existing natural landscape of the nearby Park Mata Nacional, and to upgrade the environment with an organic food forest that will provide fresh fruits, vegetables and (medicinal) herbs all year for all CO Cerro Mouro residents.
The traditional neighbouring farmland of approx 1.1 ha is for the use of the CO Cerro Mouro community. The Food Forest and the vegetable garden might provide sufficient fresh food for the 24 families. The advantages are clear: It is cheap, effective in terms of agro-food production, CO2 & climate positive (zero transportation, no chemicals and artificial fertilisers). Besides, it enables the inhabitants of CO Cerro Mouro to up-cycle all organic waste including grey-water from kitchens and showers for irrigation.
Edible landscape The modern version of the Food Forest was introduced by Robert Hart in 1980 in Shropshire (U.K.). The Food Forest has many similarities with permaculture: views and goals reinforce each other to a great extent. This synergy is also socially desirable. The immediate living environment is being improved in terms of quality, so that the residents' own biotope has a future. Out of sincere self-interest and as an example: Things can be different.
Restoration of topsoil, landscape and environment by planting a great variety of fruit bearing trees, berries, vegetables, (medicinal-)herbs and flowers, plus a couple of beehives will contribute to a whole new look of the CO Cerro Mouro area.
Species lists for planting Co Cerro Mouro Food Forest
Fruit trees and nuts: Olive trees, Figs, Alfarroba (Carob), Walnuts, Almonds, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Avocado, Kiwi & Passionfruit, Apples (Goudreinette), Pears (Pera Rocha), Pomegranate
Fruiting shrubs and bushes: Red & black currants, Goji berries, thornless blackberries, raspberries, strawberries,
Herbs: Perennial plants: Rosemary, Lavender (Pendulata & Officinalis) Mint (Hortelã), Horseradish, Urtica, Oregano, Ironhead (tea) Horseradish
Annual garden herbs: A wide range of garden herbs: Parsley (Salsa), Coriander, Basil, Medicinal herbs: A wide range of medicinal herbs are easy to grow, especially the species that have a high content of essential oils: Calendula, Echinacea etc.
Vegetables: all regular mediterranean vegetables
Arts & Culture
Barão de São João is a charming village tucked away in a green alcove a few kilometres from Lagos and inland from the coast. Usually even people familiar with the Western Algarve can easily pass it by. Yet something quite amazing happens here every summer. The whole village including its streets through to its restaurants, cafes and shops becomes an art gallery!
Walk down the main street from the church and you will see brilliantly coloured larger-than-life sculptures.
Further along, one can peep into the studio of Else van der Laan or Eva Herre.
A massed procession of tiled footprints by Antonio Alonso climb up the wall while further along there is Xico Rôxo’s large wood carving of St John. The village’s namesake also appears perched on the roof of a ruined cottage with a seagull on his head and a fish for a foot – another work by Deodato Santos.
The village is a sort of artwork treasure hunt with visitors never quite knowing what comes next or where to find it. Pop into a café and you will likely see a brilliant tiled artwork and other forms of eclectic art.
The idea started in 2009 when retired art teacher Deodato Santos and some friends decided it would be good to have a cultural centre and create an ‘artistic village’. Although it was a long time in the making, the final stages happened quickly when in January 2012 Deodato and internationally acclaimed artist Antonio Alonso formed a working group joined by fellow artists: Ana Canto, Ana Rijo, Carl Zimmerling, Else van der Laan, Eva Herre, Eduarda, Gael, Gonçalo Cabral, Pedro Correia, Radza and Xico Rôxo.
Themed on the village’s namesake St John the Baptist, the Junta de Freguesia enthusiastically came on board along with Lagos Câmara. Deodato explains the group’s working philosophy: “Our main principle was to be able to make quick decisions, involve the whole village and have local shops agree to care for artworks whether they were inside or outside their premises. The Walk Art festival is now in its 5th edition this year, mobilising the artistic community of Barão and resident artists.
SPORTS, WELLBEING & ADVENTURE
There is something for everyone in the Algarve to restore the balance of body and mind, ease stress and ensure one has the opportunity to refresh and replenish!
There is so much more than just sand and sunshine: the Algarve offers a host of retreats and meditation centres that take advantage of the comforting natural surroundings. Amid lush green vegetation and beneath a beautiful blue sky, you will find the perfect combination to rejuvenate your body and soothe your mind.
You can find meditation centres in most of the Algarvian boroughs. Each centre has its own characteristics and offers its own specific programmes and services.
If you spend some time at the Karuna Retreat in the heart of the Monchique uplands, the tantra or vedanta meditation and yoga will leave you feeling completely re-energised. In with the good and out with the bad, purifying body and mind.
Moinhos Velhos, 15 minutes from Lagos, is a retreat for purification and detoxification. Meditation, yoga, sauna and supervised liquid diet programmes (juice fasting) are part of the services offered with the aim of renewing your soul and rejuvenating your body.
Quinta da Calma, in Almancil, is a holistic therapy and yoga centre located next to the Ria Formosa Nature Park. Integral yoga, tai-chi, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and chakra and aura reading and harmonisation are some of the services offered.
Monte Mariposa, in Fonte do Bispo, in Tavira, is a community retreat orientated towards growth and human evolution, for children and adults. Here, you can organise your own retreat with or without the support of the centre’s instructors and therapists. You can take part in a variety of courses or activities. At Monte Mariposa, you will have the opportunity to share experiences with other people and have a unique learning experience.
Entertainment without limits.
We do not wait until summer to come to the Algarve to take part in sports or other outdoor activities. Throughout the region, and all year long, you can interact with the natural environment by playing sport in the healthy and intoxicating atmosphere of the Algarve.
Whether at the ocean shore, in the Barrocal, or in the picturesque mountains, the Algarve brings together the perfect conditions that enable a huge range of marine, land and aerial activities; some just for fun, some more adventurous, others more radical still.
Apart from the fine geography and climate with which it is blessed, the Algarve is also equipped with the most diverse and modern infrastructure to support outdoor activities. As a result, the whole region is now firmly on the map of Portuguese sporting destinations.
For more information please go to online:
FAUNA & FLORA ALGARVE
The Algarvian Fauna is diverse and well-adapted to its environmental conditions. Some elements are particularly interesting as a result of geographical location and micro-climates. Here you may find animals that are representative of the Iberian Peninsula, such as rabbit, Iberian hare, azure-winged magpie, ocellated lizard and others, easily associated with current African wildlife such as the Mediterranean chameleon, the common genet cat and Egyptian mongoose.
Just like the vegetation the animals have their defensive mechanisms to survive the long dry summers. Large numbers of aquatic birds fly to higher latitudes before the summer season. Others adopt the most varied strategies, decreasing their diurnal activities, or entering a period of aestivation, as happens with terrapins.
This is also an area with potential for being habitat to the most notable fauna elements of the Iberian peninsula. This is the case of the Spanish imperial eagle, the osprey and the Iberian lynx, who, through the recent effort of environmental enhancement of the area, are likely to regain their natural habitat.
At some point the territory was occupied by forests of small trees and thick barks, mostly oaks: cork oak, kermes oak, holm oak and the common Portuguese oak (Quercus Pyrenaica). The maquis is now the dominant cover and includes sclerophyll shrubs and aromatic and melliferous plants, showcasing some unique floristic elements in the national context, such as dwarf fan palm and the carob tree. These species are well-suited to the dryness of the environment, having thick small leaves, sometimes transformed into needles or spikes or protected by hairs, resins and aromatic oils. Most of the trees are evergreen, except for some species associated with the margins of watercourses, like the narrow-leaf ash and willow.
The accessibility of the Natural Park is excellent At a distance of approximately 20 km there are
25 beautiful beaches in the immediate vicinity - both the West and South coasts of the Algarve
border the Atlantic Ocean. Such a unique residential location cannot be found anywhere else in
Europe. The ideal base for surfers, sailors, birdwatchers, fishermen, nature lovers, cyclists and
hikers. Tourisme Portugal qualifies it as "Europe's most famous secret".
BEACHES NEAR LAGOS
Ponta da Piedade – the most beautiful Lagos beach
Praia do Camilo – sheltered Lagos beach for swimming
Praia de Porto de Mos – best Lagos beach for surfing
Praia de Sao Roque - close to Lago, ideal for paddling
Praia dos Estudantes - petite, but the pocket of sandy shore and calm, sheltered waters are ideal
Praia da Batata - extremely popular with first-time visitors
Meia Praia - enormous stretch of sand 5km east of central Lagos
Praia do Pinhao - A hidden gem
Praia do Barranco do Martinho - more secluded than most. That’s because it requires a spot of
climbing to get to
Praia de Dona Ana – sheltered Lagos beach for swimming
Praia do Canavial - exposed and windy, excellent for surfing
Praia da Luz - little holiday resort with plenty of charm
Praia do Porto de Mós - one of the longest beaches in the Lagos area
BEACHES NEAR SAGRES
Praia do Martinhal - wide sandy beach just outside Sagres
Praia da Mareta - close to Sagres, and very popular
Praia do Tonel - dramatic location on the very southwesterly tip of Portugal, popular with surfers
Prainha das Poças - in the shelter of the imposing cliffs of the Ponta da Sagres
Praia da Baleeira - by far the town's most sheltered beach
Praia do Beliche - one of Sagres' best surf beaches
Praia do Barranco - fairly secluded little beach, calm, clear turquoise waters
Praia da Cordoama - part of a long sandy stretch along west of Vila do Bispo
Praia da Salema - the tranquility of an Algarve fishing village
Praia do Castelejo - located on the quieter, more exposed Atlantic coast of the Algarve
Praia do Burgau - lovely little sandy beach located in the small fishing village
Praia da Bordeira -surfers´ hot spot, consistent swells that regularly hit the fantastic beaches
British and Portuguese curriculum
Location: Lagoa & Almancil
Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal
Dutch Curriculum. Location: Silves
Barlavento International Primary school
Location: Espiche, Lagos https://
Vale Verde International School
Location: Alagoas, Luz, Lagos
Algarve International School
Aljezur International School
Sítio da Azenha, 8670-116 Aljezur
Escola Alemã do Algarve
Deutsche Schule Algarve
R. de Lobito 46, 8300-054 Silves
Brave Generation Academy - Lagos
Loja 4 e 5, Núcleo Gil Eanes, Marina
de, 8600-315 Lagos
Jardim de Infância Waldorf Kindergarten
Monte Judeu, Barão de S. João, 8600-020 Lagos
Nautiluz learning & innovation Hub
Escola EB 2,3 Tecnopolis de Lagos
R. Dom Gaspar Leão, 8600-543 Lagos
School Júlio Dantas
R. da Escola Secundária, 8600-315 Lagos
Secondary School Gil Eanes
Rua da Escola Gil Eanes, 8600-614 Lagos
Escola Básica da Naus
EB2,3 das Naus, Largo da
República 5, 8600-315 Lagos
Escola Básica de
Escola Básica da Ameijeira
Rua Leonel Duarte Neves,
Escola Básica Sophia de M. B.
Andresen Rossio de S. João,
Escola Básica do Chinicato
Rua da escola Primária
Chinicato, 8600-306 Lagos
The nearest airport is Faro, 90 km from CO Cerro Mouro, by car it will take you 1 hour on the
Lisbon Airport is at a distance of 300 km, which will take you 2 hours and 40 minutes on the A22 and
Sevilla airport (Spain) is at a distance of 277 km, about 2 hours and 44 minutes by car on the A2 and
Transport by car
The motorway A22 connects Lagos on the Western side of the Algarve to Vila Real de Santo
Antonio on the Eastern side, which is the border with Spain. The motorway has tolls. Alternative is
the national route N125, connecting all the main cities of the Algarve The road network in
Portugal is excellent and well maintained.
A regional railway line runs from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo Antonio, connecting all the main cities
along the Algarvian coast. At several points you can have direct access to the beach from the
station. They also have day passes for sale.
Both intercity buses and local buses provide their services in the Algarve
Rental car companies:
Luz Car: www.luzcar.com
Tel. +351 282761016
Tel. +351 255788199
Tel. +351 289818316
Tel. +351 219426300
The Algarve is most notably known for its beaches and its climate. With 300 sunny days per year it is
the ultimate holiday destination. But just for that reason: the Mediterranean climate with warm
summers and mild winters makes it a comfortable place to live and work and relax the whole year
In winter it will never get really cold, with average temperatures of 16 Cº, and in summer it never gets
really hot, with average temperatures of 28 Cº.
In the Western part of the Algarve, the wind from the Atlantic Ocean makes it more comfortable in
summer, while in the interior or the Eastern Algarve it can become quite warm.
Rain falls mostly intermittently from November to March. And snow is extremely rare.
Daily updates of the weather ánd annual statistics can be found on the website of Instituto
Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) that shows the data about maximum and minimum
temperature and precipitation in the course of the year.
Start of the construction scheduled
The Architecture plans are already submitted, the so-called Engineering plans Especialidades will be
submitted to the Câmara of Lagos. We expect that by December 2022 the Allotment licence will be
given. Next phase is the licence for the Infrastructure, which is expected to be given in the spring of
2023. The Construction Licence follows, and is expected in the 3rd quarter of 2023.
The parameters of the start of the construction
The main parameter of the whole project is the fact that the CO Cerro Mouro project is completely
following the already approved Plan Pormenor of the Câmara ánd the PIP (Pedido de Informação
Prévia). We do not deviate from the plans that have already been accepted, and this is a strong basis
for an efficient process. Furthermore, we have direct contact with the main architect of the Municipality ,
various meetings have been held with him and our architect and our engineer. Another advantage is
the appreciation of the Câmara of our unique project, unique in that we build a residential project in the
rural area, strongly connected with the local village, and with nature. And unique because of its
sustainable building methods and installations, which are with genuine interest followed by the
The start of the construction
This will be definitely determined according to the regular process after the Infrastructure Licence is
issued. We follow the normal process for any construction.
We will start construction once we have acquired the construction license and will start building in
phases. So, the first foreseen phase is the construction of the Villa´s on Plot 1 - 4. Each time a new
phase of approx 4 plots or 4 Townhouses in a row will be built.