A Reprieve in Beja, Portugal

bedroom beja

Last month I lived in Beja, Portugal, about two hours South East of Lisbon. I’ll tell you more about the town later, but for now, join me for a tour of the dreamy space I found on Airbnb. The bedroom above, is my favorite place I’ve slept on this journey! Ahhh! So peaceful and minimal. The room has a wall of windows that looks onto a private patio.

beja 1

The house is owned by José and his wife Isabel, who live upstairs in another totally dreamy space. They restored the house after finding it in shambles. Built during the 1600’s, the house is now a perfect marriage of traditional, rural Portuguese style and modern elements. José is an art teacher and carpenter so has an eye for details and lent his own hands to the restoration process as well. They knocked down walls, opening up the space for modern living.

beja living room portugal

The space is spare but has everything you need. Dotted throughout the apartment are local textiles hanging on the walls, and layered on the floors for comfort during the cooler winter months. Lovely mid-century furniture is paired with traditional Portuguese mementos.

beja 5

My favorite room is a toss up between the bedroom and the kitchen. I didn’t want to leave this gorgeous kitchen. I had the best time cooking meals here. Again, minimal, but everything you need, and nothing you don’t. The arched ceilings with just the perfect yellow patina are a highlight.

portuguese kitchen frolic

The kitchen opens to a backyard, shared with the owners, that houses a lemon tree, an orange tree, and an avocado tree! Guests are free to help themselves.

stone sink portugal

The stone sink in the kitchen was one of my favorite features.

beja frolic 1

Upon my arrival, José and Isabel greeted me with a fresh bowl of oranges, lemons, and avocados picked from the backyard, as well as local cheese and bread!

beja portugal 3

The apartment has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a washer, and is located just around the corner from the Beja Castle, where each Saturday they hold a market with fresh produce, food, and plants.

beja portugal 1

The listing for this dreamy place is right here, in case you’d like to rent it for yourself!

beja portugal 7

Beja is just slightly off the beaten track but I loved it for that reason. I rarely saw tourists. And the town feels a bit like stepping back in time. The apartment is so photogenic, I took lots of photos, so I may share more soon!

Photos: Chelsea Fuss.


  1. I’m so envious but going to make my own trip in June, 3 months in Scandinavia. Where are you off to next besides Berlin. I eagerly wait for your updates, so typical of Americans. We’re pathetic.

  2. Hello
    i m João, from Portugal, Ze Pedro and Heitor friend

    perhaps you want to say RETRIEVE instead of Reprieve, right?



  3. So lovely. And such a treat on a cloudy Portland morning. I spent a month alone in Portugal when I was 19, renting a room with an outdoor kitchen near the beach. It’s where I learned to cook for myself, saw my first nude sunbather and had my first Vinho Verde! I LOVE following your adventures Chelsea!

  4. Hello, I live in Beja and it was fabulous to read your words about our city.
    We love having turists and we love that you like what you see and experience around us. Thank you and come back! 😉

  5. that is one beautiful apartment!
    thank you for sharing it, we are planning on visiting Portugal next year, maybe we can rent this dreamy place 🙂

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