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Sharing her love of education, inspiration, property and Portugal – Sophie, director of Pure Portugal Ltd

I’m one of the founders of Pure Portugal and the company was born from the things I love to do! I’ve grown up with a love for property and remember as a child looking through property adverts in magazines, and spending endless hours designing houses (all of which had an indoor swimming pool!), and making dolls houses out of cardboard boxes. I’m also passionate about nature- with a particular love for forests (I spent a year living in a tree protesting the Newbury Bypass). I’ve also always been passionate about education and empowerment around these interests – in the UK I was a co-ordinator for a local group of Friends of the Earth and was involved in the running of the “Anarchist Teapot” infoshops, and my husband Andy was a director of Catalyst Collective, helping people set up worker and housing co-operatives.

I grew up on a smallholding, playing in the woods, or with the chickens , goats and ponies (who would – when my parents weren’t looking – often be enticed into the kitchen or my bedroom). Although didn’t fully appreciate the lifestyle at the time, turns out that’s what I wanted to do in my adult life! After a couple of years spent travelling as a young family in France, Spain and Portugal over the winter, and taking a mobile infoshop / venue around festivals in the UK during the summer, we decided it was about time we started living the life we were promoting to others. We spent a year volunteering on an organic smallholding near Tábua whilst looking at many – many – properties for sale!

We finally bought “Quinta das Abelhas” in the same village we were living, and started growing fruit and vegetables, keeping chickens, ducks, geese, and horses.  We lived in our van, a yurt, and caravans whilst we rebuilt a small storehouse into a little house and eventually renovated the farmhouse (this first involved buying the neighbour’s half of it!).

During our time there we home educated our children, hosted hundreds of volunteers, ran some events such as “Seedy Sunday”, “Courgette Saturday“, and two wonderful Connection Training events with Hannah Weston.

In 2015 we sold Quinta das Abelhas and I spent some time moving around, living in some amazing places – one of my favourites being an isolated stone farmhouse in a chestnut forest in the Serra de Estrela where I learnt a huge amount about traditional life in the Portuguese mountains.

Just before my 3 year reinvestment period was up (watch out for a blog piece all about the tax benefits of reinvesting when you sell / buy a residential property in Portugal) I bought Quinta dos Covões and here I’m again following one of my passions – hosting Pure Portugal Courses and Events such as Harald Hafner’s Bee Keeping and Ana PT’s Portuguese Language Residency  We’re gradually developing the quinta and have installed a Vermicomposting system for all the black and grey water from the house, we’re creating vegetable gardens, planting an orchard, and improving the facilities so we can host more events.

Alongside all that I love to travel and discover Portugal.  I would highly recommend anyone who lives here to invest in a camper van!


Portugal is so full of wonderful places that it’s possible to leave after work and drive for less than an hour to sleep (and more importantly wake up and eat breakfast!) in a beautiful forest, by an amazing lake, overlooking a river, or on top of a mountain above the clouds, and still be back in time to start work the next day.

For discovering places further afield, I have a mobile dongle and take my work with me! This has recently been helped by the loan of a demo LPS battery pack from PerpetualV2G so I can stay away for longer, completely off grid and with no power worries!  The dogs also love the mobile office 🙂

Plans for following more of my passions in the future involve more community living, and having horses back in my life.

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