So you'll need a car, but the villa is so spell-binding we found it hard to venture out at times! The original farm building is now a stylish yet comfy living room with wood burner, slouchy cream sofas and low chairs around a fibre-glass coffee table, and a white-washed thatched roof. The inner patio, once the barn, has an old bread oven (great for cooking pizzas), while the former stables have been transformed into an airy dining room with a glass-walled wine cellar. Finally, the four bedrooms – each of which can be kingsize or twin-bedded – are housed in a purpose-built lower level, all monastic calm for blissful sleep yet achingly chic. A real find!
- A perfect retreat for families or groups of friends: cool and calming, with loads of space inside and wonderful dry Mediterranean gardens with rosemary bushes, pomegranate and carob trees to explore
- The excellent concierge who fixed us up with boat trips, and advised on bike hire, guided hikes, restaurant bookings and more
- Just 10km from the coast, and you can glimpse the sea from the upper paddock
- Each bedroom has a private patio with hammock
- The pool is heated, plus there's a log burner (and central heating) in the house, so don't hesitate to come in shoulder season (as we did)
- It can get booked early – if it's full, try their townhouses
- It's not cheap, but if spread across two families or eight friends it's very fair value indeed
- The nearest shops and restaurants are 5-10 mins away, so you'll need a car
- Obviously, it can get hot in midsummer – but there's A/C indoors
- Weekly rentals only (Saturday-Saturday)
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Design Villa
- Villa for 4-8
- Self-catering; chef & concierge available
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Concierge Service
- Laundry Service
The villa is set on two different levels, with communal areas on the upper level and the new cubist level housing the 4 bedrooms below. These can be set up either with a kingsize double or two single beds, and each comes with big openable picture windows (two with window seats) facing the flowering scented Mediterranean gardens, giving a full sensory experience.
We were particularly struck by the design details in the ensuite bathrooms, with their plaster-coloured mottled marble fittings. These have an open shower apiece – Bedroom 4 (at the end of the corridor which houses the washing machine) has a square sunken bathtub too – and cleverly open onto their own private pebbled patios shrouded in bougainvillea so can be transformed into semi-outdoor showers.
On the roof of the rooms is the swimming pool, ringed by sunloungers. Pleasingly, the house has myriad places for relaxing and hiding away – from the stylish living room with log burner, low-slung designer sofas and chairs, to private patios, various sections of the roof space and hammocks hanging in trees – ideal for extra privacy from your nearest and dearest if required!
- In room treatments available
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
The original farmhouse houses the kitchen at one end; from here step outside and ascend a few steps to reach the al fresco dining terrace. The dining room itself is found in the former stables, located at the far end of the house. Here you'll find a solid stone table with orange pendant lights and seating for 8, a glass-walled wine cellar and games cupboard. French windows open to the pool and gorgeous gardens, from which you can pick herbs and fruit.
The kitchen is slick and smart, and very well-equipped. Worktops are made of the same marble seen throughout, and appliances are Miele and Bosch. There’s a fridge, induction hob, oven, dishwasher and plenty of worktop space for cooking. Caffeine fiends like us were delighted to discover not only a Nespresso coffee machine and cafetière but also a moccamaster coffee kettle. There's also a barbecue outside. There's ample tableware, we really liked the distinctive artisanal Portuguese crockery.
The nearest restaurants are a 5-minute drive away in Poco do Vale. Options include the traditional O Forno (good meats, great value, service can be slow) and the more upscale Mercearia da Aldeia (whose seafood cataplana comes highly recommended; English-speaking service is slicker). The nearest supermarket is a 10-minute drive away, in Tavira.
- Coffee maker
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Shopping service
- Tavira (10km) is the prettiest town on the Algarve, river-fronted with a medieval pedestrian bridge spanning the water. Head to the camera obscura – the old water tower – that through clever use of a rotating mirror and magnifying glasses projects a 360-degree 'tour' of Tavira onto a large horizontal screen
- Don't miss beguiling Olhao (15km), the Algarve's largest fishing port, where you can gawp at the vast array of fresh seafood and buy local rosemary honey and dried figs. Stroll along the seafront to the marina. The town has cobbled streets, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and galleries too
- Browse the nearby markets: Fuseta has a great flea market with vintage toys and copper pans; Quelfes' food stalls are laden with suitcase-friendly olives, almonds, chorizo and cheese
- Spend a day on the Algarve’s stunning island beaches, set within the Ria Formosa National Park (also one of the world's kite-surfing hotspots). You have to take a short boat or train ride to get to some – guaranteed to thrill any child. Some, such as Ilha Tavira, are bustling with shops and restaurants; others – Fuseta, Cabanas, Culatra – are quieter; Armona has the best beach; all are pristine
- The working salt pans along the coast here are home to an incredible array of birdlife from flamingos to storks, and are great for easy walks beside the sea
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
- Wine tasting
The villa is great for a larger family or two families travelling together, with four double/twin bedrooms, a heated swimming pool and a hectare of private land to explore – though the rural location might not be so good for some teenagers. We came with pre-teens who loved the space and exploring the grounds. Cots, high chairs and baby baths are available to borrow (at extra cost).
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
- High chair
- Baby bath
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Heated swimming pool
- Kids' books and toys
- Table tennis
- The grounds are great for hide and seek!
Kids Activities nearby:
- Boat trips
- Ria Formosa National Park
- Horse riding
Families Should Know:
Note the villa has a glass wine cellar and there are steps and varying levels across the property. The pool is not gated and is surrounded by poured concrete decking
The villa is in the inland village of Estiramantens, between the lovely towns of Olhao and Tavira.
Fly to Faro (30km).
From the Airport
Your 'flying receptionist' will meet you at the airport on arrival. Most guests will hire a car from there - see our car rental recommendations - but if you don't drive you can request an airport transfer.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Faro 30.0 km FAR
- Beach 12.0 km
- Shops 5.0 km
- Restaurant 5.0 km