Inspired by Epicurean philosophy, this wellness space is all about the simple pleasures in life: enjoying beautiful surroundings, inventive (and so delicious) plant-basedfood, sunshine and relaxation. The lodge itself has been designed with sustainability in mind. Most materials – cork, stone, wood, glass – are locally sourced. Every room is full of delightfully eclectic soft furnishings and interesting accents. Snuggle into the low sofas by the log burner and it’s hygge heaven. There’s a geodome for yoga, a natural swimming pool, and a wide choice of nature hikes and spectacular beaches, including two within 40 minutes' walk.
- It feels like you’ve been transported to a remote nature reserve, yet you’re still close to restaurants and beaches, as well as Lisbon
- Did we mention the views? They don’t just look good, they smell good: lungfuls of pine forest-fresh air, coming your way
- No traffic, no noise (apart from birdsong and the breeze in the trees), and no pollution – even the biopool is refreshingly chemical-free
- Lots of earthy, eco-friendly materials and eclectic natural design give the place a stylish but grounded feel
- The whole space invites you to slooooooow down. If you haven’t got a meditation practice already, it’s a good place to start one
- You need a car: the driveway is up a steep hill, and if you have heavy bags you’ll want to drive to the top and drop them off before parking back down at the bottom of the hill
- The vegetarian menu might be limiting for meat-eaters and pescatarians; but you can pre-order other dishes
- The bathrooms in the eco-villas are on the small side; two people will struggle to use it at the same time
- There’s WiFi in the main reception and dining area, but not in all of the rooms
- The pool is unheated so chilly in colder months
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Eco Lodge
- 3 rooms and 2 villas for 2-4
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Laundry service
You can see the comfort and simplicity design ethos running through all the rooms. We loved the polished concrete floors, natural cork walls, and interesting handmade accessories that the owner, Marianna, has collected over the years from her various travels.
There are three suites in the main building, sited under the restaurant and bio pool, sharing a terrace; these cater for couples and small families. Wisdom is the largest with two bedrooms (note the second bedroom has no windows), Courage has an additional single bed in the room, Serenity is for couples. Or you can opt for your own private cabin experience, with two separate Eco-villas to choose from – each with their own private entrance – and either a private balcony or garden area.
We stayed in one of the Eco-villas and it was a tiny home dream come true. Set back about 30m from the main building, ours was neatly tucked into the hillside and slightly elevated from the main building. From there, you get to enjoy unobstructed views of the main lodge, pool and sea, so you’ll want to spend a good few hours on your private balcony soaking that up.
Inside, the villas are fully equipped with everything you could possibly need – not just the basics but pots, pans, utensils, teas, sauces and spices. The living room/ kitchen area is compact but cleverly designed, with lots of comfy throw cushions, blankets and eclectic design accents that give the place a ‘settle in and stay awhile’ feel.
- Mosquito net
Breakfast is served in the main dining area. It might be the prettiest breakfast we’ve seen. Picture wooden chopping boards laden with various types of cheeses, and gorgeous Portuguese stoneware, full of fresh fruit, granola, yoghurt and homemade jams. It’s all vegetarian, but you certainly won’t walk away hungry.
Drop by the kitchen area during the day and help yourself to fresh fruit, juices, coffees, teas and – if there’s any left – a slice of homemade cake. There’s also an honesty bar with a wide variety of beers and wine available, including some very good local and organic options.
We recommend eating dinner at the lodge at least one night – this needs 48 hours' notice. The main dining area is transformed into a sophisticated, candlelit experience. Chef Lotte serves up deliciously inventive vegetarian/vegan food that’s good for you, good for the planet, and incredibly tasty. We loved the beetroot carpaccio, gnocchi with cauliflower puree, and – despite being full to the brim – gobbled up the vegan chocolate dessert.
Locally, there are also a few highly recommended restaurants. We stopped by Hangar do Peixe for an ‘imperial’ (small beer) and some fried cuttlefish at sunset. Aloha and Leaves has great vegan/vegetarian food, or there’s O Zagaia, which offers a top-rated, mainly pescatarian menu.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Kids' meals
- Lunch by arrangement
- Vegetarian options
- Head to the beach to surf, swim, ride or picnic. The best are Praia dos Coelhos, do Ribeiro do Cavalo, da Foz, das Bicas, do Meco, and do Rio da Prata
- Go for a hike: your choice of cliff top walks, conservation area paths, beach walks and forest trails. (The walk from Villa Epicurea to Praia da Foz is definitely one to try)
- Do a yoga practice in the geodome overlooking the sea (mats and props provided) or try Tai chi and Qi-Gong
- Choose from a variety of massages including sound therapy
- Sign up for a cooking class on vegetarian and Mediterranean dishes and learn the principles of Vedic, Ayurvedic and macrobiotic cuisine
- Tour a few of the local wineries. One of Portugal’s most famous wines – Vinho Moscatel de Setúbal – comes from this region
- See flocks of flamingos (and 250 other species of birds) in nearby Lagoa da Albufeira
- Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs on the Cabo Espichel coastline. Some of the best preserved dinosaur footprints of Portugal are along these cliffs
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Tai Chi
- Well being
- Wine tasting
Children of all ages are welcome. There’s a kids’ menu for food, but baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Courage suite can accommodate 3 people (1 queensize bed, 1 single), and the Eco-villas and Wisdom suite can accommodate 4 people (1 queensize bed, 2 singles).
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Airport: 55 minutes
- Shops: 7 minute drive
Eco-lodge Villa Epicurea is just inland and west of Santana and Sesimbra, on the Serra da Arrabida peninsula on the west coast of Portugal, 50 minutes south of Lisbon.
Lisbon Portela Airport (47km) is the closest (about 55 minutes-1 hour away). The hotel can arrange an airport transfer.
You will most likely have a car to explore the region. See our car rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
- Humberto Delgado Airport aka Lisbon Portela Airport 47.0 km LIS
- Beach 3.1 km
- Shops 5.0 km
- Restaurant 3.0 km