Monte da Vilarinha

near Carrapateira, Algarve, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £102 per night

Monte da Vilarinha

near Carrapateira, Algarve, Portugal

Fabulous, family-focused and wonderfully romantic rooms, apartments and cabins in a leafy valley close to the stunning beaches of the Costa Vicentina

Fabulous, family-focused and wonderfully romantic rooms, apartments and cabins in a leafy valley close to the stunning beaches of the Costa Vicentina

As you follow a winding road down into a wooded valley, across a narrow bridge then up towards an isolated cluster of low schist buildings, you sense that something really special awaits you. And there are few Portuguese hideaways that have been so masterfully crafted both inside and out. Each of Monte da Vilarinha's 13 living units (spread between 6 houses) brilliantly combines clean-cut, contemporary design with the traditional Alentejano materials of slate, terracotta, bamboo and local adobe-like taipa. They, and their shared poolside breakfast room, are as functional as they are good-looking.

But what makes Vilarinha stand out from the pack is its family-friendly ethos. This is a place where children are not just tolerated but celebrated, and any kid would find staying here a joy. There's an adventure playground with swings, a slide and climbing ropes, a wooden roped walkway snaking through the trees, mountain bikes to ride, a beautiful pool, 32 hectares of enchanted valley to explore, and beautiful beaches close by. For toddlers there's a small playroom with toys. And, thanks to the peace, grown-ups love it, too.


  • A tranquil setting in a natural park, with lush views from private terraces and heaps of activities nearby, including some of the Atlantic coast's most stunning beaches
  • A best-of-both-worlds catering set-up: most units have well-equipped kitchens, while an incredible breakfast is served daily
  • Children will easily meet playmates, and families will feel fully at home
  • With solar power, natural materials and recycling, sustainability is central to Vilarinha's ethic rather than a mere afterthought
  • We loved the expansive garden, full of fruit trees and cacti, wildflowers and eucalyptus, and a little stream


  • Couples without kids might find it too family-focused, though we visited as a couple and loved the relaxed, inclusive energy
  • In Casa do Forno, the Double Rooms do not have access to self-catering facilities
  • Breakfast is the only meal served, so you'll have to cook for yourself or head out for food
  • You’ll need a car to make the most of the area, and to get to shops and restaurants
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    Casa do Vale would be ideal for families as it has two double bedrooms, with the space for a rollaway bed or cot at an extra cost. Larger families will be happily housed in Casa da Encosta, which has three bedrooms including a bunk room, and can also add a rollaway bed and cot.

    The Casa da Ribeira Studios have a double bedroom plus a lounge with a single sofabed; their bathrooms are shower only. The Casa de Cima Apartments have sofabeds and space for a rollaway bed (they can sleep up to 4 + a baby). The Casa do Lago Suite has a sofabed, so can sleep 4 in total.

    In Casa do Forno, the Double Rooms can sleep a child up to 11 years on a rollaway bed; the Deluxe Suite has a sofabed; all can take a baby cot. Larger family parties should book all 3 Casa do Forno rooms (sleeping 9 in total), which share a big open-plan kitchen/dining and living room.

    Parents should know...

    Kids can run around freely, but there are some steps in and around the buildings and there are snakes (non-venomous). The pool is unfenced so toddlers, as always, need a keen eye on them. The hotel also has a dog which is often off the lead in the gardens
  • Highchairs
  • Baby cots

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Breakfast is served daily; for other meals, you can self-cater . Double Rooms in Casa do Forno do not have self-catering facilities. Kitchens have microwaves for heating up baby food. The nearest grocery shop is 2km away

  • Small playroom for toddlers
  • Playground and rope walkway for older kids
  • Mountain bikes to borrow
  • Swimming pool
  • Ping pong table
  • Lovely expanse of flat lawn that's perfect for toddlers (though there are some water features nearby)
  • Beaches
  • Horse riding
  • Zoo in Sagres
  • Surfing lessons

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Retreat
  • 13 bedrooms/apartments
  • Breakfast (+ self-catering)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service


The various accommodation options are spread across 6 houses, each differing slightly in conception. There are double rooms, studios, apartments or cabins. Whichever you choose, you'll have a private terrace with garden furniture and a choice of sun or shade.

White-washed Casa da Ribeira, nearest the pool, contains four open-plan Studios with shower bathrooms and kitchenettes, while a little further up the hill is Casa de Cima, home to three larger apartments. Each has a double bedroom, a living room with a sofabed (single), a kitchen/diner, and a bathroom with a tub.

We stayed in Casa do Forno on our most recent visit and loved the view over the valley. Here you'll find two Double Rooms (no cooking facilities) and a Deluxe Suite with a full kitchen: we loved its spoiling tub, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and huge living area, it also comes will a fully-equipped kitchen. This house makes a great choice for larger families or groups of three couples, who can rent it as a private unit (known as the Apartment).

We fell in love with Casa do Vale, a two-bedroom wooden cabin, thanks to its eaved ceilings and total seclusion in the woods. Casa da Encosta is also a wooden cabin, but boasts three large bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a wraparound veranda.

Casa do Lago is new since we visited. Set close to a lake, it houses a suite with a double/twin bedroom, a living room with a sofabed for extra guests, and a kitchenette.

Each house is unique, but expect beamed ceilings, terracotta-tiled floors, hand-woven throws and furniture made from local cork. Bathrooms boast rainfall showers or tubs but do note that only soap is provided.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots available
  • DVD player
  • Hairdryer
  • In-room treatments available
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi


Most rooms and suites have access to snazzy kitchens and kitchenettes with hobs, microwaves, fridges and dishwashers, but no ovens. There’s also a communal barbecue and bread oven - exclusive to Casa do Forno if the building has been booked by one group. Basic ingredients (salt, pepper and oil) can be borrowed from the restaurant and you can buy groceries in the village, 2km away. Note that the Double Rooms in Casa do Forno do not have any self-catering facilities.

No need to fix your own breakfast, though. Vilharinha also has a glass-fronted diner by the pool with tables spilling out onto the terrace whenever the weather's good. There’s a healthy buffet breakfast of locally made cheese, juicy tomatoes, homemade jams, fruit salad and freshly squeezed orange juice, plus wonderful freshly baked bread and sweet treats from a renowned Aljezúr bakery. If you have to leave for an early flight, breakfast packs can be delivered to your door in the evening, ready for the next morning.

If you prefer to eat out, there’s a choice of simple restaurants in Carrapateira, 5km down the road - the team are on hand for recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kids' meals
  • Microwave
  • Toaster


  • Vilarinha is set in a natural park, surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys. Bring your binoculars for bird-watching, go hiking (there are marked trails), or ask the owners about fishing and kayaking opportunities
  • Grab one of the mountain bikes and explore the surrounding area on 2 wheels
  • Or saddle up and meander through this beautiful swathe of country on horseback: there are stables just down the road
  • Head for the beach. The nearest, Amado, is about 5 minutes away by car, with a huge stretch of sand and lots of surf schools; a few minutes further on is the beautiful Bordeira, which has a river for children to paddle in
  • Hit the waves or, if you’re a novice, book a place on a surf course: the Costa Vicentina is home to some of Europe's best breaks. Even if you're not a surfer, it's great fun just to watch
  • Shop for the makings of your meals at any number of colourful local markets: you can make use of Vilarinha's big barbecue area or prepare a roast in its wood-fired oven
  • Head down to Sagres - if you've got kids in tow you might be tempted to visit the zoo - then carry on to Cabo São Vicente (Cape St Vincent), from where the sunsets are simply electrifying
  • Back at Vilarinha, laze by the small crescent-shaped pool, doze in a hammock, treat yourself to a massage with a local therapist (arranged on request), then sit back on your terrace with a glass of chilled vinho verde as the stars appear overhead

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Best Time to go

It gets extremely hot in July and August, when a minimum booking of a week is required. Spring (April-May) is perfect for flowers, autumn (September-October) for coastal walks. The sea is swimmable from June to September. It can rain quite a lot in winter (November-March).

Our Top Tips

Bear in mind that, whilst the beaches in this part of Portugal are amongst the most beautiful in the country, the sea is several degrees cooler than elsewhere in the Algarve. Bringing wet suits for you and your children might significantly add to the enjoyment of your holiday

It's also worth packing a torch to help you navigate your way around the site after dark, as there's little outdoor lighting (though this means it's great for star-gazing!)
Kid Friendly:


Monte da Vilarinha enjoys the best of both worlds: it's hidden away in a leafy valley near Carrapateira, north of Sagres, yet it's close to some of the finest surfing beaches in Europe. The A2 motorway that runs the length of the Algarve makes for an easy arrival from Faro, whilst Lisbon is a little over 300km away (a 3-hour drive).

By Air:
Fly to Faro (90km away), which is a 1-hour drive. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
You could manage without a car here by flying to Faro, taking public transport to Lagos, Sagres or Vila do Bispo, then taking a taxi for the final stretch (or they can collect you). However, most guests hire a car, and unless you want to cycle, you'll need to drive to shops, beaches and restaurants.

By Car:
See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Portugal and getting around


  • Faro 90.0 km FAO
  • Lisbon 320.0 km LIS


  • Beach 6.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests


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