Outpost - Casa das Arribas

Azenhas do Mar, Lisbon Coast, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £170 per night

Outpost - Casa das Arribas

Azenhas do Mar, Lisbon Coast, Portugal

Seven minimalist apartments for 2-4 in a clifftop house with vast ocean views and a shared pool; 40 minutes from Lisbon

Seven minimalist apartments for 2-4 in a clifftop house with vast ocean views and a shared pool; 40 minutes from Lisbon

Just north of the fairytale palaces of Sintra is a spectacular stretch of Atlantic coast. Half-empty beaches with dramatic waves make it a surfer's paradise. Clinging to the arribas (cliffs) above is one of the coast's most picturesque white villages, Azenhas do Mar, with a wave-lashed restaurant facing the ocean and a cliff-carved natural pool that fills at high tide. From here, Casa das Arribas is a 10-minute stroll uphill, a stylish outpost with a breathtaking view to the westernmost tip of Europe.

This light-flooded, architect-designed house, built in the 1940s and recently reconfigured, is set in a beautiful garden just metres from dramatic cliffs. Guests can choose from 7 apartments, and enjoy shared facilities including a large pool, a small spa (hot tub, cold plunge pool, Finnish sauna), a spacious indoor/outdoor yoga sala, and tennis court with basketball hoops and a small workout area. It's perfect for sociable families, couples or groups of friends. The sunsets are spectacular, the beds super comfy, and the simple decor ensures that the spectacular views are the main attraction. Bathrobes, organic shower gels and a bottle of local red add to the magic, and if you're tempted by a winter stay, there are roaring hearths in Ocean View and South Wing.

Highs

  • The breathtaking, ocean-facing location; a nearby path winds down a cliff to a small surf beach
  • The sense of tranquillity. It’s no wonder that some guests stay for a month or more
  • Many more shared facilities than we'd expect, all set in a beautifully landscaped garden. Guests need never be bored
  • A very good info booklet shares bucketloads of ideas and contact details for local activities and restaurants
  • The proximity to Lisbon, its airport, and magical Sintra

Lows

  • Full pre-payment upon reservation and rates don't include a final clean, which will be added to your bill
  • The gardens, pool, spa and tennis court are shared and the pool is ungated; ground floor apartments can feel exposed to other guests
  • Comfy seating is limited – parties of 4 will need to use at least one dining chair, or snuggle up close on a sofa
  • The decor may feel sparse to non-minimalists
  • Poor sound insulation between South Wing and Piso Alto apartments

Best time to go

We think spring (April-May) and autumn (Oct-Nov) are ideal: fewer crowds at Sintra, near-empty beaches, great weather for hiking or tennis, better rates and availability at the Casa. Temperatures can soar and the wind can be strong between June-August, with morning mist sometimes rolling in from the Atlantic. Winter stays are great for walkers; the Ocean Saloon and South Wing have fireplaces.

Our top tips

  • Book a wine tour at Casal Sta. Maria, Colares (8km). Abandoned in the 1920s, the vineyard\'s history is fascinating. The wines are exciting and surprising, the vineyards face the ocean, and the gardens are beautiful.
  • Opt for a slow but fun journey into Sintra on the pretty 1930s tram that runs from the neighbouring village of Praia das Maçãs.
  • You could combine 4 nights here with 3 nights in Lisbon, for an easy coast and city break. See our Lisbon hotels.
  • Great for...

    Family
    Beach
    Cheap & Chic
    Eco
    Great Outdoors
    • Boutique Apartments
    • 7 apartments for 2-4
    • Self catering + meals on request
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • Beach Nearby
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Car recommended
    • Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • WiFi
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Concierge Service
    • Tennis Court
    • Laundry Service
    • Barbecue station
    • Yoga studio
    Room:

    Rooms

    The Casa’s apartments are uncluttered and airy. Calm blue and white minimalist decor is warmed by wood and indoor plants. Expect handmade wooden furniture, comfy natural mattresses, state-of-the-art heat pumps (for those coming out of season), and deliciously scented organic soaps and shampoos. Ocean Saloon is the largest apartment, sleeping 4 in 2 bedrooms (1 emperor, 1 kingsize/twin), with 2 very elegant original fireplaces. Glass doors open to a wraparound ocean-view terrace that's shaded on the southern side.

    South Wing opens onto the pool terrace and sleeps 2-4 (one king-size bedroom; one sofa bed). We love its original terracotta floors, wood-beamed ceiling and corner fireplace to keep things cosy in winter.

    East Duplex's terrace is perfect for a sunny breakfast or a nap in the hammock. Accommodating 2-4, this apartment features exposed rock walls and an open staircase leading up to a mezzanine king-size bedroom.

    We stayed in Piso Alto – an enormous first-floor apartment with views on 3 sides – from the cliffs of Cabo da Roca to the Berlengas Islands. There are 2 king-size/twin bedrooms and one large bathroom. As it’s upstairs, this is the only apartment without direct outside space.

    North Casita is a cosy apartment for 2-3 with a terrace facing the ocean, where you can swing in your private hammock.

    The detached Pool House drinks up more ocean views, sleeping 2-4. The free-standing bathtub is perfect for a relaxing soak: it was handmade using 100-year-old mahogany wine barrels found in a local winery.

    Finally, the former oven house in the garden is now a modern open-plan light-filled studio: the Garden Cabana is small but perfectly formed, sleeping 2-3, and comes with a private sea view terrace plus hammock.

    Features include:

    • Bathrobes
    • Hairdryer
    • In room treatments available
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The apartment kitchens are well-equipped for self-catering, from a coffee machine to a dishwasher (no microwaves, and note that the Garden Cabana's kitchen is more of a kitchenette). Basic provisions include organic olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.

    Guests can order regular or organic breakfast baskets which contain fresh bread, fruit, juices, milk, eggs and more. For al fresco meals, the barbecue station in the garden has two large grills, running water, a worktop and a long wooden table. If you’re not in the mood to cook, food delivery apps don’t cover this area but the Outpost team can arrange meal deliveries or a private chef to rustle up anything from a fresh fish barbecue to traditional Portuguese meals (octopus, beef and pork stew, baked cod fish).

    The on-site honesty pantry is well-stocked and convenient in a pinch, but pricey. The village of Azenhas do Mar, a 10-minute downhill walk, has one small supermarket and a clutch of eateries, including a cliffside restaurant with a spectacular view. Enjoy fish fresh from the ocean: octopus, sea bass, clams, giant lobsters, scarlet prawns and barnacles, a speciality of the region. There are steaks too, and very good wines from Colares, 5 miles inland. Colares is also home to a popular farmers' market every weekend. For larger grocery stores, you’ll need to go to Sintra.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Coffee maker
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Lunch by arrangement
    • Meal delivery service
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Basic ingredients
    Eating:
    Activity: something similar used Kids N/L April 2019

    Activities

    • Hone your tennis or basketball skills on the court; dive into the pool; recover with a spot of yoga (there are regular thrice-weekly classes, or self-practice or book a teacher) in the beautiful yoga studio or a massage in your apartment. There are mats and racquets to borrow. The small spa has a Finnish sauna with large windows to the ocean, and both hot and cold tubs
    • Hit the beach. The small beach and tidal pool at Azenhas do Mar are best at low tide. Praia Grande (5km) and Praia das Maçãs (3km) are bigger, and surfers should check out Praia da Ursa (14km), Guincho (20km) and Ericeira (22km). Guided surf excursions, classes and private lessons can be arranged, as well as SUP surf courses
    • Unpack your walking shoes or hire a bicycle and explore the nearby cliffs, beaches and villages. The coastal paths are well-maintained and clearly signposted
    • Visit magical Sintra, 12km. Dubbed a 'Disneyland for adults', Unesco-listed Sintra has long been a popular destination. Don't miss the colourful 19th-century Pena Palace, the medieval Moorish Castle, romantic Monserrate Palace and gardens, or our favourite: the mysterious Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira
    • Take a day trip into Lisbon, less than an hour by road or by train from Sintra
    • Walk under a canopy of tropical plants and enjoy 360-degree views in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
    • Upmarket family-friendly Cascais (25km) has sandy, swimmable beaches, great museums, a playground, park, excellent restaurants, and number of food markets (check the schedule to see what’s on when)

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Basketball
    • Cycling
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • SUP
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Yoga

    Kids

    Casa das Arribas is very family friendly and welcomes children of all ages. Kids will love running around the grounds and playing in the pool or at the local beaches. Cots and high chairs are available, as are inflatable armbands for swimming.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Ocean Saloon and Piso Alto each have 2 double/twin bedrooms and space for a baby cot. North Casita, East Duplex and South Wing all have a sofa bed in their living rooms for 1-2 extra guests plus space for a baby cot. Ocean Saloon can connect with South Wing (adjacent) or Piso Alto (above).

    Cots Available

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots and high chairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Swimming pool
    • Tennis court (racquets to borrow)

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Azenhas do Mar has a natural swimming pool
    • Beaches all along the coast
    • Boogie boarding & surfing at Praia Grande
    • Horse riding


    .

    Families Should Know:

    The pool is relatively deep and unfenced; the local beach is sandy but isn't suitable for swimming

    Distances:

    • Airport: 45 minutes (Lisbon)
    • Shop and restaurants: 10 minutes
    • Hospital: 30 minutes (Sintra)
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Casa das Arribas is located on the cliffs just outside the picturesque village of Azenhas do Mar, 40km northwest of Lisbon.

    By Air:
    Fly into Lisbon Portelo (40km) then hire a car to get here and explore the area. You could get a taxi from the airport (20-30 mins' drive).

    By Car:
    Guests will need a car to explore the area properly and get to restaurants located outside the village, and to the larger grocery stores in Sintra.

    Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Lisbon Airport 40.0 km LIS

    Other:

    • Beach 1.0 km
    • Shops 1.0 km
    • Restaurant 1.0 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    9/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    {{ review.rating }}/10, ,

    Rates for Outpost - Casa das Arribas

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