But our favourite thing about staying at Pensao Agricola was how comfortable and utterly relaxing a hotel it is. Charming owner Rui and his staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome from the moment you arrive, and look after you magnificently throughout. Best of all, since our stay a delightfully restored tavern has been added just down the road, giving guests the option to book one of five suites in this annex if Pensao Agricola's rooms are full.
- A perfect base for the eastern Algarve's picturesque countryside, quaint villages and breathtakingly beautiful beaches
- Slow breakfasts on the terrace overlooking the orchards - you'll taste their fruit in homemade jams and jellies
- Just six elegant rooms - and if they're full the Hospedaria annex is just 250m away (with shared facilities)
- Lazing in the sun by the small heated pool
- Delicious five-course dinners on request. Try osso bucco with coconut rice and manioc, followed by carob mousse with fig ice cream
- No kids under 12 (a high for those seeking peace)
- Fairly isolated - you'll need a car to get here
- No beaches within walking distance, but you can borrow bikes if you don't want to drive
- The area can get extremely hot in July and August
- We haven't seen Hospedaria's suites for ourselves, but they look just as stylish
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel + Annex
- 11 rooms
- Breakfast + other meals on request
- Over 12s only
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car essential
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Snack menu
Pensao Agricola has six rooms in three categories. Three Standard Doubles are part of the original farmhouse and share a terrace. In contemporary out-buildings are two Superior Doubles, each with a private terrace, and the Suite, which has its own terrace and a separate sitting room with a TV. (None of the other rooms have a TV). All are gorgeous but Acoteia was our favourite, with its vintage pommel horse!
Down the road, the Hospedaria annex has five suites that share the same sleek elegance - plus each large room has its own seating area, private patio and shares Pensao Agricola's facilities.
All rooms are light and spacious with a simple elegance. There are large comfy beds and statement bedside lights, and each has an individual mix of vintage and upcycled furniture. Bathrooms also make a statement with enormous showers, underfloor heating and sliding roof windows (in the Superior Doubles and Suite). Customised toiletries are by Nova Saboaria.
- In room treatments available
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
We had some of our favourite food in the Algarve here - many of their amazing dishes are based on old family recipes, and meals are served on the shady terrace next to the farmhouse.
Breakfast is a lavish affair - we feasted on scrambled eggs, melon and figs, pastries with homemade jam, and yoghurt with homemade fruit compote; there were also cheeses, meats, breads and copious amounts of freshly squeezed orange juice. Understandably, after this most people skip lunch or have a light snack by the pool (freshly made soups, salads and toasted sandwiches, available all day).
Dinner is the star event: a 5-course set menu, with meat or fish, which you'll need to request in advance. The setting feels intimate and candles add to the sense of occasion. After imaginative starters, including prawn quiche and cauliflower mousse, our main course was a deliciously rich osso bucco with coconut rice and manioc. Carob mousse with fig ice cream and dried mango was a perfect follow-up, served with a local liqueur. A choice of green, red or white Covelo wine flows throughout the meal.
The closest restaurants are 4km away at Fábrica and Cabanas beaches. All serve traditional Portuguese cuisine with wonderful fresh fish and seafood, and Noelia's (at Cabanas beach) does so with an interesting modern twist.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Taxi-boat to stunning island beaches in the protected Ria Formosa National Park; we love Fuseta, Culatra and Armona. In summer, the hotel can arrange for you to go to an idyllic deserted beach and set up a picnic for you (a 25-minute tuk-tuk ride followed by a quick hop on a boat)
- Borrow bikes to explore the surroundings. Cacela Velha, a picturesque clifftop fishing village, is just 1.5 km down the road
- Visit Tavira, one of the prettiest towns in the Algarve (10km away). The Camera Obscura has 360-degree views of the rooftops and you can climb cobbled streets to a 13th-century castle
- Day trip in style: rent the hotel’s Vespa or convertible Alfa Romeo Spider
- Foodies will enjoy Olhao's big bustling fish market on Saturdays
- Pop over to Spain: the coast between Mazagón and Matalascañas has wild pine-shaded beaches and massive sand dunes; the town of El Rocio is like a Western filmset; or Seville is only an hour and a half away
- Staff can arrange in-room massages, dolphin watching, fishing trips, bird watching in the marshlands, or golf tee times (there are 6 courses within 15km)
- Ernesto and Julia, the hotel's donkeys, are always happy to see people, and especially delighted if you help feed and groom them
Activities on site or nearby include:
This property is a tranquil hideaway which only welcomes children over 12 years old. There are no extra beds.
Teens (over 12)
Pensao Agricola and its nearby Hospedaria annex are are set on the edge of Sitio do Valonga, a small village in the eastern Algarve, near Tavira and 40 minutes from Faro airport. Lisbon is 284km away, whilst Seville in Spain is only a 1.5-hour drive.
Fly into Faro (48km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.
From the Airport
You'll need a car to get here - see our rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Portugal and getting around
- Faro 48.0 km FAO
- Beach 4.0 km
- Shops 10.0 km
- Restaurant 4.0 km