Quinta das Eiras

Santo da Serra, Madeira, Portugal Book from Book from £57 per night

A romantic mountain retreat in the northeast of the island with cosy self-catering wooden lodges and total tranquillity
Alpine charm and Zen-like calm might not be the first things you associate with Madeira, but that's what the Quinta das Eiras delivers. While golfers are driving their fairways in Santo da Serra, this backwater hidden up a winding track in the hinterland of Madeira feels like another world.

Ten stilted cabins dot themselves across the grounds (2 of these pair up for family stays); there's a sweet Little Stone House tucked away near the manager’s lodge, a Log House and a Red House near the gates. All is well-tended, secluded and very romantic. You get a swimming pool on the lawn and a tranquil, tropical, back-to-nature feel. Each perched home feels woody and rustic, with its simple kitchenette, tiny bathroom and deliciously comfortable bed - think luxurious camping. A place to unwind: rest body and soul against a background of bird ballad and river rush, take a dip into the pool or get sporty.


  • The setting: tropical gardens, paddling ducks and an all-pervading sense of serenity
  • Quirky design pieces in the stone cottage and the red house add a refreshingly arty touch
  • The Little Stone House, a former cowshed, is full of rural charm and comes complete with flowers round the door
  • Despite the remote feel, it's only 10-20 mins' drive to the seaside town of Machico, the golf course of Santo da Serra, and Madeira's Santa Cruz airport


  • It's often cloudy or wet up in these hills, and a good 5 degrees cooler than the coast
  • The nearest shops and restaurant are 1km away, so you'll need a car
  • The cabins are very simple and rather dark, with a bit of fraying around the edges, and basic kitchenettes
  • No room service, nor breakfast, coffee or tea facilities. This is strictly self-catering
  • Not for movers and shakers - the pace of life here is slow, slow, slow

Best time to go

Avoid November to March: it gets cloudy and wet up here, although the Quinta's rooms are cosy. In the summer the gardens are in full bloom; spring and autumn would also be special.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Cottages
  • 10 cabins (for 2) + 3 cottages (for 2-4)
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: Mountain Shelter


You have a choice of 10 stilted Mountain Shelters, the Red House, the Little Stone House and the Log Cabin. All have a small outdoor sitting/dining area and a simple stylish décor.

The Little Stone House by the river is our favourite. It used to be a cowshed, now it’s been renovated to make a pretty 2-storey cottage, hidden away from the lodges, wreathed in delicate flowers. The décor is unusual, combining such quirkeries as a tailor’s dummy with an attractive muted natural palette. There's a lovely dining/sitting room area, a stylish brown leather sofa, and a proper little kitchen, as well as 2 single beds that are pulled together when a couple stay.

The slightly smaller, single-storey Red House is perfect for a couple with 1 or 2 younger children. It has a compact terracotta-tiled sitting room with a sofabed (fine for 2 children; cots are also available), a circular dining table and a small kitchen. The Log Cabin, which we haven't seen yet, also has plenty of space for up to 4.

The perched cabins lie somewhere between a mountain lodge, a treehouse and a shed. Furnished in natural colours, they have pine walls and floors, really comfortable double beds and small but perfectly formed kitchenettes. The bathrooms are compact with small showers and heated towel rails (white towels provided). Underneath each lodge is a shaded open-air eating and chilling area; wraparound balconies guarantee forest and river views. Steep steps up to the bedrooms mean that these are not toddler-friendly.

There is also a double cabin that is ideal for families with older children, or for 2-4 friends; it's a combination of Mountain Shelters 2 and 3, linked by a shared deck, each with its own outdoor stair, each with a bedroom up and a living area below.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Internet access
  • Oven
  • TV


Quinta das Eiras is fully self-catering. No food is provided, not even tea bags, so you’ll have to stock up. The nearest shop is the small grocer's in Santo da Serra, less than a kilometre away. The capital, Funchal, is a 20-minute drive. There's a mini fridge as well as a 2-ring hob in each cabin, and all the cutlery and plates etc you’ll need, plus a coffee pot and saucepans. There are no ovens but the Red House and Stone House do have microwaves. Note there are no barbecues on site.

Santo da Serra's restaurants serve hearty Madeiran food (skewered meats, baked fish). There's also a bakery in the village that, it is hoped, will soon be making breakfast deliveries to the Quinta.

Features include:

  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Oven
Eating: Log House
Activity: Log House


  • Relax in the tropical gardens with occasional dips in the pool
  • You're well placed for hiking, with forests and levadas surrounding the retreat (levadas are irrigation channels that provide a wonderful network of walking trails throughout the island)
  • Painters and writers find inspiration in the solitude and tranquillity - your chance to write that novel
  • Ask Luis about hiring a yacht : he sometimes has access to a 50-foot ocean-race-winning beauty that can be hired for 1 or 2-night cruises with a skipper
  • Or set off on a mountain bike - you can hire them locally
  • Golf: Santo da Serra's 27-hole course, home to the Madeira Island Open, has spectacular views to mountains, valleys and the islands of Desertas and Porto Santo - and is only a mile away
  • Visit the seaside towns of Machico and Canical, 10 minutes away, for ice creams, swims and paddles in the sea. They also offer several elegant dining options
  • There's diving off the coast nearby
  • Horse riding and jeep safaris can be arranged

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Whale watching


The natural setting is great for kids - but the pool isn't fenced and the narrow steps up to the stilted lodges might be a problem.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Log House has 2 double beds, while the Red House has a double bedroom and a living room with double sofabed. Families with older children might like the Double Cabin which is a pair of stilted cabins with a shared (indoor) living space between them. All rooms have handy kitchenettes.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly:


Quinta das Eiras is in the northeast of Madeira, near the village of Santa do Serra, just 10 minutes from the coast.

By Air
Funchal (8km). Click the links below for a list of airlines.

By Car
You'll need a car here and ideally should rent a comfortable one and be a confident driver – the hills and country roads in this area are a little hair-raising. See our car rental recommendations.

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

More on getting to Madeira and getting around


  • Funchal 8.0 km FNC


  • Beach 8.0 km
  • Shops 0.6 km
  • Restaurant 0.6 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests


Wonderful retreat! The cabins are fantastic, very rustic but with every mod con, very cleverly designed. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. But, yes, for us it was often cloudy and certainly a lot cooler than at the coast (about 8 degrees) so do bring warm clothes, although the cabins are cosy so that is nice!


Luis was very helpful even during shelves so we had some extra storage space. The little stone house is lovely but is very basic. A shower you have to hold by hand is never great. With a toddler it is perhaps not the ideal choice. Conversely, the extensive gardens are great for children to run around. Be aware that the temperature at this altitude is 4-8 degrees cooler than at sea level. It is also much more prone to rain. This may be good/bad depending on time of year. Overall very good value but be mindful that the price is reflected in some of the simplicity of the arrangements.


The Little Stone House just about stays on the right side of charming, despite some things that need mending and sorting out. A little care and attention would make it amazing. The grounds are lovely and the swimming pool is a highlight, positioned perfectly to catch the first sun in the morning and the last at night. There are dogs locally which keep up a pretty much 24/7 round of barking, not a problem during the day, but loud at night. In summary, a good rural retreat.


A great relaxing place with a lot of hidden romantic relaxing spots. Loved staying there.


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