Vilacampina

near Tavira, Algarve, Portugal Book from Book from £80 per night

A Moorish-influenced bolthole with an inviting pool and tranquil gardens, set just inland from some of the Algarve's most picturesque beaches
Vilacampina has it all. You’re close to some of the Algarve’s best beaches, in amongst olive and citrus groves, yet far, far away from the bustle of tourists. Freshly squeezed breakfast juice comes from orange trees in the estate across the lane, so wash down freshly baked nata and head out to the national park's island lagoons for miles of sand. If you can’t pull yourself away, then don’t. Vilacampina is a great spot to linger; wander through the garden to the pool, help yourself to a drink at the bar, soak up the sun on padded loungers or read in the shade of a parasol. Candle lanterns come out at night, when the palm-graced garden takes on a real feel of Arabian Nights.

Inside, interiors certainly don’t disappoint. Hallways are lined with eye-catching contemporary art, and the 9 stylish rooms offer stone floors, whitewashed walls, and super-comfy beds dressed in crisp white linen with Indian cotton bedspreads. Lighting, from appliqués and snazzy bedside lamps, is just right. Step onto the terrace, breathe in the fresh, Portuguese air, and feel yourself unwind. Whether you’re after romance or quality family time, you’ll find it here.

Highs

  • You couldn’t be better placed to explore the eastern Algarve’s picturesque countryside, quaint villages and breathtakingly beautiful beaches
  • The pool and grounds are great spots to laze in the sun - during our 2014 revisit we found it very hard to leave!
  • Sleek modern bedrooms have an enticing terrace or balcony, plus the design and layout of the property is exceptional
  • A spoiling breakfast is served on a smart decked terrace overlooking a small orchard of pear, fig and quince trees, the fruit of which is made into jams and jellies

Lows

  • There's no on-site restaurant, though there is a sandwich menu available throughout the day and staff can arrange for dinner to be delivered from a local restaurant
  • The area can get extremely hot in July and August
  • Some may find the rooms to be a little too small for a long trip
  • Beaches are not within walking distance (the closest is about 4km) but bikes can be borrowed to get you there

Best time to go

Temperatures in July and August can hit 40 degrees. Spring flowers bloom in April and May, and the sea is nice and warm in September and October. It's closed from mid November to early January. Winter (January-March) is a possibility, as there's heating, but don't expect to swim.

Our top tips

Set aside a couple of evenings for visiting Tavira and dining alfresco at one of its waterside restaurants. There's live music most evenings in the delightful open-air arena next to the Roman bridge, and even during the height of the season the town retains a laid-back and friendly atmosphere.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique B&B
  • 9
  • Breakfast (+ snack lunches)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Dec 2018 - 14 Mar 2019
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Contemporary-style rooms pamper you all the way. All are spotless, with shining white walls, creamy stone floors, and pinkish-red rugs to add a touch of colour. Simplicity is a virtue; there’s no clutter, but you get everything you need. Best of all are the French windows, which open onto a large terrace or balcony stretching around the building (each room has its own section), so fling open doors and find your very own outdoor sitting room where you can slump in a chair or sink into a mushroom-like bean bag. Those at the front look over the garden towards the pool, those at the back have views across orange groves towards the hills. Make sure you sit out at night with a glass of wine and listen to the cicadas sing.

Our favourite rooms were the 3 first-floor Doubles, which face out over the gardens; one of these, #5, is the most popular thanks to its corner location. If you’re after more privacy, opt for ground-floor #3; we loved its view over the old well.

Bathrooms are excellent and come in Spanish stone. Expect power showers, square white porcelain sinks, big mirrors, fluffy white towels, bathrobes and slippers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

An extensive Portuguese buffet breakfast is laid out in the open-plan sitting/dining room. You eat on a decked dining terrace for most of the year (we visited in October and found temperatures of 25 degrees), but on a rare cold, rainy morning, the fire is lit. You help yourself to an endless array of delicacies; we selflessly tested the chocolate cake twice simply to confirm how tasty it was. You’ll also find gallons of freshly squeezed orange juice, plates of cheese and ham, homemade yoghurt, bowls of fruit, croissants, homemade jams (we loved the fig jam), locally buzzed honey and an enticing choice of oven-warm breads. There’s strong coffee, warm milk and a collection of leaf and fruit teas.

For lunches and snacks, there’s a simple but delicious choice of baguettes made to order. For dinner, staff will happily order and collect food from the ever-popular Fialho. But should you choose to go out (and you should), you’ll discover fabulous fish and seafood such as giant shrimps, squid and octopus, crabs, clams and oysters. Grilled sardines are a firm favourite, as is the Portuguese speciality of salted cod; make sure you wash it down with jugs of crisp vinho verde. Try Alactruz in Santa Luzia, O Castelo in Tavira or get a table at Fialho. If you want something really fancy, head to Vila Joya at Almancil for 2 Michelin stars.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity: Armona

Activities

  • You're in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, hence the lack of development. The park is famous for its island lagoons that fan out along the coast from Faro to the border with Spain (about 45km). The beaches (praias) are fantastic and even in high season you can find a stretch to yourself. Some are connected by foot bridges, others are serviced by small ferries and water taxis (boat tours are easily arranged). Try the beaches at Fuzeta, Barrill, Santa Luzia and Tavira
  • There’s an observatory in the hills close by; the skies are marvellously clear, so it’s well worth it. You get to look through the big machine!
  • Santa Luzia is a pretty fishing village. You eat exceptional fish here - though its speciality is octopus - so drop by for lunch by the sea
  • Visit Olhão on a Saturday for its impressive farmers’ market. There are also 2 red-brick market buildings which are open most days selling fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, and local produce. Whilst here, get the ferry to Ilha Culatra, Armona or Deserta, all of which have outstanding beaches
  • Pull on your walking boots - or borrow a mountain bike - and head into the hills. You’ll find beautiful country, peace and quiet and a way of life that’s changed little in the last hundred years. On your way stop at Pêgo do Inferno (Hell’s Pool), where you can swim in a rock pool with a waterfall

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Children are welcome, with 1 child at a time allowed to stay in their parents' room; extra beds are available on request and there are 4 baby cots.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Kids Activities on site:

  • The pool and a couple of swings

Kid Friendly:

Location

Vilacampina is in Luz de Tavira, 8km from the town of Tavira on the Algarve coast and 25km east of Faro.

By Air:
Fly to Faro (25km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
We'd recommend you hire a car in order to fully make the most of the area; see our car rental recommendations.

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

More on getting to Portugal and getting around

Airports:

  • Faro 25.0 km FAO

Other:

  • Beach 4.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 23 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

We loved the way we were looked after, attentive and respectul. The breakfast probably the best we have had, the extras were unexpected and humbling. I would recommend especially the suite.

10/10,

Vila Campina was great - the staff were lovely and we had a wonderful time there. They really could not have been more delightful and helpful!

10/10,

What a wonderful place. Immaculately kept and incredibly generous in it's welcome. We loved the informality of Vilacampina which can only be pulled off with extraordinary attention to detail. The breakfast buffet was amazing and set us up for the day. Whilst set back from the waterfront, everything is within easy travel distance and so you end up feeling as if you've discovered a fabulous retreat. A treat indeed!

10/10,

Quiet escape and a very friendly and accommodating staff. Staff going above and beyond to help wherever they could. Breakfast offerings were excellent and the pool area gives you the space and atmosphere to relax. The grounds are well maintained with the pleasant addition of their two friendly dogs. Only 10 mins drive to Tavira town and beaches.

8/10,

Fantastic hotel and pool as well as a lovely warm welcome from staff.

10/10,

Had an absolutely lovely stay at Vilacampina. Sophia and her team were wonderful, so friendly and accommodating. They gave us amazing tips for restaurants and beaches. The hotel itself is great- loved coming back to a clean room after a day at the beach. Breakfast was brilliant with loads of delicious choice and amazing local fruit (still thinking of those figs!) And the pool area is super zen (the entire hotel is to be honest!) A wonderful place. Can't recommend it enough. Didn't want to leave!

10/10,

Everyone was extremely friendly and courteous. Only one thing to remark: the owner has two big, but friendly dogs. For us it was no problem.

10/10,

We miss being there already.

10/10,

Vilacampina is a wonderful place. The rooms were beautiful and clean. The hosts are lovely and care a lot about their guests. We enjoyed spending time at the swimming pool while drinking beers and eating the local food! I will recommend Vilacampina to anyone. Thanks again!

10/10,

This was our first trip to Portugal, and we spent 6 nights at Vilacampina between stays in Lisbon and Sintra. It's rare that one finds a place which appeals to all of the senses in the most positive way like Vilacampina …. from the moment the green gates open to reveal the grove of fruit trees, to the moment you enter your room for the first time, you are transported. The staff who welcome you are smiling while they tell you about their "hotel" with obvious pride in what they've created. You notice a quiet vibe from other guests wandering about, and they wave hello and also smile. You notice the dining and living room area, and see lovely touches such as a bookshelf and magazines and pickings from the garden and a computer for your use. The décor is spare and minimal and colourful against a white backdrop - very tasteful. You feel like you've entered someone's home as their guest for a few days.

We enjoyed our breakfasts where we met the other guests, and listened to them compare notes on which beaches were best, what the local restaurants had to offer, and their stories. What fun and very relaxed. The breakfast is superb, and is served by the folks who make it, also with great pride. Figs were in season when we visited and are grown on the premises.

The room and the pool area were top notch. Very comfortable, and clean and well maintained. It goes without saying that the décor echoed the common areas, and is very pleasing.

We had the best time being Sophia's guests at Vilacampina, and give it a 10/10

10/10,

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