Maximum: 15 adults plus 2 child/children
Originally a farm, St Matau is 322 metres above sea level and has extensive views across the countryside to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. There are some inexpensive, traditional restaurants dotted in the surrounding hills and Boliqueime, with a wider variety is a short drive away.
The original farmhouse has been restored making up half of the accommodation in this substantial property and a newer building has been added to compliment the original with furniture and building materials which are in keeping with the style of the farmhouse.
The villa is a rabbit warren with some interconnecting rooms and countless original features both in the grounds and internally. There are some dry-stone walls, a fabulous wood burning stove (logs can be purchased at the local supermarket), lovely pieces of furniture - both functional and ornamental, low ceilings in the old part of the house and attractive china. The small kitchen has been brought up to date with modern appliances but is deliberately still very much a farmhouse kitchen and is in no way "high tech!"
The garden is lovely; at the front of a house there are double entry gates and a drive with a path leading to a bridge over a frog pond with a tucked away seating area. The swimming pool is at the back of the property and takes advantage of the amazing views. It is surrounded by terraces with a lawn to one side. There are several outside dining areas, including a shaded terrace, by the barbeque. There is a ramp from the terrace to the pool and one of the ground floor bathrooms has hand rails, so this villa may be suitable for wheelchair users. Please enquire at time of booking.
Original house: Small kitchen. Dining room. Steps down to: Living room. Step up to: 1 small double bedroom (best suited to 2 children or 1 adult) with small shower room en-suite. 1 double bedroom. 1 twin bedroom. 1 bathroom.
First floor: 1 single bedroom connecting to; twin connecting to shower room (these 3 rooms have low ceilings & curtained off clothes rails rather than conventional wardrobes).
New house: Living/dining room. 2 twin bedrooms, 1 with bathroom en-suite. 1 bathroom.
First floor: 1 double bedroom with small terrace & bathroom en-suite. 1 twin bedroom with terrace & bathroom. NB It is worth noting that the staircase is quite open so care should be taken with young children.
In the hills behind Faro there are some wonderful towns and villages which remain relatively unaffected by tourism. Loulé is a typical, bustling market town with lots of history and remnants of its Roman and Moorish past, including the old castle walls and mosque-like churches. As the coast has developed, gradually more villas have been built on the almond tree filled hills surrounding Loulé but this has not changed the character of the town; if you wander down the cobbled side streets, you will find workshops with craftsmen busily working on leatherware, weavers making baskets and metal workers beating out copperware.
São Brás is a sleepy town 12kms from Loulé with a central square, an interesting museum, several restaurants and few tourists. Close by is the village of Estoi which has Roman ruins, an 18th Century palace and an excellent market held on the second Sunday of each month. ...
Santa Bárbara de Nexe has several very good restaurants including inexpensive, traditional cafés and an Italian with live music on Sundays. For the adventurous traveller, Seville, just across the Spanish border, is an easy drive, just two and a half hours via the motorway. You can take your hire car at no extra cost if you notify us so that we can arrange insurance cover for Spain.
The village centre of Boliqueime is in the hills just in front of the motorway and a short drive to the coast. It retains a village atmosphere yet is just a fifteen minute drive from the centre of Albufeira and about the same to the golf courses at Vilamoura. The centre still has some cobbled streets with local shops, a post office, chemist and a couple of cafés and there is an annual fair, held during the summer in the church square, with stalls selling locally produced handicrafts and food. On the main road there is a well used and authentic café/restaurant, where one of our directors was once defeated by a rustic local stew of pig's head, complete with ears! The surrounding countryside is hilly, with pine and almond trees and dotted with gleaming white villas. This is the way to get the best of the Algarve if you do not mind a short drive to the shops and beaches. Salir is well known for its 12th century castle, originally built by the Moors to protect the countryside and its peoples from a Christian attack, It is situated at the top of the village and there are some outstanding views across the town and the surrounding countryside. It is close to the Rocha da Pena national park which is a popular hiking area, with locals and visitors alike.
The villages in these areas are largely unspoilt and most of our villas are in peaceful locations. The restaurants are usually very reasonably priced and offer authentic Algarvean cuisine.
You will have to drive to the beaches and barking dogs can sometimes spoil the tranquillity of the countryside.