Submitted: August 18, 2011
Stayed: June 2011
We came back!! For our Honeymoon after falling in love with the place last year. This time we discovered there was more to Estoi than the village square edged by the church, the hotel and the two cafes for coffee and cake, the restaurant down on the Roman bridge and the bar with free Wi-Fi overlooking the river that we found on our last trip. There is a labyrinth of winding roads, which were all decked out with bunting as there was a festival of the saints (I think) after which most of the streets are named. There are a few shops and some small, quaint super(ish) markets, cafe bars and local restaurants, there is even a cinema rather like our old-time picture houses. We enjoyed a lovely meal at Gunther’s restaurant again, this time securing the table by the picture window thanks to the expert Portuguese booking made ahead of our stay by ‘homem inglês com a barba branca’. However, my personal favourite was the meal we had at the little restaurant/cantina on the side street as you head out of Estoi towards Casa Escondida, the name escapes me, the fresh dorada fish was seasoned and cooked to perfection and needed little more than a crisp fresh salad to dress it up, absolutely delicious!
On the recommendation of previous visitors in the guestbook and John, we took the 30 minute regular ferry crossing from Olhao to the traffic-free zone of Ilha da Armona, which has the most stunning of wild, unspoilt beaches if you care to walk the 20 minutes through the little village of white-washed houses that have sprung up over the years. There are toilet facilities and lifeguard stations, sunbeds and private little gazebo-type spots to rent and a little restaurant just off the beach for lunch and to escape the scorching mid-day heat. There are also a few restaurants/cafe bars at the harbour all surprisingly reasonably priced, a bottle of Sagres beer at the harbour was only 1 euro!
This part of the Algarve really is one that will never lose its charm for those looking for somewhere off the beaten track that hasn’t fallen prey to over-inflated prices due to mass-tourism. It’s the Algarve of yester-year and long may it remain that way. It is a perfect hedonistic retreat for rest and relaxation, with wonderful views to be seen, beaches to be explored and food and wine to be savoured. If its crowded beaches, hectic nightlife and designer shopping you crave, this is not the place for you.
Amamos Casa Escondida e voltaremos novamente, obrigado John and Marion
Families with Young Children,
Helpful votes: 4/4
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