We (two adults and two children, age 8 and 9) just returned from a nearly 2 week stay in Mary and Alan's beautiful home. The setting is picture-perfect and the photos do not adequately capture the gorgeous landscaping and special setting: it is high up on a hill (very steep driveway!) with spectacular views of the ocean from virtually every window. Sunsets are incredible, and we often enjoyed a glass of wine on the outside terrace (under a grape arbor) while watching them. The aerial photo gives a sense of the terraced quality of the property. Our boys particularly liked the garden/yard level (first floor of the house with the outdoor terrace) where they played with the sweet dog Alma. They also loved the daily swims in the pool (third level) -- the pool and gardens surrounding it are lovely and this level has spectacular views as well.
The house is comfortable and has all amenities needed and was very clean. Mary thoughtfully stocked the kitchen with basics before our arrival. She was incredibly helpful and responsive throughout our stay with great suggestions and ideas. We also arranged for Mary to give a private drawing lesson to our sons, and we'll treasure the drawings they did. Mary's artwork adorns the house, and we purchased a beautiful print of the mountains to remind us of our stay.
The location is incredibly well situated for getting to beaches, exploring Sintra and Cascais (we went back to both a few times). Colares and Almocageme are perfect small towns for basics -- several good bars and restaurants, good grocery stores (don't let the size of the one in Almocageme fool you -- it's well priced and stocked!). One of our favorite meals at home included the delicious grilled chicken (available on the main square in Almocageme or next to the grocery store in Colares.) And of course lots of vino verdhe! The farmer's market in Almocageme was terrific as well (Saturday / Sunday). We hiked on the trail that begins on the property and while the first part of the passage is fairly overgrown, it opens up to a nice trail that is shaded and offers a lovely walk for the whole family.
A friend came for the last week and stayed in the downstairs bedroom (of the main cottage, not the annex). It is a private set up and quite separate from the upstairs bedrooms where we stayed.
We've stayed in many rental homes and this one is quite special -- both the place and the lovely host. We can't recommend it more!