|Minimum Stay||6 - 7 nights|
This deceptively spacious and light "casa rustica" sits at the end of a tranquil lane in a tiny hamlet in the Algarvian Barrocal mountain region where you can peek into a bygone era.
Casa Violeta tucks into the mountains among aromatic eucalyptus, cork trees, mountain herbs and wild flowers; culminating a ribbon of truly rustic cottages, vegetable gardens and chicken coops. A beautiful tropical garden hugs the cottage on three sides giving total privacy in unspoilt mountain scenery.
The exclusively private swimming pool is permanently heated to 23 degrees C enabling swimming in the cooler months (with the option to boost the pool heating to 28 degrees C for Euro 150 per week payable on arrival) and a gated terrace for child security and peace of mind overlooks the pool deck for sunny alfresco dining with cushions, sunbrollies and comfortable outdoor furniture; step down past the equally "just for you" private hot tub (lovely and relaxing especially on cooler evenings!) on its own little terrace. A path leads you to a shady garden with a west facing barbecue area and comfortable outdoor furniture conveniently by the kitchen.
Gorgeous sunrises to the east, if you're awake early enough; stunning sunsets to the west, unspoilt by any buildings, which can be enjoyed from the hot tub or barbecue area.
There's another south-east facing barbecue area in the front garden for sunworshippers with a handy hammock for flopping into.
With no light pollution to dull the stars and moon stargazers will love the brilliant night skies.
Recently inspected by and invited onto Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay - Portugal website.
The hot tub heats to 40 degrees Centigrade.
The pool heating can be boosted on request to approx 28 degrees Centigrade for an additional £100 per week - as a guide 2013 low and high unheated pool temperatures (using a pool cover) follow:
The front door leads you into a large living room with traditional cane ceilings and skylights, making it lighter than most old country cottages. Archways, thick walls, a functioning feature fireplace add to the olde worlde charm.
Modernity kicks in with ceiling fans, airconditioning, flat screen TV with UK freeview channels. A house laptop and printer are tucked away in the hall and there is free wifi.
Three colourful sofas with cushions and bright artwork contribute to the light and airiness of the room. Windows and the doorway give out to the front verandah crowded with bouganvilla, wisteria, grape vines and geraniums - and sunshine and blue skies.
Step through a wide chunky archway to the dining room with five chairs around a circular table and check out the especially commissioned "Casa Violeta" azulejo (tile painting)...look through the well equipped kitchen to the back door which leads out to the barbecue area.
The master bedroom is set off the living room; again, it's a large room with big furniture - 6ft (superking) bed, bedside tables, huge wardrobe and dressing table.
The bedroom has its own door leading out to the terrace overlooking the pool with superb views and handily placed for nipping out to the hot tub.
Back inside the bedroom an archway leads you into a large generously proportioned ensuite bathroom.
The ensuite has been upgraded with a brand new deep and comfortable roll top bath (complete with little legs), new shower apparatus, a "thunderbox" WC with old-style overhead cistern and a basin set in a pretty vanitory unit with cupboards and shelves and a matching wall hung mirror cupboard.
There is a separate little area just off the master bedroom with a small child's bed thereby maximising Casa Violeta's potential to be able to cater for an additional child and there's also room for a cot, which we can provide.
The house bathroom is just off the living room via a little corridor which leads to the twin room. Again this is a spacious room with large wardrobe and chest of drawers. The bathroom has a big walk-in shower, WC and basin set in a pretty vanitory unit.
Clive and Charlie have owned property in the Eastern Algarve since 2001. Charlie's childhood was spent in Peru until her family relocated to Jersey. The family were happy there but missed the wild rawness of Peruvian countryside and in the 1970's retreated to a summer bolthole in Almeria, Spain, later moving on to Las Alpujarras, Granada where her artist mother loved to paint.
Charlie inherited the love of a simple rural life and when visiting friends near Estoi she and her husband Clive fell in love with the Eastern Algarve.
"Casa Violeta" came up for sale, followed by "A Casa do Campo" in a village reminiscent of happy, stress-free childhood holidays away from tourists in beautiful unspoilt surroundings in which Charlie hoped that many others might appreciate and enjoy.
Mags and Ian purchased this cottage in 2011
Apart from the fact that it's "just" beautiful, we love the area because, as one guest wrote: "Casa Violeta is away from it all but not isolated". You can gaze at the mountains without seeing a single building but know that if you run out of coffee there's a well stocked supermarket not ten minutes away!
Swim all year round with our free of charge policy to heat the pool to 23C in cooler months and warm up in the hot tub which runs, for free, all year round and heated to 38C. Unlimited use of both amenities.
Local vans come up to the village selling bread rolls, cakes, fresh fish, etc, and it's fun to see what's available for an impromptu BBQ.
The houses around are all relatively old; nothing modern here, which combined with the friendliness of the neighbours, gives a comforting feeling of community spirit, solidarity and timelessness.
Equally, the country roads are quiet and unless you go to the coast the driving is easy and stress-free and no need to use motorways.
These great reviews are just some that appear in our Guest Book. We're very proud of all the kind comments - especially regarding our property managers Ian and Mags, who incidentally have just been awarded a TripAdvisor "Certificate of Excellence" (May 2014) for their own cottage they rent which sleeps 2 (Owners Direct ref P6414).
"Lovely villa. Lovely weather. Spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife. More than 40 bird species in and around the grounds. Expect to double that at least when we return at the end of August. Will never tire of watching the swallows (especially the "red-rumped's") divebomb the pool. The Golden Oriole eluded every devious tactic to get it photographed, but again - expect to rectify that in Aug/Sept. Mags and Ian deserve all the plaudits dished out by previous guests. Best welcome pack we've had anywhere! And our only two issues - a broken corkscrew and a broken boiler - were both dealt with promptly and with no fuss. In summary - we grew more fond of Casa Violeta each day of our stay and will count the days to our return." Mark and Chris, 28 May - 11 June 2014
"Our first summer holiday with our baby...a perfect retreat in quiet tranquil surroundings. We enjoyed the stunning views and watching the sun set whilst barbecuing and drinking red wine. We can't thank Mags and Ian enough for their hospitality, they couldn't have been more accommodating and friendly if they'd tried. The welcome pack was formidable and just the ticket for tired souls. Very impressed with the lengths that had been gone to to make our baby son's stay a comfortable one." Dave + Esme Sept 2012
"Our first trip to Portugal - a fantastic introduction. Casa Violeta was all we expected and more - a beautiful house in a beautiful setting. We enjoyed the wildlife including the aquabatic swallows and martins and the hooting owl at night. The pool was perfect for adults and kids alike..." Clive + Frances Aug 2012
"Oh wow!! Came to recharge our batteries and Casa Violeta enabled us to do so by masses...a peninsula of tranquiity - wish we could stay" Sean + Lucy July 2012.
One of the best weeks holiday I,ve had, certainly the most peaceful. The welcome hamper was amazing...Views over the hills were breath taking, especially relaxing in the hot tub.
The pool, gardens, and terraces were magnificent.
The villa was spacious, clean and very comfortable.
Mags and Ian are very good attentive hosts
Would return in a heartbeat
This cottage has all that you need for a relaxing holiday. Swimming pool and hot tub work well in tandem. The beds are comfortable and all the facilities you need are to hand. With Mags and Ian close by you have an immediate source of help and information. Beautiful surroundings and countless walks straight out of the back door.
Casa Violeta did not disappoint in any way. Great location. Comfortable authentic furnishings, lovely and clean inside as well as out. Exceptional pool with exceptional views down the valley what a relaxing, enjoyable place to spend a holiday. Mags and Ian were great hosts, very approachable would certainly stay again.
We had a wonderful two weeks at Casa Violeta. Though we were late in arriving due to travel delays, Mags and Ian were there to welcome us, cheerfully. The Welcome pack was more than generous, and did, in fact keep us going for breakfast and snacks, for a couple of days.
The cottage was clean and comfortable, and very well maintained, by Mags and Ian, and the one or too very minor "problems" were quickly and efficiently dealt with, by this charming, friendly, and helpful couple.
Our favourite restaurant during our stay, was "O Graciano" good food at a reasonable price, and excellant service, from the family run business. Carlos, our taxi driver was bang on time, each booking, both collecting us, and returning us at the end of our evening.
We would have no hesitation of recommending Casa Violeta highly to anyone, and very much hope to return in the not too distant future.
We had stayed at Casa Violeta with friends in 2014 and realised it would be the perfect place to take my 90 year old mum. She wanted a peaceful and beautiful setting with plenty of interesting places to visit by car within an hour. She got all this and more. She loved it so much that she could hardly bear to leave!
This was our 6th and definitely not our last visit to wonderful Casa Violeta. The area keeps captivating us. Going to sleep with a hooting owl and waking up with the sound of swallows, nightingales and golden orioles remains delightful. The casa is extremely comfortable, large, well-equipped, tastefully decorated and it offers superb privacy and spectacular views.The house managers Mags and Ian take very good care of their guests. The area is a paradise for both birdwatchers and walkers. A very extensive network of well-indicated hiking tours spreads out all over the region. Casa Violeta is centrally located to discover both the unspoilt serra and its tiny hamlets and age-old traditions and the beautiful Ria Formosa nature reserve where you can even see a unique population of seahorses. The Flower Torches Festival on Easter Sunday in Sáo Bras and the Mãe Soberana Procession 2 weeks later in Loulé are interesting religious festivities. The cultural heritage of the region is also well-worth a visit.
Discovering this wealth is delightful as is returning home to Casa Violeta after a satisfactory day.
To be highly recommended!
Special interest holidays:
Casa Violeta is ideally placed for hikers and mountain bikers and there are many beauty spots nearby from which to enjoy a picnic overlooking the man-made lakes.
We have pool heating and in the cooler months the pool is heated free of charge to 23C so it's possible to use it all year round. If you want the boost to a luxurious 28C, it's Euro 150.00 per week, payable on arrival. Please advise if you want this feature when booking.
Mountain bikes can be hired: if interested please ask how this can be arranged.
Botanists and birdwatchers will love the abundance of flora and fauna in the area. Books describing Algarve wildlife are supplied in the cottage as well as binoculars for bird watchers. See Review section regarding birdwatching.
There are riding stables nearby in Alportel and pony treks pass through the village.
After a hard day: swimming at the beaches, mountain biking, pony trekking, jogging or hiking in the mountains, get a cool drink, settle into the hot tub and allow it to massage away your aching muscles and recharge your batteries while watching the setting sun.
The Algarve has many beautiful beaches to chose from. There is the famous Barril Beach half an hour away, with its own little train to transport you across the sand - there is the beach on Ilha de Faro with its many delightful bars and restaurants.
For serious surfers and experienced swimmers there are wonderful beaches at Arrifana on the west coast of Portugal, a couple of hours drive away.
An information pack at the cottage will help you decide which one suits you best.
On arrival at Faro Airport, half an hour's drive away, it's recommended to hire a car - the drive from Sao Bras de Alportel (the nearest town) to Casa Violeta is along a good mountain road. Alternatively a taxi can be arranged to pick you up, costing about 25 euro.
Other nearby airports are Seville in Spain, 2 hours away, Lisbon 2.5 hours away and Beja approximately 1.5 hours. See "Further Details" for airline details etc. Gibraltar is three hours' drive away.
The pretty town of Alportel is four minutes' drive away, on the way to Sao Bras de Alportel, the region's main town, five minutes' away.
There are many roadside cafes and bars along the road but Sao Bras itself boasts a selection of astonishingly inexpensive restaurants (also Chinese and Indian) and bars, in addition to well-stocked shops and supermarkets, newsagents, bakeries, pharmacies, hairdressers, etc.
There are many banks and cash machines along the main Avenida.
The main airport is Faro Airport 40 minutes' drive away, and is served by:
easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, flytap, FlyBe, Monarch, Aer Lingus - aerlingus, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Thomson, BMI Baby, TAP Portugal, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Luxair, Air Berlin, Brussels Airlines amongst others.
At Faro Airport there are the usual car hire companies such as Avis, Europcar and Hertz but the Portuguese car hire firm Auto-Jardim often gives preferential rates. If you're in a hurry, the hire car firm recommended by your airline may be used by everyone else on your flight so there may be long queues at the desk. Cash machines are at the airport.
Golfers can hire golf clubs and most accessories on arrival at Faro Airport; the website is www.clubstohire.com.
There are no shops in the village so transport is essential, but mobile shops make their way up there; a fishmonger, bread-vendor, fruit and veg, frozen foods, etc. and we can try to make sure they call by if you're interested.
There's a once-weekly free bus service to Sao Bras de Alportel and back on Wednesdays. If you want a taxi ride into Sao Bras we have the number of an English speaking taxi driver who knows Casa Violeta and will pick you up from the house if you require - one way is about 8 Euro.
Towards the coast (25 minutes) are superb golf courses and wonderful beaches to suit all tastes.
Recommended towns are Tavira in the East, near Spain, Sta Luzia (Octopus Capital of the Algarve) with its seafood restaurants and near the popular Barril Beach; Olhao, a bustling harbour town; Estoi with its Pink Palace Pousada and Milreu, ancient Roman ruins.
Or you can head West towards Sagres, the most westerly tip of Europe taking in the historic castle town of Silves on the way.
There is information in the cottage to help you plan your trips or you can make use of the in-house laptop and wi-fi for research. We have the "Green Book" in the cottage where recommendations are welcomed.
Pool heating is available and please enquire about this option on booking. Unfortunately it's expensive to heat a pool here and we have to ask for an additional £150.00 if you want to take this up.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
Please check the availability calendar and email us with your enquiry. A 25% deposit by cheque but preferably bank transfer or the automated service through owners direct will secure your booking and the balance is due 8 weeks prior to arrival. Minimum 1 week stay.
The pool is heated throughout the year to 23 degrees C at no extra cost (included in the weekly rate as is the hot tub) If additional pool heating between 24 degrees C/28 degrees C is required please advise on booking - unfortunately it's really expensive to boost the pool temperature so we have to ask for an additional €150 per week payable on arrival.
Important : European Health Insurance Card
The British Embassy urges travellers to bring a European Health Insurance card (EHIC). It enables the holder to get all medically necessary treatment during a temporary stay in Portugal.
Changeover day is flexible; normally checking in time is 2.00 pm and check-out is 10.00 am but we'll accommodate earlier arrivals or later departures where possible, depending on the itineraries of other guests.
Notes on prices:
Prices per week in GBP. Unlimited use of the hot tub and pool heating to 23 degrees C is included in the price. Min. stay: 7 nights: additional nights are on a pro-rata basis.
Six night specials are set prices for six nights only which have arisen due to other bookings overlapping the normal minimum 7 night stay and are slightly discounted but not negotiable.
Please advise if pool heating is required; sadly we have to request an extra £100 per week.
We don't have a standard start day so you can take advantage of cheaper mid-week airfares if required.
A 10% discount is always offered for repeat bookings.
We provide a generous complimentary welcome pack.