|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Relva de Cima is situated at an altitude of 600m on the south side of Fóia mountain, the highest peak of the Sierra de Monchique mountain range 15 miles inland from the Algarve coastline. An unspoiled picturesque part of the Algarve that enjoys breathtaking views, irresistible local charm and excellent regional food. A three week holiday in 1993 travelling the length and breath of the Spanish and Portuguese coastline was enough to realise Monchique must be one of the most idyllic places the world has to offer. I fell in love. A month later I was the proud owner of a broken down vacated farm house – My retirement project! We moved from the bustle of Hong Kong and started the decade build in 2000. The property is surrounded by wild trees & land with an abundance of flora & fauna. A paradise for nature lovers, trekkers, conservationists & orienteers. Its remote roads and tracks offer a fantastic cycling and running environment. The garden started off as a front lawn but soon grew and grew as I couldn't resist developing it with my 25 year old digger !! Dry stone walls separate the different lawn tiers which replicate the traditional walls farmers used to section off their crops. The property itself was built around an existing old farm house constructed from granite and mud visible by the sheer thickness of the walls (up to 3 feet thick). Where possible, natural locally sourced materials were used hoping to create a timeless Algarvian environment. Being at an altitude of 600 meters, the sun can be very powerful during the day but offers cooler evenings and is that much fresher, and generally cooler than the coast, which can be very hot and muggy mid summer. Evenings can be spent sitting around the open outdoor fire and you have the advantage of cooler sleeping conditions. Many evenings have been spent simply star gazing, waiting for the shooting stars and spotting satellites moving across the crystal clear skies & listening to the crickets chirping happily in the background.
A three week holiday in 1993 travelling the length and breath of the Spanish and Portuguese coastline was my introduction to Portugal and enough to realise, Monchique was for me.
I made an offer on the property and a month later was the proud owner of a broken down vacated farm house – My retirement project! We moved from the bustle of Hong Kong and started the decade build in 2000 whilst watching my son grow up and enjoying our beautiful surroundings. I feel very fortunate.
James Mylne purchased this villa in 1993
I was looking for a getaway. I had spent 20 years working very hard and was suffering from a mild form of ME. I knew I could not go on forever. Monchique, or the change in my lifestyle, gave me what I was looking for.
Peace and quite, slower pace of life and being able to enjoy the natural surroundings the area has to offer.
To be honest, the only reason why I am on this page is because we are going back to Relva de Cima next week and just looking at the pictures puts me in the right mood. Two weeks in Relva is Father Christmas' annual treat for the grown-ups.
We have been there three times now - the villa is great, has high ceilings, loads of light and space, at the same time very cosy. It has been built with an incredible attention to detail. James handwriting is all over the place and you can tell how much effort has been put in to turn it into what it is. He once said on a cycle trip that he finds nothing as satisfying as a good day or hard work and that you can tell - everything just works and works beautifully.
For those not so familiar with the area - the villa is on the slopes of the Foia mountain range with beautiful far stretching views 20km down to the South coast. The area is fantastic for walking and cycling but you will need all your gears. The beautiful beaches are at the West coast which is about 45 minutes by car. Monchique has a very decent sized supermarket (Intermarche).
The only reason why I am writing this review is because James deserves every bit of it, otherwise only a fool or a communist would tell the rest of the world about this hidden gem. So please do come and visit but do not go anywhere near the Christmas period.
We had a wonderful time staying at this villa. Believe it or not, the photos don't do the place justice, it is incredibly spacious and beautifully furnished and we were really struck by this once we arrived. James was very welcoming and helpful but discreet and left us to our own devices unless we needed him. The well-maintained lawn was a great space for us to rough and tumble with my 21 month old, and of course we had great fun in the pool each day. We went on some beautiful walks and great day trips to the coast but having such a lovely place to come home to for our down time really made the trip. Highly recommended - we will definitely be coming back.
Ok , you are thinking mmm that looks nice , well its nicer than that , this villa is really a joy to stay in. There is plenty of space for everyone , we are a group aged 12 to 87 , house is on one level and well kitted out. Even without the views it would be lovely but the vista from house and pool make it a fab place to be. You can see right to the coast at Portimao! which is where we went dolphin watching , recommended.
Good restaurants 5- 10min drive from house , Lagos,Silves and beach at Aljezur (rock pools ) all nice days out . House very clean , grounds lovely. Table tennis got teenagers off their phones (not all the time)
James was an excellent host, he is the owner as well, you can tell that the property has been well looked after. This is an ideallic place and unsual to find in the Algarve, we have been to Portugal before but this is by far the best place we stayed at. The pictures reflect the property as it is, the rooms are big and spacious, the heated pool was very well appreciated! Everything was working and the view was amazing ... we are thinking of going back next year!
We hired the villa for a large family get together. Three families stayed in the villa, a mixture of ages, everybody was catered for. There were log fires in two of the bedrooms, giving a romantic atmosphere. The main bedrooms were all en suite to. The villa was beautiful with all needs and facilities catered for, coffee machines and bbq to toys and books to read. The gardens were lovely with plenty of room for the children to run around. The swimming pool was just the right distraction on the warm days to soak and splash around in. All linen was provided for meaning even less to bring with you, we didn't need anything. The villa was clean and well maintained and met the description given. The villa is not far from some very good restaurants and a local supermarket provides the necessities. We alternated days out with days in the villa and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We spent time in Portamao shopping and Albufeira on a cruise. I would recommened this Villa to anyone.
This is a really lovely villa in a beautiful area of the Algarve. We stayed here as two families and found the villa spacious, well equipped and comfortable. The pool with the slide was great fun and the children could run around and explore the gardens. Being in the mountains, the weather cooled down in the evenings but we lit the outside fire and still dined al fresco in comfort.
We explored both the South and West coasts, which is another advantage of this location, and the beaches were spectacular and very different. We would recommend Albandeira beach on the south coast. At low tide, there is a secret passage way through to another beach with spectacular arches and good snorkelling.
The men brought out their road bikes and found the cycling to be excellent around Monchique, the mountains and out to the Atlantic coast. The road quality is very good.
We cannot recommend this villa enough. The owner, James is extremely helpful and truly passionate about this lovely house. We will return, I am sure.
Special interest holidays:
The surroundings of the property makes it ideal for those interested in mountain biking, running, rambling and nature watchers etc. The mountain offers many trails off the beaten track with stunning panoramic views to both the West and South coasts.
The Algarve is known for its pure white sandy beaches which aren't too far away! A half hour drive through spectacular scenery will get you to beaches both on the West coast (a must) and the South Coast. These make for a fantastic half or full day's excursion.
Google says 55 mins from Faro airport - I say more like an hour plus (but I drive slowly). Lisbon airport is given as 2 1/2 hours (same applies). We strongly recommended you have your own transport whilst visiting.
3 miles down the mountain is the beautiful unspoilt town Monchique which now boasts one comprehensive supermarket along with many smaller food, beverage and tourist outlets. It is well worth visiting the 17th century convent with views of Monchique.
15 miles south is the much larger town Portimao offering retail parks & comprehensive supermarkets. Of interest could be a visit to the elegant town Caldas de Monchique (approx 7 miles) famous for its bottled water & selection of restaurants.
Four minutes by car is 'The Rampa' restaurant very famous throughout the region for its chicken piri piri and panoramic views, visited last year by our very own Prime Minister David Cameron during the family's holiday in the region. All over the mountain are restaurants and cafes hidden away with many offering spectacular views. You can enjoy everything from locally produced spicy sausage to 'Bolo de Tacho' which uses honey, coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and sweet herbs amongst the ingredients! I can supply more information and links so you arrive well informed.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$308|
Bookings - Flexible on a first come, first serve basis. I will require a £250 deposit to secure your booking.
Funds to be transferred and cleared 60 days before your arrival.
I would prefer changeover days to be Sat/Sunday but I am flexible.