The Big Six: Portuguese retreats

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Luxury escapism, olive groves and natural lagoons

Areias do Seixo Povoa de Penafirme

Areias do Seixo is a low-impact luxury property tucked behind sand dunes above Praia do Seixo, an hour's drive from Lisbon. Each of the 14 rooms and four villas has real "wow" factor, combining driftwood, stone and glass with metal and polished concrete to striking effect. There's an Ayurvedic spa and a restaurant serving organic produce from the garden – plus exceptionally friendly owners.

Areias do Seixo, Povoa de Penafirme, A-dos-Cunhados, Torres Vedras, Lisbon (00 351 261 936 340; areiasdoseixo.com). Doubles start at €265, including breakfast.

Vila Joya Albufeira

With a two-Michelin-starred restaurant and an Asian-inspired spa, Vila Joya represents escapism of the highest order. Standing above Praia da Gale, amid tropical gardens and bougainvillea, it contains 12 luxury rooms and eight suites, all of which face the crashing Atlantic waves. A fire is lit each night in the living room, making it a cosy and relaxing corner in which to sink a drink before delving into chef Dieter Koschina's adventurous northern European menu.

Vila Joya, Praia da Gale, Albufeira, Algarve (00 351 289 591795; vilajoya.com). Doubles from €315, B&B.

 

Fazenda Nova Tavira

Fazenda Nova is a renovated Portuguese farmhouse brought bang up to date. The 10 suites have Balinese-style beds and Egyptian cotton sheets, while bathrooms have Hansgrohe monsoon showers and REN products. The decor mixes contemporary with reclaimed materials and antiques sourced on the owners' travels. Cool off in the outdoor salt-water pool, meander among olive, almond and carob groves, or laze in a cool hammock pod.

Fazenda Nova, Estiramantens, Santo Estevao, Tavira, Algarve (00 351 281 961 913; fazendanova.eu). Doubles start at €155, including breakfast.

 

Imani Evora

The perfect place to switch off and soak up some Alentejo country air. Imani ("believing" in Swahili) sits amid a landscape dotted with megalithic stones, 10 minutes from the city of Evora, a World Heritage Site. Once a working farm, the house now offers five suites and two rooms, each of which are light, stylish and full of eye-catching pieces. Wine tasting is also offered, guided by award-winning vintner Paulo Laureano.

Imani, Quinta de Montemuro, Guadalupe, Evora, Alentejo (00 351 925 613 847; imani.pt). Doubles start at €135, including breakfast.

 

Casa do Rio Vez Couto

Wild swimmers will rejoice at this peaceful riverside hideaway at the entrance to the Peneda-Geres National Park. The crystal-clear river Vez runs right through the garden and there's also an outdoor pool and 300m of natural lagoons. Owned by an architect and his wife, this former olive press turned boutique B&B has four contemporary rooms and a self-catering loft with large windows overlooking the wooded riverbank.

Casa do Rio Vez, Couto, Arcos de Valdevez, Viana do Castelo, Minho Lima (00 351 258 526 078; casadoriovez.com). Doubles start at €68, including breakfast.

 

Muxima Aljezur

This rustic guesthouse stands on the edge of the Costa Vicentina National Park. Surrounded by fruit trees with a natural swimming pool in the garden, it's a blissfully serene spot. Owners Sofia and Jorge, who live on site, were inspired by their own travels – around Africa, Asia and South America – when decorating the three rooms and four suites split between two houses. Each is named after one of their favourite places. Surfers have their pick of top beaches nearby.

Muxima, Montes Ferreiros, Aljezur, Algarve (00 351 916 012 830; muxima-montesferreiros.com). Doubles start at €80, including breakfast.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own