The SpaceNew for 2016 - in response to feedback offered by guests, the house now has air-conditioning, a larger fridge (in the re-modeled kitchen) and additional crockery and cutlery.
After taking the obligatory steps from the carport, the vivenda, pool and utility are all on the one level. From the patio area which surrounds the pool, the highest point in the Algarve can be seen to the west when conditions allow, and during the summer months the sun's rays fall upon the pool and patio from sunrise to sunset.
The pool is maintained by the owner and checked regularly when under occupancy, and for pool users there is a handy outside shower, along with four reclining sun loungers and two small plastic tables.
The house is of a modest design, practical in its layout and provided with the sort of furniture you should feel comfortable putting your feet up on and crockery that can be used in the microwave. It's truly a place to relax, whether soaking in the pool, basking in the sun or dozing on the sofa with all the doors and windows wide open.
Along with the convertible sofa/chaise longue and its matching pouff, the 'L-shaped' living room, which surrounds the modest kitchen, has a 43" 'smart' television with a cable TV service featuring predominantly Portuguese stations and radio feeds, but which also supports a wide variety of international channels. The internet is provided from a dedicated powerful wireless router, which even serves those wishing to connect when outdoors. For indoor mealtimes there is a black glass-top dining table with four chairs next to the serving hatch to the kitchen.
The kitchen itself has an all-gas oven with four-ring hob, medium sized fridge with separate freezer, two-basin sink with drainer, toaster, a KRUPS capsule coffee maker (Nescafe Dolce Gusto), sandwich toaster, kettle, microwave/grill cafetiere and tea-pot. All the usual cutlery and implements and a selection of glasses, along with some plastic items (beakers and food storage containers) are also to be found in the cupboards.
The bedrooms comprise of one with twin beds and the other with a double bed and en-suite facilities.
The twins can be made up as a king size if preferred.
The 'guest' bathroom provides amenities for all.
Outside, to one side of the building there is a separate utility room which houses an additional toilet with a hand basin and laundering facilities, including a washing machine, laundry baskets, ironing board, steam iron, collapsible clothes dryer and pegs. Detergents for the machine and other household items are to be found in the cupboards.
On either side of the house there are separate areas for relaxing or socialising, under protection from the sun and with ample and variable seating combinations. Guest AccessCovered parking is available for easily two vehicles (2m max height) and further open spaces for taller vehicles.
Once having scaled any of the three sets of the (unfortunately unavoidable) steps to the patio, everything at that level is exclusively for the use of the guests.
The modest garden is open for all to explore, although caution is recommended with respect to various cactus growths and ground obstacles, such as stones or dead roots. Suitable footwear is essential off-pavement.
Various flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs may be in season during your visit and sampling their edible produce is perfectly acceptable. If in doubt about what you discover, please don't hesitate to ask. Interaction with GuestsOne of the features of this listing is the potential to avoid any unnecessary communication with anyone for the entire visit.
The owner lives in separate accommodation underneath the house and no interaction with the guests is intended unless requested by the guests or deemed prudent by the owner.
The house itself has a thorough clean-through in-between tenants and may also be cleaned or have a linen change mid-stay during long occupancies at the guest's request. The NeighborhoodA stay in this area is in itself a complete cultural experience, from the wide open countryside that begins immediately outside the gate, to the local market town of São Brás de Alportel, its history steeped in the traditional production of cork, and nationally noted for its multicultural integration, about which more can be discovered at the 'Museu do Traje' - which is well worth a visit to find out what's going on in the locale during your time here. Getting AroundA vehicle is highly recommended, especially if you have a family or wish to fully explore the region, but for those who prefer a car-free stay, there are plenty of taxis available, to and from the airport or for shopping trips.
The airport at Faro (25 minutes drive away) has a good selection of hire car providers, whether booked in advance or upon arrival.
Those choosing to discover the area by bicycle can ask the local cycle-hire shop to deliver their bikes to the door - complete with helmets and rescue service!
If driving to the seaside, give yourself 30 minutes to drive to Faro beach (Praia de Faro) which has ample parking - if you're there early enough in the morning during the summer season.
45 minutes gets you to Quarteira/Vilamoura to the west and about the same time to Tavira to the east.
Allow 30 mins more when heading for the sea between Faro and Tavira as the entire coastline is formed of several sandy islands, some of which are inhabited. In order to reach the actual shore of the Atlantic itself it will be necessary to take a ferry trip to an island, or cross footbridges, wooden walkways, hire water taxis and in one particular location (Praia de Barril) take a train to get across the island!
The village of Alportel ( for 'local' coffee bars, local interest) is 3 minutes drive or 15 minutes walk away.
São Brás de Alportel - for 'local' and tourist coffee bars, restaurants, Portuguese banks (with cash machines) hairdressers, estate agents, butchers, supermarkets, cinema, museum (for multicultural advice about the local interests) is 9 minutes by car - or a 50 minute walk. Other Things to NoteAlthough listed on a site called air'bnb', breakfast is NOT provided!
On the departure day, please try to vacate the building no later than 10am to allow for house cleaning to take place, although there is no need to leave the premises immediately if waiting for flights or taxis - as long as I can get started on preparing the house, guests are welcome to continue enjoying the patio and pool for a little longer.
Equally, if arriving unavoidably early, please don't expect to have full access to the property if cleaning is still under way, although bags and belongings may be safely left here for convenience at any time on the day, regardless of direction of travel.