If past guest reviews are anything to go by, there are few better places for a taste of laid back rural relaxation than Quinta das Achadas, a short drive inland from the Algarve resort of Lagos on Portugal's south west tip. Here, under the friendly care of hosts Jill and Julio, families with young children tend to wind down to a gentle pace with long lazy days spent enjoying the lovely pool (heated in cooler months), sub tropical gardens, children's play areas, self-catered meals, or sociable communal BBQs, and farm fresh breakfasts taken on their private terraces.
The 19th century farmhouse has been lovingly transformed into a charming guest house and apartments by Jill and Julio, who live on site with their menagerie of animals. Although the Quinta isn’t really a farm anymore, little ones will squeal with delight at the pen of Vietnamese Pot belly pigs while the pen of free range hens kindly supply fresh eggs for breakfast, served daily with home-baked bread and homemade preserves. The Quinta also has a large organic veg patch which is regularly raided for communal evening meals, offered a few times a week and served in the owners open plan farmhouse kitchen. In the summer, the owners also frequently host BBQ’s on their roof terrace.
Jill and Julio have stayed true to the Quinta’s roots by going for rustic, farmhouse-chic style, with contemporary luxury touches and all mod cons. Wood burning stoves, comfy sofas and cosy throws all make the apartments incredibly homely, complemented by luxury tiled bathrooms, well equipped kitchens, TV’s, DVD players and Wi Fi. The owners also provide essential baby equipment for feeding time to bedtime, along with children’s books and DVD’s.
Perhaps best of all, Quinta das Achadas is set in a paradise garden for basking in the Algarve sunshine, snoozing in the shade of palm, fig, almond and orange trees or sipping a chilled Rosé in the poolside cabana. A saltwater swimming pool, measuring 10m by 5m, is always kept to an optimum temperature and there is a hot tub for bubbly fun with baby or a romantic dip in the moonlight. Children also have their own play areas and toys for all ages, including swings, slide, climbing frame, see saw and a separate toddler area with play house, baby slide, baby swing and paddling pool. It’s hard for families to tear themselves away but then the famous Algarve beaches are also too close to miss and the owners will be happy to recommend which are the best.
Accommodation Overview - Apartment Jasmine:
Quinta das Achadas comprises two, 2-bedroom apartments, one large 1-bedroom apartment and two double bedrooms. Reservation requests from this page will secure 'Jasmine', which has two en-suite double bedrooms, a lounge/dining area, kitchen and covered terrace overlooking the garden/pool. Each apartment is equipped with an electric cooker and ceramic hob, fridge, microwave, DVD player and Freesat TV. All are centrally heated for the winter months and contain wood burning stoves. A daily maid service is provided and a laundry service is available.
Prices are per room/per week & include breakfast and maid service
Quinta das Achadas has a scenic setting, just inland from the honey-coloured beaches and well known destinations of the Western Algarve, including Lagos (10 minutes), Alvor and Portimao. Odiaxere is a sleepy little town nearest to the Quinta but there’s plenty going on in Lagos with its historic, cobbled old town, variety of restaurants, glittering marina and Meia Praia beach, featuring a string of beach bars on the 4km of golden sand. There are several ‘mini mercados’ and a Lidl supermarket in Lagos, plus a buzzing Saturday farmers market and a daily fish market, where the top floor of the hall is a restaurant with fantastic views over Lagos Bay.
In the opposite direction to Lagos, Alvor is a lively fishing town surrounded by stunning beaches and packed with restaurants while Portimao is famous for its fish restaurants and the irresistible aroma of sizzling sardines fills the air.
There are countless magnificent beaches to discover within very easy reach of the Quinta and the owners’ favourites include Amoreira and Monte Clerigo to the west, Salema to the south and the unspoilt Cape St Vincent national park, where huge stretches of sand are backed by amazing rock formations.
The Quinta is also beautifully located for taking pleasant stroll along the cliffs or inland, with a selection of walking books provided and over 300 species of birds to look out for along the way. Alternatively, if a trip to the Algarve simply isn’t complete without a round or two of golf, Palmares is the nearest course, 10 minutes away.
Getting there: The Quinta is around 40 minutes from Faro airport.