I've been here twice now, once in winter and another time in June, and both times I have had the most incredible stay.
My winter stay was with family, and was all that I wanted it to be - incredibly relaxed, plenty of places to explore nearby on foot and in the car (the wind farm on the top of the mountain is very impressive), and it was even warm enough to brave the pool!
Coming to the house again the following summer I brought friends, so we had a chance to check out the local restaurants and bars (Monchique has a particularly good bar, along with a pool table and amazing decor), go to the nearby beaches, food markets and fairs (one in the local fire station), swim in the pool, have lovely sunny walks and of course have the obligatory daily cocktail hour in the garden....
A wonderful place, will definitely be back again.
***** 5 out of 5
The first thing you notice as your arrive is the wonderful eucalyptus scented air that immediately feels calming - It just gets better from there on in.
The farmhouse has a great home-from-home feeling and had everything we needed, including a great open fire for cooler evenings. The swimming pool and surrounding land offers complete privacy. One of the great advantages to the farm house for me was the location. Its tucked away on the side of the mountain yet actually you are only around 25 minutes from the coast and only 5 minutes approx. from the market town of Monchique. Due to its location its not affected by light pollution and as a result the night skies are stunning. I also had some of the best nights sleep of my life!
Getting around is easy if you have a car, although I can recommend hiring bicycles (Rental available in Monchique) and exploring on two wheels or just take a walk in almost any direction for more of this fantastic area and literally hundreds of great views. A trip to the coast is easy and worth doing with a good choice of beaches well within 30 minutes driving, yet that said I found it hard to pull myself away from being in and around Monchique.
Eating out is recommended with a surprising choice of great local restaurants, run by locals and frequented by locals and thats always a good sign. Its not possible to name them all but without doubt my favourite was A Rampa. It didn't look like much from the outside but the simple tasty cuisine and great atmosphere has meant I will never forget it.
To summarise - In absolute terms this is a fantastic area to stay, particularly if you like a bit more than just dozing on a beach - You can of course do this too. It offers so many varying landscapes to explore, great community, real Portuguese cuisine, privacy and a feeling of well being. Its one of those places that you leave feeling very lucky to have discovered.
***** 5 out of 5
My first visit to the Algarve was a far cry from what you'd normally expect from an Englishman abroad! Rather than endless rounds of golf punctuated by tourist-orientated surroundings, I felt I had not only had a relaxing holiday, but also had a thoroughly Portuguese experience. The town of Monchique itself, and the surrounding area, has a rustic and serene atmosphere, seemingly more at home in fiction than in reality! When wandering around town (normally to buy some pork from the local butchers or enjoy a casual drink in a cafe in our case!) you get the feeling you're experiencing the genuine side of being a tourist in Portugal. Those who aren't content with the standard package holiday, touristy, sort of holiday will be right at home in Monchique. The south coast is also only an hour's drive, so easily accessible
As for the house itself, you'd ordinarily be forgiven for taking online descriptions of properties with a pinch of salt, but in this case you'd be making a huge mistake! The trip to the house is a series of small winding roads leading up a mountain absolutely heaving with all manner of plant-life, particularly eucalyptus. The location couldn't possibly be any more tucked away - it was entirely up to us whether we wanted to venture out of our bubble of relaxation, as opposed to being disturbed by other rowdy tourists! The entrance to the farmhouse itself is shaded by an impressive vine, which also provides the perfect lunch spot where you can sit at the table and gaze out towards the south coast. The pool is also a perfect spot to relax, both offering some shade to sit and read and also fresh, clean water to take a dip in.
The interior seemed to me to be very faithful to the culture of the surrounding area - it felt somewhat like we were borrowing a local's family home and that they would be back to look after it in a couple of weeks! One difficulty I normally have in warm climates is feeling overheated at night, but because of its mountain location it tended to get cool enough in the evenings to sleep. Another thing that should be mentioned are the geckos, which can be a slight surprise at first, especially when you're used to holidaying in less rural areas. But in fact, I found they never really bother you and are actually really handy at keeping mosquitos, flies and all manner of bugs away from you in the evenings. After a couple of nights I learned that they're definitely friends, not foes!
I couldn't have had a better holiday overall
***** 5 out of 5
Our holidays at Relva are like coming home! With sunny days spent exploring the lovely colourful garden, and surrounding pine, lavender and eucalyptus woodlands.
The well maintained pool is a real delight, just the place to cool off after sunbathing.
Drinks on the starlit terrace with its view down to the coast were another highlight.
Chilly evenings gave the opportunity to light a roaring fire of scented logs in the attractive traditional galleried sitting room.
Relva is in a secluded spot, but with the benifit of upgraded road tracks giving easy access to the delightful little town of Monchique, Foia mountain top and the unspoilt West Coast resorts it is in an ideal position.
We love it so much that we have already booked for 2013.
***** 5 out of 5
5 friends and I spent a very relaxing and enjoyable few days in this idyllic farmhouse. The location and views were exactly as described and perfect for a complete 'getaway'. We hired a car for our trip and so were able to explore the surrounding area where we found plenty of places to visit including beautiful beaches, local markets and some lovely walks! We were lucky enough to be invited to a private view at a charming local art gallery and we found some super restaurants with both local and international cuisine.
We were slightly unlucky with the weather during our visit but we still managed to make use of the lovely swimming pool and terraced area around the farmhouse during the day as well as the open fire in the delightful galleried living area during the evening.
The owner provided excellent information, both before and during our visit and even managed to organise a local beauty therapist to come to the property and give us a massage after a particularly damp walk!
I would definitely recommend this property to a friend or relative and would very much like to return there myself!
***** 5 out of 5
We have always visited Quinta da Relva in the summer months so this was a contrast to visit in the Spring and escape the vast snow in England..
Wisteria out, blossom trees blooming, oranges ready for picking at the side of the pool & the sound of the Cuckoo from the scented Pine forest.
Quite chilly in the hills & what more could we want than a nice log fire in the evening after visiting "Rampa", the local restaurant for the best Chicken Piri Piri in Monchique!
Although the weather was not at its best we managed to chase the sun, finding it on Alvor beach on the south coast & also our favourite deserted beach on the west coast (Amoreria)
Amalia the maid was as cheerful as ever, keeping the house spotlessly clean and comfortable for the duration of our stay.
We found the new Intermarche supermarket in Monchique very useful to stock up with food on our arrival.
Restaurants Jardin das Oliveiras not too far away proved as good as ever and for the best sea food we visited Atlantida Restaurant on the edge of Alvor Beach, well worth the drive down the mountain.
We will certainly visit this rustic, away from it all farmhouse again!
***** 5 out of 5
We've been before. And we'll be going again. Nicest house we've been to in Portugal. Freshly picked oranges for breakfast and 200 books to read. Couldn't recommend it more highly.
Very relaxing. Beautiful weather. The children built a hut from wood in the big garden. We liked going to the beaches at the West Coast. The view all the way to the Atlantic is amazing. We had a great week in Quinta del Relva.
Just a quick note to say how much we loved this cottage in Portugal. It really is something quite special, from the amazing wisteria, the inviting pool, finding hidden corners in the grounds to the growing sense of tranquility we felt during the week.
The car hire company that was recommended was great- pick up was smooth and it was a very easy journey to get there. Having groceries in (as pre-arranged when we booked) was lovely and a great welcome.
We visited the fantastic beaches on the west and south coast and enjoyed exploring on quiet roads and in local towns. We had a great day within Lucio from Alternativ Tours- hike to the Foia peak, 32 km bike ride downhill then into canoes and a swim. We'd really recommend his company.
Everything in the house was in good order and the maid kept it nice and clean. There was a wide choice of local restaurants: good piri piri chicken was easy to find. We were very grateful to the agents for printing out our boarding cards on Easter Friday - everyone concerned with the cottage has been very supportive.
As a place to both get away yet still have access to Algarve's natural attractions, this place was wonderful.
***** 5 of5
The colourful garden is welcoming us, and this gives you immediately the impression that you will perfectly relax there. Not only that despite winter time we had plenty of colourfull spots from the garden but also orange and mandarine trees had plenty of fruits. Our young children loved collecting them in the morning for the breakfast juices. There is no disapointment to expect, the description is truthful and in any event the contact point in Monchique is very helpful and swift in reacting.
The property is very clean: a care taker comes 3 times a week which is very helpful. Don't worry she will work without disturbing you if you stay at home while she washes and tidies up.
We have enjoyed walking in the mountain: Foia and Picota, which is probably easier in Winter than in Summer. Also the beaches (South and West), are not far (30 km). In Winter you will go there more for playing than for bathing but you will enjoy the space!
Truly we can recommand the address!
***** 5 of 5