Monte Curral Da Serra
Cottage | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8
Monte Curral Da Serra is a stunningly attractive individually designed country home with swimming pool, successfully combining traditional Portuguese farmhouse style with contemporary, open plan living space.
Recently built and furnished to a modern standard, the property is ideally located for that special “get away from it all” holiday.
Only 2 kilometres away from the beautiful Santa Clara Lake, which offers fishing and water sports, the property is secluded yet not remote, being within a 10 minute walk from the picturesque local village of Santana Da Serra.
The clear air and lack of light pollution makes this area a perfect location to admire the romantic and sublime star filled night sky.
Accommodation to the ground floor includes fully equipped bespoke kitchen with granite worktops, sitting area with flat screen satellite tv and, seating for 8. The generous dining area opens onto a large patio, with commanding views over open country, perfect for alfresco dining. High pine ceilings, tiled floors and air conditioning (to the living area) help to keep the monte cool in the summer. The 1st floor is occupied by a large double bedroom with ensuite, with superb views over the pool and rolling hills.
All rooms to the property offer magnificent views over surrounding countryside.
The vast sparsely populated landscape around the Monte is a largely undiscovered paradise for the outdoor enthusiast, with rich and diverse flora and fauna. Eagles can often be seen gliding effortlessly above the Serra. In season Golden Orioles, Bee Eaters and Woodpeckers visit the land around the Monte. In spring Rosemary, Stone Roses and a myriad of wild flowers carpet the verdant meadows between the cork oaks, scenting the air with their heady fragrance. In summer the land becomes arid and parched and the scent of the ubiquitous eucalyptus mixed with lavender dominates the olfactory sense.
All basic amenities are available within the village from the local grocers and the bakery. There are two restaurants and bars in the village with Café Central offering good value and excellent local dishes. A greater selection of provisions is available at the supermarket in Ourique, 19km north on the IC1.
The property is ideally located to explore the region. The beautiful forested mountains of Monchique, the spectacular surfing beaches of the West Coast, the busy Algarve, the National parks of Guaradinia and Campo Branco are all less than an hour's drive. A varied choice of dining venues within the region serve traditional fare ranging from the Cataplana of the Algarve, to the Porca Preta of the Alentejo. Connoisseurs of fine wines are well served with several wine trails available around the wineries scattered throughout the region.
For the more energetic, activities in the area include, walking (particularly beautiful in spring when wild flowers dominate the attractive landscape), mountain biking, bird spotting, fishing and various water sports on the lake.
The area has a rich past with remains dating back to the Mesolithic period. The palimpsest of history can be peeled away to reveal evidence of the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romans, Moors and medieval Visigoths.
Set in 40 acres of rolling hills and meadow, dotted with holm oak, cork and olive, peaceful and relaxing, yet mysterious and exciting, offering many and varied experiences within the grounds and beyond in this largely undiscovered region, Monte Curral Da Serra is the perfect holiday home from which to explore the true unspoiled rural heart of Portugal.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Albufiera 55 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||1.5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Faro/Beja 80 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 2 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
Modern spacious open plan kitchen/dining/sitting room with kitchen including twin large fridge freezers
Ipod dock, mini stereo system, Satellite TV with UK channels connected to hard drive
Entrance lobby to front door useful for shoes etc
2 Double Bedrooms with en-suite bath/shower room
2 Twin Bedrooms each with 2 large single beds.
Family Bathroom with drench head shower, Wc, Wash Basin in Marble Vanity Unit
Tea towels provided
Logs provided for BBQ and log fire.
Mains Electricity included in the price
State of the art water filtration system with UV purification
Towels provided 2 per person per week
Travel cot provided at no cost per week (no linen provided)
High chair available (please enquire)
Crisp white cotton linen on all beds
Games, books, DVD's available.
Information Pack available.
|Further details outdoors|
The tiled terrace to the front of the house is shaded with a rustic pergola leading onto the large patio, which is dominated by the 6m by 10m pool (open from April until October), surrounded by feature stone walling, with solar heated shower. Sunbathing areas are provided to the east, west and south with 6 sun bathing loungers available, and 4 reclining chairs. The pool varies in depth from 900mm to 2000mm. The filtration system includes a UV purifier which reduces the amount of chemicals needed by up to 70% making it more environmentaly friendly. There are garden areas to the front and rear of the house with olive groves and orchards to the south. Cork and Holm Oak, fruit trees and Euclayptus are dotted across the landscape. A large dining table accomodates 8 chairs for alfresco dining. The 40 acres of land surrounding the property support an abundance of flora and fauna. Eagles can often be seen soaring effortlessly over the quiet terrain, on the rising thermals. Bee eaters are common in summer and occasionally wild boar and pine martins can be spotted amongst the dense shrubbery A traditional style BBQ with chimney is available for use by all our guests. The Pool is cleaned and checked once a week.
Badmington and boules are available at the property to keep the children happy when not splashing in the pool.
We can arrange horse riding (with the horses brought to the house) and fishing (fishing rodsavailable for guests at the house) in the lake or river for bass and fresh water sardines.
No smoking in the property please.
Pool open from April to November.
English / Portuguese speaking contact available to help / meet and greet.
Discounted horse riding by arrangement.
If you have any special requirements please contact us.
The Alentejo region
The rural heart of Portugal, the Alentejo, is a region of vast sparsely populated open countryside ranging from the granite high lands of the north east, to the rolling hills and rich, fertile planes of the south. Commonly referred to as the bread basket of the country it is commercially dependant upon agriculture, livestock and timber, with subsidiary contributions made from marble, mining (east of Castro Verde), olive oil and wine production. The Alentejo is the worlds most important area for cork growing, which accounts for the unique eco system developed over the last 300 years, with the area between the cork oaks being utilised to grow fruit or vegetables or for grazing. The bark is harvested by hand during mid-summer (when the bark can removed most easily) using specially designed axes, the process being identical to that used over the previous 3 centuries. The harvest from one mature tree can cork up to 4000 bottles of wine! The area is also famous for its sheeps cheese, fine smoked hams and sausages.
The weather here is mild in winter and hot and arid in summer with very little rainfall between May and October. Average daytime temperatures range from 14 C in January to 34 C in July, with a maximum of 88mm of rain in December and just 1mm in July.
The area is a bird-watchers paradise with many species including 3 types of eagle, kites, bea eaters, golden orioles, white storks, black storks, woodpeckers, shrikes, finches, commonly seen from the terrace. Other wildlife including wild boar and pine martins are frequently seen on the surrounding land. At Castro Verde the Campo Branco (White Plains) is a special protection zone for birdlife and offers the chance to see species such as little bustard, great bustard, stone curlew, black bellied sandgrouse, calandra lark, golden eagle, bonelli's eagle, peregrine falcon, griffon vulture, black vulture, and lesser kestrel. Of the 1500 species of bird that can be seen within Portugal 1350 are present within the Campo Branco. The Vale Goncalinho Environmental Centre welcomes visitors to this diverse and fascinating area and provides information on habitat, walks within the area and species that can be seen. The Pera Marsh holds large stocks of wildfowl and the national park around Mertola and Guardina are also within easy driving distance.
Hundreds of miles of dirt tracks and undulating terrain are perfect for mountain biking, but beware, the ground here is very rocky and unforgiving.
Places to Go:
Monchique (45.5km) with its scenic pine forested roads and breath taking mountain vistas, famous for its spas and springs, with lots of small restaurants dotted along the route.
Silves: (40 km) Golf, Medieval Fair in August, and mesolithic remains at Messines.
Albufiera (55km) has all the attractions of the busy Algarve, beautiful sandy beaches, restaurants, night life, golf and water parks. Fisherman's Beach has facilities for water sports and volleyball.
Villa Nova Milafontes (71.4km) Great beaches that offer swimming and surfing, and apart from July and August are very sparsely populated. Farther south on the Algarve west coast Amado beach offers spectacular surf, ideal for surfers and body boarders. Great day out exploring the beaches and coves in this area. We have 3 surf boards, 3 body boards and a set of soft straps to mount the boards on your car roof. These may be used by arrangement subject to a hire charge.
Mertola (66km) historic Roman river port with Moorish influences and fantastic views, can be combined with a trip to Pulo Lobo (Wolfs Leap), a spectacular gorge on the Guadiana.
Evora (221km) Unesco World Heritage Site. Roman temple, narrow cobbled streets, postcard town square and a plethora of interesting churches and 12th Century Cathedral. Mesolithic stone circle. Take a ride around the town taking in the sites in a horse drawn carriage, great fun!
History lovers are well catered for as the tumultuous past of the region is in evidence throughout the area. The Southern Alentejo has been continuously inhabited since at least the Mesolithic times with stone age cave systems and Europe's earliest stone circle (the Cromeleque Dos Almendres), both in Evora. Other important megaliths can be seen in Beja and Messines. By 2000 BC Bronze had been introduced to Portugal and around 700BC Celtic tribes settled and introduced Iron. Evidence of both these cultures can be seen at Castro da Cola, some 6 miles toward Ourique from the monte. Around 800 BC southern Portugal was influenced by the Phoenicians who traded for tin, which they valued as a constituent of Bronze. In 210 BC the Romans began their conquest of southern Iberia and quickly subdued Southern Portugal. They introduced olives, barley, wheat and vines to the area and established huge agricultural estates in the in the southern Alentejo, called litifundia, some of which are still in existence today. They also influenced the Portuguese language which is latin based. Roman remains can be seen at Beja, Mertola and Evora. A roman bridge can be seen just 1km south east from the Monte. As the Roman empire collapsed in the 5th Century, they were violently ousted from the Iberian peninsula by the Suevi, who in turn where deposed by the Visigoths. In 711 AD the Moors invaded and after pacifying the country dramatically influenced culture, architecture and politics. In the 12th century, a northern state of Visigoths, grew in power, and under Alfonso Henriques defeated the 5 Moorish Sultans, at the decisive battle of Ourique. Evidence of the Moors occupation can be seen throughout the southern Alentejo.
Several winemakers such as Herdade Malhadinha Nova, Herdade Dos Grous at Albernoa welcome visitors to their vineyards for tasting sessions. Several operators offer guided tours of the wineries of the region.
Whether you want to sample the culture, the cuisine and fine wine, or yearn for a great outdoors to make your playground, the Southern Alentejo has something for everyone.
A ten minute walk through the scenic hills past, quaint local Monte's, is Santana da Serra, a typically white washed village of the Southern Alentejo. With only 800 inhabitants it nestles on the bank of the Myra River in the foothills of the Serra do Caldeirao. The village itself has been in existence for over 700 years and still has many houses dating from the early 1700s. The parish church can trace its origins back to 1515 and was rebuilt in a baroque style in the 19th century, complete with gilded polychromatic altar.
The surrounding countryside has changed little over the past 200 years, despite the pressures and economics of the 21st Century. Cork, holm oaks, medronhal, olive, almond and fig trees dot the hillside and many of the old montes are still inhabited by descendants of the original families that built them, still practising the old traditional crafts in traditional ways, and tending their own vegetable gardens. Medronhal (made from a very sugary berry borne by the medronhal tree), is quite legally produced locally in small stills. Farming here is not intensive and naturally very organic. The livestock and cattle roam the landscape freely and quite often the goat herd can be seen by the lake, attended only by faithful watchdogs. The Preta Porco still tastes best in autumn when the black pig has dined on the acorns from the holm oak; a testimony to its authentic free range tag! Throughout the year there are several local festivals, both in Santanna and in the nearby villages.
Water sports including fishing for bass (my ten year old son has caught bass to 2kg) and carp, water skiing, boating and kayaking are popular in the nearby Santa Clara Lake which is only 2 kilometers away. For the adventurous the local tracks offer thousands of miles of first class mountain biking terrain. Here you are off the beaten track and truly blazing your own trails! Unlike the UK, you can ride all day without seeing another person, and weeks without seeing another mountain bike. A word of caution: don't go out walking or biking on your own, and make sure someone knows where you are and what time you intend to be back. Also make sure you wear your PPE, the rocks are vary unforgiving. I came off my mountain bike and spent 4 days walking aroung looking like Mr Bump!
The area is steeped in history and Roman remains can be found throughout the locality. Megaliths from prehistory can be found at Messines and remains from the early bronze age, through to the iron age and Roman occupation can be seen at Castro da Cola. For amateaur historians a dilapidated 2000 year old Roman bridge is less than a kilometre to the south east of the monte. Other Roman, remains can be found throughout the region.
Star gazing here can be spectacular and in 2015 there will be some truly amazing meteorite activity. Just lie back on a sun lounger after midnight and count the shooting stars. I've listed the dates and times of what I thing will be the best of the meteor showers below.
May 5, 6 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. Producing up to 30 meteors per hour in the Northern Hemisphere at its peak on the 5th . Best seen after midnight eminating from the Aquarius constellation.
May 24 - Earth will pass through the debris field left by a small comet known as P/209 LINEAR. This may result in a brief but intense burst of meteor activity that could range from dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. Nothing is certain, but many mathematical models are predicting that this could be the most intense meteor shower in more than a decade.
July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. This should be a great year for this shower because the thin crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
August 12, 13 - Perseids Meteor Shower, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. The waning gibbous moon will block out some of the meteors this year, but the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it should still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower is the king of the meteor showers, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The waning gibbous moon will block out some of the meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it should still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
The local village of Santana da Serra can supply all your grocery requirements and the bakery or padaria is open for bread sales from about 9pm through to morning. It excels in the beautifuly heavy substantial bread of the Alentejo (be warned it doesn't toast very well). We would recommend that you sample the food at Cafe Central, a family run bar and restaurant which cooks traditional Alentejo fare, from the Porco Preta dishes to bean stews. Ezekial the owner and chef, is happy to cater to specific needs, just ask (his son speaks quite good English). A street market is held monthly and there are several festivals and events throughout the year.
Horse riding lessons or horse trekking for all abilities can be arranged through Equi Serra. The owner, Martyn, speaks English and Portuguese, and is qualified to teach both in England and Portugal . He can arrange to bring horses to the Monte for treks across the campo to the lake.
Ourique is only 20 km away and is well served with bars, restaurants and a Pingo Doce supermarket for a one stop shop.
Guest reviewsPowered by TripAdvisor
Guest reviews Powered by TripAdvisor
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30 Jun 2013
"Great place for a getaway from the city hustle and bustle"
The property is lovely with plenty of space and rooms. Located in the countryside of Alentejo with beautiful views and in a remote and quiet area. The owner very kindly left us some fruits, cheese an… More
Thank you very much for your kind comments. We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.
22 Aug 2012
"A great place to stay!"
We had an fantastic ten day holiday staying at Monte Curral Da Serra. Such a shame that we hadn't booked for a few more nights! It is the second time that we have stayed in this area of Portugal and it really is a super place to stay. The house is fantastic and extremely well equipped. Being able to catch up in the evening with the latest Olympic results was certainly a bonus for us as well as lazing by the pool and enjoying a BBQ or two!
Andre was really helpful and a great fishing instructor. We travelled to the beaches close to Porto Covo a couple of times and enjoyed some meals in this busy seaside town. Although we mainly shopped at the supermarket in Ourique which was great and close by, we stocked up at the Jumbo just outside Faro after leaving the airport. Here you can find a great choice of food and drink (and anything really!).
As a final treat, we managed to see some shooting stars over the last few evenings.
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and it was delightful to have such enthusiatic, happy guests stay at our second home. We look forward to welcoming you and your family again in the near future.
Thank you for your lovely comments.
7 Jun 2012
"Fantastic holiday getaway !!"
I stayed at the property with friends as a last minute holiday to beat the terrible spring weather in the UK. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the accommodation and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. We saw an abundance of wild life and flowers and the local amenities (especially the Cafe Central bar and restaurant) were more than adequate. We did our shopping for the week at Jumbo just outside Faro after we had left the airport so didn't need to do much shopping in between. We are planning to go again for two weeks next year as we want to explore the area further.
Great holiday and we will be back. Thanks.
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay. Our cleaner commends you, as you left the property in excellent condition. Thank you very much. We will be happy to welcome you back and as a returning customer, you will be entitled to a 10% discount on your return! Hopefully next year we will have a few more items for you to enjoy as we are going to try to get some mountain bikes and 2 kayaks for our guests to hire.
Hope to see you soon.
12 May 2012
"A Tranquil Paradise"
I have stayed in this beautiful property twice now (July/August 2010 and August 2011) and have just spotted it on Trip Advisor. I went with family including 2 teenage boys and two 9 year olds and was… More
Hi, Thanks for taking the time to review our lovely property. We are always pleased that guests have enjoyed there stay, and as you have been twice already its reassuring to know that we are providing a holiday experience to delight our guests. We hope to see you later this year and we are considering installing a dishwasher and clothes dryer. The beach on the West Coast that you went to is Amado which is quite a trek. I believe that you went via Monchique, its far quicker to go via the IC1 and IC4 (though not as scenic) and takes about 80 minutes. There are several west coast beaches that are much closer Milfontes is just over an hours drive and is absolutely beautiful. Out of the summer season it is also very quiet. Thanks again and it will be great to welcome you back.
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