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Blog Ideias de Viagem

Some of the best small houses and small boutique hotels to stay in Portugal

Por We Love Small Hotels | 12 Julho 2021

Times are changing. Travellers want more real experiences and less materialistic distractions on their travels. Environment and sustainability are now playing an important role in people’s minds when the time comes to choose a place to stay. With so many small cities and villages, where the clock seems to have stopped, Portugal offers authenticity and great gastronomy, with locals interested in sharing their culture. Everywhere you go, a warm welcome will be given at small houses and small boutiques hotels, for some days in the simplicity and calmness of Portugal.

We have selected some of the best houses and boutiques hotels to stay in Portugal:

1. Casa do Rio – Douro

Located in Foz Côa, in the north of Portugal, Casa do Rio is the latest project of Quinta do Vallado, an extension of the Wine Hotel in a house with 6 bedrooms. Located on the banks of the Douro River, the building, all made of wood, is in complete harmony with nature and the silence of the place invites to a unique retreat experience in this wine region.

Casa do Rio offers, in addition to the rooms, meals, SPA and an infinity pool overlooking the river. There are also unique experiences to discover the Douro such as boat trips, cooking workshops or fishing programs.

Experiences not to be missed in Douro Internacional:

- Douro Tunnel Route

The "Rota dos Túneis" (tunnel route) was once a railway that connected Porto to Paris. Deactivated more than 30 years ago, it is now a path of tunnels and bridges, over 30 meters high that stretches for 17 kilometres. The route runs between Barca d ’Alva, a Portuguese station and La Fregeneda, in Spain. The walking route takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete and is quite linear. Altogether there are 8 bridges and 20 tunnels, on a route surrounded by nature and with the rivers Águeda and Douro at your side.

- Vila Nova de Foz Côa

Visit Vale do Côa at Vila Nova de Foz Côa, an open-air gallery with about 25.000 years. Here, visitors can find over a thousand rocks with rupestrian manifestations, identified in more than 80 different sites, with predominantly palaeolithic engravings.

2. Monverde Wine Experience Hotel – North of Portugal

Among the vineyards of Quinta da Lixa, Monverde Wine Hotel reflects the passion for wine, with a charming house, in which the rooms are in tune with the vineyards. Harmony is present in the relationship between materials and decoration.

The Monverde has 29 rooms and 1 apartment, overlooking the vineyard, with an intimate design. It is a Wine Experience Hotel where you will find wine tourism activities and vinotherapy treatments. This hotel offers a SPA as well as an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a restaurant and a wine cellar.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Wine tasting of “Vinhos Verdes”

At this wine tasting, guests can become experts on the traditional grape varieties in the region. The wine tasting includes 5 mono-variety wines.

- Tamega Bike Rail Trail

The old railway running along the river Tamega, deactivated in 1990, is now a rail trail with 39 kilometres that make the wonders of cyclists, with its natural and built heritage. Throughout the rail trail, the green landscapes resulting from vineyards and forests, combine with the disabled stations and monuments that were built here.

3. Areias do Seixo – Center of Portugal

In between a magical pine forest, a stunning ocean view and only one hour away from Lisbon lies the Areias do Seixo. The authenticity, distinctiveness and sophistication are unique in the 14 rooms. Some relate to gold shades, some to the love, others to the wood and the land. 

The restaurant is supplied by the biological garden, which allows visits and pickings, with a traditional inspiration, that is served with sophistication. For a deeper delight, the Spa is the place to be.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Discovering the hotel vegetable garden

Guests can discover the hotel vegetable garden on a journey amongst aromas and colours, vegetables and aromatic herbs.

- Surf Class

Near the hotel, there are some perfect spots for surfing like Santa Cruz beach where guests can enjoy a surf class.

4. Craveiral Farmhouse – Alentejo Coast

Craveiral Farmhouse is located in São Teotónio, 15 minutes from Zambujeira do Mar, in Alentejo Wild Coast. The invitation to go and meet the authenticity and simplicity is made by this property where you will find 38 houses with the charm of the Alentejo region. At Craveiral Farm Table restaurant by Alexandre Silva the menu is based on the availability and seasonality of the vegetable garden and local producers. There is also an indoor pool and spa, gym, outdoor pool and riding stables.

Here you are free to choose the activities you prefer, there is always something to do, but if you prefer to do nothing, just breathe this place, keep it in your memory and take refuge in this natural beauty.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Walk along Costa Vicentina

Guests can discover the trails at Costa Vicentina and enjoy true untouched nature by the sea. Some of these walking trails lead to wonderful beaches and typical villages. See our Walking Tour in Costa Vicentina.

- Diving Baptism

At Craveiral, guests can dive at the sea and experience for the first time how it is to dive fully equipped and being able to discover the underwater world.

5. Casa Modesta – Eastern Algarve

Casa Modesta is a rural tourism located next to the calm waters of the Ria Formosa, in the eastern Algarve. The architecture of the old house and its contemporary features have been preserved, keeping the memories of a simpler life that guests can experience in the various clay, basketry, or cane toys’ workshops. In this small family hotel, close to the best beaches in the Algarve, there are nine rooms with private bathrooms and private patios. You can also discover a vegetable garden, a garden, a solarium, an old cistern that today is a wine cellar, the old wood oven that still bakes bread and an outdoor pool.

The location of Casa Modesta is a perfect starting point to discover the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the cities of Olhão or Tavira and beaches in the Algarve such as Fuzeta or Barril. The sunrise is perfect for watching the birds’ migration, the fishermen work or salt extraction from the salt pans.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Ria Formosa by boat

Ria Formosa is a protected region in the Algarve, a habitat of many animal and plant species. On a boat tour, you can discover all its wonders.

- Cooking workshop

Casa Modesta has a cooking workshop inspired by the coastal flavours. Guests can learn a traditional recipe with natural and fresh ingredients from the hotel orchard and vegetable garden.

6. Morgado do Quintão – Western Algarve

The property of Morgado do Quintão in the Algarve, has a rooted historical past. It was restored by the family and is today a tribute to the countryside, gastronomy and artistic creation. On the property are some of the oldest vineyards in the Algarve, a place where award-winning wines are known worldwide.

To feel the authenticity of Morgado do Quintão, there are four houses available for rent. Simple and rustic houses, with the comfort of today and with swimming pool, outdoor space and Wi-Fi. These country houses are perfect for a getaway with family or friends, in the peaceful environment of the rural Algarve.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Wine Tasting

Guests can do a wine tasting and tour at the vineyards while exploring the history of the property and also taste the cheese and charcuterie from local producers.

-  Foodie Tour

While staying at this house, guests can discover the Algarvian gastronomy and visit a local orange producer, an olive oil farm and the salt pans.

7. Senhora da Rosa Tradition & Nature - Azores

In the historic building of the former Estalagem Senhora da Rosa, the tradition of this place was maintained and the Boutique Hotel Senhora da Rosa Tradition & Nature was born. Surrounded by the exuberant and unique nature of the Azores, it offers unique experiences involved with gardens, banana trees and pineapples.

The “Magma” restaurant and bar is focused on the flavours of the land and the season, maintaining Azorean gastronomic traditions. For more relaxing moments, indulge in the treatments made with fruits and flowers from the farm at the SPA “Musgo” and the outdoor hot water pool overlooking the immense green, so characteristic of the island. For a tranquillizing sleep, the property offers several rooms, with emphasis on the Tranquility Garden Lodges located in the middle of the farm, among the banana trees.

Experiences not to be missed:

- Horse riding

The hotel offers its guests the possibility to discover the surrounding area of the lush green archipelago of the Azores by horse. A unique experience to truly connect with nature.

- Visit the tea plantation Gorreana

While in the Azores, São Miguel, visitors can discover the plantation, factory and museum of Gorreana tea. Since 1883 this tea is produced on the island with the same traditions as in the beginning.

8. Escarpa – Madeira

Overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Escarpa is inspired by the traditional Madeiran lifestyle. The minimalistic and contemporary design go along with a coastal twist of chic. Unpretentious luxury in a unique location surrounded by the island natural beauty and, of course, banana trees.

Here you can really feel the tranquillity around you, with the hotel just 1km away from the historic village of Ponta do Sol.

Sleep in one of the ocean view rooms or stay in one of the private villas. Dinner is served at the Restaurant 90º and guests can enjoy a dazzling view at the exterior infinity swimming pool.

Experiences not to be missed:

-  Walking in the “Levadas”

Levadas is the name given to the irrigation channels built by the island's population to carry water from thousands of springs to the fields of cultivation.

Many of these levadas are in the middle of the mountains and you can walk along with them at the Laurissilva Forest, protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

- Going down in a basket car

The “basket car” is a unique experience at Madeira, one of the most famous attractions on the island. These cars are produced by hand and driven by "local pilots" with straw hats and white uniforms, that use their own boots brakes when going down the slope between Monte and Funchal.