Best off the beaten track hotels in the Algarve
Most people, when they think of the Algarve, imagine beaches, sunshine, golfers and - let’s face it - rather a lot of people. But that is to ignore a whole sweep of the region. It is entirely possible to fly in to Faro airport, pick up a hire car and soon leave the crowds behind. Use our guide to the best off the beaten track hotels in the Algarve to plan your perfect getaway.
If you still hanker after sea and sand, then head to the south-west or the west coasts. The resorts between Burgau and Sagres, in the south-west, are low-key and low-rise while Sagres and the windswept cape of Sao Vicente attract surfers and divers. The best surfing, and the quietest beaches, are to be found on the west coast; wild and windswept and where Atlantic breakers roll in. As the whole coastline is a nature reserve, development has been restricted. The most attractive villages include Aljezur, Carrapateira and Odeceixe.
Inland it all changes again. Hugging the eastern border with Spain, close to Alcoutim, is the spectacular mountain scenery of the wild Serra de Alcaria while, inland in the western Algarve, is the Serra de Monchique, a wooded mountain range studded with cork, chestnut and eucalyptus trees, and popular hiking country. So, if you want easy-reach sunshine but without the crowds, browse our guide to the best off the beaten track hotels in the Algarve.
Best off the beaten track hotels in the Algarve
For great value
- Close to the west-coast surfing beaches and next to a nature reserve, Muxima offers simple and colourful rooms with an exotic theme in the rustic decoration. Each room has a small terrace plus there’s an eco-pool in which to cool off.
- Also on the west coast, and close to the beaches, Casa Vicentina offers colourful and contemporary apartments. As well as a pool and children’s playground, there’s a nearby nature reserve which is perfect for bird-watching.
- Tucked away in the lesser-visited, eastern Algarve, Companhia das Culturas, a working farm, offers just eight cool and whitewashed rooms with a charming rustic style. There’s also a hammam, saltwater pool and yoga classes.
- Also in the eastern Algarve, and close to Tavira, but feeling a world away, Quinta da Colina is a traditional manor house set amongst citrus and carob trees. Rooms are cool with high-beamed ceilings and white-washed walls, plus there’s a rustic-chic pool made from a former irrigation tank.
Best mid-price off-the-beaten-track hotels
- Between Faro and Tavira, and surrounded by citrus groves and flower-filled fields near Moncarapacho, Vila Monte Farm House has a romantic, Moorish feel with rooms full of rich colours. A couples’ retreat with spa, several pools and an outdoor cinema.
- With the Monchique hills on the doorstep to explore, Vila Valverde offers a chic retreat to return to. Rooms are ultra-modern in natural materials and cool whites, plus there’s a spa and gorgeous surrounds of orange and olive groves.
- Another couples’ retreat is Fazenda Nova surrounded by wooded countryside and not far from Tavira. Rooms are cool and modern in muted shades with tiled floors, sleek bathrooms and private gardens. Plenty of hammocks for lolling around the chic, low-key pool.
- Surrounded by the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Villa Campina is a contemporary-style rural retreat. Rooms are white-on-white chic. There’s also a pool, honesty bar and lavender fields.
Because most people rush to Algarve’s beaches, it leaves plenty of space for seekers of space and privacy. The Algarve’s best off the beaten track hotels may surprise you with their range of styles and locations. Nothing here that fits the bill? Check out our full range of Algarve hotels or contact a friendly guru for advice.
Muxima Aljezur, Algarve 7 rooms from AU$130Families - Family suites and total informality, stimulating books, toys, outdoor games & activities for all.Eco break - Using natural processes and recycled materials.Sights nearby - On the way to the beaches of Carriagem don't forget to visit the Arregata windmill.Surfing - Monte Clerigo Surf & body board lessons are available.Recommended by - I Escape
Casa Vicentina Odeceixe, Algarve 12 rooms from AU$122Families - Lots of space for children to play, ride or swim and suites that sleep 4, family freedom.Groups - 12 suites, make this a great venue to book up with other families or friends.Kids Club - Playground.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - Sawdays
Companhia das culturas Altura (rua do monte grande) 8 rooms from AU$147Great walks - Around Castro Marim and Cacela VelhaFull of character - Simple and rural rustic charmFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Sawdays
Charming and rustic hotel on 40 hectare working farm. Rooms have whitewashed walls, antique furnishings and French doors leading out into garden. With a hammam Turkish bath, outdoor saltwater pool, yoga, Tai-chi and Qi-gong classes. Close to beaches, local markets and great walks. Value chic. See More
Quinta da Colina Conceição, Algarve 3 rooms from AU$139Swimming Pool - Created from the old irrigation tank with original well and water wheel feature on the terrace. 5m x 5mFull of character - Retaining original features giving a true taste of Algarvian style.Sights nearby - Only 6 minutes by car from TaviraSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Sawdays
Traditional Algarvian manor which has been tastefully converted to provide B&B accommodation plus cottages and an apartment for self catering. Set amid 6 hectares filled with olive, orange and carob trees. A quieter, truly relaxing spot from which to enjoy the pleasures of the real Algarve. See More
Vila Monte Farm House Moncarapacho, Algarve 53 rooms from AU$186Romantic Break - A sophisticated couples paradise- with secluded rooms, private terraces, couples massages and romantic picnics on the beach.Foodies - The wholesome delicious cuisine never dissapoints- perhaps because it comes straight from the garden or local organic farms.Cooking classes - The chef happily takes tours to the local markets such as Olhao's big fish market.Sights nearby - Ruins of Milreu in Estoi.Recommended by - Tablet, Relais & Chateaux, Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
A refreshing Moorish style retreat, nestled in orange groves and organic gardens. Light, airy and effortlessly stylish rooms offer seclusion, comfort and private terraces. Gourmet farm to fork cuisine served in a relaxed atmosphere. Two pools, tennis courts, and open air cinema seal the deal. Bliss! See More
Vila Valverde Valverde, Algarve 15 rooms from AU$223Total relaxation - Crafted for relaxtion, with comfortable suites, massage treatments, sauna and laid back atmosphere.Great walks - Explore the Monchique hills on foot, the hotel will provide a light packed lunch.Fishing - The hotel will organise big game fishing trips on request.Restrictions on children - This is an adults only property
Lavish accommodation surrounded by orange groves and olive trees. Contemporary white building with lots of natural light, huge terraces, and beautiful views over the grounds. Portugese specialities in the restaurant and lovely swimming pool. A real hideout in supreme comfort. See More
Fazenda Nova Santo Estevao, Algarve 10 rooms from AU$337Garden - Each apartment has its private garden and the property sits in 10 acres of land.Hideaway - A luxury country retreat ideal for couples.Suites - Suites, apartments, and penthouses.Romantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays, Mr & Mrs Smith
Vila Campina Tavira, Algarve 9 rooms from AU$269Beach Life - Set next to some of Algarve’s unspoilt beaches, enjoy long walks, boats trips, swimming and fishing.Birdwatching - The B&B sits in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, wander around its famed island lagoons and try and spot the local birdlife.Local markets - A must for all foodies is the Olhão farmer's market every Saturday.Swimming Pool - Lovely salt water poolRecommended by - I Escape