The villa is located in the Algarve countryside, some 15 Kms north of Faro. Casa da Encosta is only 30 minutes way from Faro’s International Airport and about the same distance from the closest beaches in the Ria Formosa Natural Park (Olhão, Ilha de Faro, Fuzeta).
The villa’s location is also ideal for hiking the surrounding hills, where you can explore the local wild flora and the ocean views, and enjoy bird watching.
The closest town is Estoi, approximately five kilometers away (3 miles). Estoi is a charming small town in the foothills of Serra de Monte Figo. The town is also graced with two architectural wonders: the Palácio de Estói (a neo-classical palace) and the Milreu Roman ruins. The town is also known for its monthly market, where you can find almost anything, including fresh produce from nearby farmers. In Estoi you can also find small grocery stores, ATM machines, a post office, and a pharmacy.
Olhão, the most important fish port in Eastern Algarve, is located less than 10 kilometers away (6 miles). Its cobbled streets wind through the Moorish-looking old town to the waterfront, with its sparkling views over the Ria Formosa lagoons, where the daily local market is located (fruit, vegetables, meat, deli, as well as an incredible variety of fish and sea food). From the pier, you can take boats to the beautiful beaches of Armona, Culatra and Farol – all great day trips.
Faro, some 15 kms away (9 miles), is the administrative capital of the Algarve but its walled town is still intact and features architectural styles from many centuries. Downtown has many charming buildings and is home to a cobbled pedestrian shopping area complete with terrace cafés and restaurants. There are two theatres, both with good mixed programs of plays, music and dance. Ferries from outside the walled town take you across the lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park to the beaches of Farol, Ilha Deserta and Ilha de Faro (there is also car access to Ilha de Faro).
Other nearby charming towns that deserve one, or several, visits are Tavira, Loulé, São Brás de Alportel, and Cacela.
Make sure to try the local gastronomy (including the immense varieties of fish and sea food, and the almond and carob-based local sweets and desserts) as well as the famous Medronho liquor.