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Updates from the Blog

The Alentejo, touted as the new Tuscany

The Alentejo is the breadbasket of Portugal, makes half its wine and is the largest producer of cork in the world.

The region is a warm, dry, a mostly gentle region north of the Algarve that has been ignored by all but a few. A long history of turbulence means many of its towns are on hilltops – not just Évora but the medieval village of Monsaraz on the Spanish border, the baroque Montemor-o-Novo above the main E90 from Lisbon, and the pantiled city of Beja in the south.

This big fertile region, a third of the country by area, is known as Portugal’s gastronomic soul. The food is neither peasant nor sophisticated, but rich with ingredients such as sheep’s cheese, black pork, salt cod, wild mushrooms and asparagus. Towns have their own specialities, such as peppery olive oils or egg-yolk based desserts. It’s this rich individuality that makes Alentejo special – and the fact that it produces almost half of Portugal’s wine.

Now the region is being touted as the new Tuscany, or the affordable Tuscany. Certainly it’s just as food-orientated, and entry-level wines are better value than in Chiantishire. Architecturally, the Alentejo also has an abundance of Roman remains: Évora has city walls, a huge aqueduct and a temple dedicated to Augustus.

After the Romans, the Visigoths and then the Moors ruled the Alentejo. Its rich soil helped make it famous, and when the Jesuits arrived in the 16th century, they boosted the viticulture and transformed cities like Évora with their florid architecture. So why has this beautiful, fecund, food-orientated region been neglected by the Brits? Maybe it’s because we think of Portugal in terms of Lisbon and the Algarve. The Alentejo, as the land that lies between those two popular tourist attractions, is too easy to overlook, despite its size.



Checkout Our Latest Guest Reviews

Stunning views from every aspect
review submitted October 2017, Date stayed October 2017 – S. Wales

Wonderful place to relax and unwind. Beautiful house and a stunning view from every aspect.  Really enjoyed the choice of sun terraces, the hammocks and the pool. Loved feeding the animals and watching the wildlife. Thank you for your hospitality.

We have all had a very much need time of peace and relaxation. Monte da Quinta provides that in abundance! Loved listening to the endless bird song and have enjoyed the gorgeous trees and plants. It has been a wonderful week. Thank you letting us share your lovely home.

Hospitality Outstanding
review submitted October 2017, Date stayed October 2017 – Hawaii and California

Incredible 11 nights stay with you two (and all the wonderful animals). It has been very relaxing and your hospitality (advice & knowledge) outstanding. Come to California and we will host you.

Fabulous stay at Monte da Quinta
review submitted 3rd October 2017, Date stayed October 2017 – Devon

3rd time for some of us. Wonderfully relaxing and beautiful surroundings. recommendations on where to eat and visit all first class. Great area. Loved the Quinta too, dont miss out on the seeing the animals and the Artesian well that Michaela and Nigel restored. A stunning bit of paradise – will be back. 

We will keep returning
review submitted 23rd September 2017, Date stayed September 2017 – Berkshire

Another amazing and relaxing week. Great hosts. A perfect place to recharge your batteries. Thank you 

Well what can I say – Lovely
review submitted 13th September 2017, Date stayed September 2017 – Devon

Comfortable villa with everything you could ever want. Lovely pool and sun terraces peaceful and a lovely place to relax. The nearby town has enough to keep you occupied as well as keep you feed and watered. Michaela as been a wonderful attentive host. Cant wait to visit next June and September 2018 x

One of the most memorable 10 days ever on vacation
review submitted 15th September 2017, Date stayed September 2017 – Ottawa, Canada

From the beautiful scenery to feeding the animals. Besides enjoying our days around the pool we have also loved driving to the beaches of Villa Nova Milfontes, Zanbujeira and especially Praia Malhao (a very secluded long sandy beach). In Zanbujeira we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Vincentino Restaurante. In Milfontes the cataplana at O Dunas Mil is to die for ( the one with lobster). And Tiza the dog who seems so aloof but joined us on our walks. Michaela is brilliant. This place is paradise. Thank you so much, cant wait to come back.

Our 1st visit ans it will not be the last
review submitted 3rd September 2017, Date stayed Aug/Sept 2017 – Hampshire

Our first trip to visit an old school chum and it will not be the last. Micky you have the most beautiful home which you have opened up to us mortals. beautiful house in a beautiful location with beautiful company. Thanks for tagging along to the music festival, most enjoyable. We will leave with some wonderful memories and a great tan. lots of love 

Our first time in Portugal
review submitted 3rd September 2017, Date stayed Aug/Sept 2017 – Manchester

We could not of chosen a better place. Thank you to Michaela and Nigel for being such wonderful hosts and sharing your beautiful property with us. We enjoyed being in the countryside and making day trips out to the coast – always great to come back to this little slice of paradise. We will be back!

Our 2nd visit to Monte da Quinta
review submitted 9th September 2017, Date stayed August/Sept 2017 – Essex

We had our holiday here last year and knew we had to come back this year. Another amazing holiday!! Great to see Michaela and Nigel again as well as all the animals. the kids loved feeding the pigs and chickens. Cant believe our 2 weeks is already up 🙁 still hope to be back next year, see you both soon xxx 

We visit Portugal quiet often
review submitted 26th August 2017, Date stayed August 2017 – Luxenburg

It is the first time we have stayed the whole week in the Alentejo. And what a wonderful week, in a wonderful region with wonderful hosts. We really appreciated the stunning landscapes, the heat, the pool, pigs, poultry etc etc 🙂 and the goats, but also the pool. Black pork and fish, THE WINE!. Villa Nova Milfontes and Praia do colehlo! We will have good memories from the Alentejo, kisses.

Our third time at Monte da Quinta
review submitted 19th August 2017, Date stayed August 2017 – London

It just gets better and better every time we visit. We look forward to it more and more each year, and we are sure we will be back. It have been a particularity hot one and the pool has been beautiful. Oh dear I am missing it already!!!! Booked for next year.

Our first visit to Portugal
review submitted 19th August 2017, Date stayed August 2017 – Cheshire

We could not of asked for a more relaxing holiday. Monte da quinta has to be the most comfortable place we have ever stayed. Perks for us: en-suite showers rooms on every bathroom (perfect for teenagers). Amazing pool, supply of fresh kitchen garden produce and pigs, goats and poultry to eat up all the left-overs. Just perfect.  Gorgeous house and setting and fabulous hosts. Thanks you Michaela and Nigel for all the advice and help during our stay, much appreciated. We will miss the golden evening lights as the sunsets over the hill – lots of lovely memories to take home. Thanks again.

“Traumhafte Ferienwohnung in einzigartiger Lage und liebevollen Gastgebern”
review submitted 2nd August 2017, Date stayed July 2017 – Germany

Wir verbrachten 18 tolle Tage in der Casa Oliveira und wären am liebsten viel länger geblieben. Auch unseren beiden Söhnen (13 und 5 Jahre alt) hat es super gefallen. Die Ferienwohnung ist top ausgestattet, die Lage traumhaft schön. Michaela und Nigel sind wirklich tolle Gastgeber. Wir wurden immer mit frischen Eiern vom Hof und Gemüse direkt aus eigenem Anbau versorgt….Jede der beiden Ferienwohnung hat sogar einen eigenen kleinen Kräutergarten… Einfach nur lecker!!!!!! Pool, Hängematten, eigener Barbeque Grill, Tiere und weite Wiesen- einfach ein traumhafter Familienurlaub. Monte da Quinta im Alentejo hat uns wirklich sehr gefallen!!! Und am Strand “praia de coehla” (Algarve) waren wir auch in ca. 50 Minuten…. Wir kommen sehr gern wieder!!!

A beautiful and peaceful part of Alentejo
review submitted 29th July 2017, Date stayed July 2017 – Belgium

So many thanks to Michaela and Nigel! We discovered a peaceful and wonderful part of the Alentejo. House and swimming pool are perfect, the lovely garden with the palm trees, the pigs and the chickens 🙂 

Delighted
review submitted 15th July 2017, Date stayed July 2017 – Dorchester

Greatly enjoyed our stay at this lovely house. Delighted to find it all so well equip and many thanks for all the extras. Your marmalade was especially delicious! We have had a very relaxing time in this peaceful and beautiful setting. What a great job you have done it creating it all. x

Wins by a country mile
review submitted 7th July 2017, Date stayed July 2017 – London

We have stayed in loads of rentals, this one wins by a country mile. We have really enjoyed our stay and thank you for your perfect hospitality and the supply of the finest and freshest fruit and veg. We look forward to returning soon. x

Our Seventh Visit
review submitted 1st July 2017. Date stayed June 2017 – Kent

Thank you for our 7th visit, loved the pool as the temperatures in the first week were in the 40’s.  We always look forward to coming here and Roberto never wants to leave.
We visited Castro Verde for our essentials, just 5 minutes to the supermarket and stopped for coffee in many of the little cafes.We ate in four of the local restaurants and found them very helpful and the food very good. Roberto has fallen in love again with the amazing wines from this area (and the price of course) x

Back for longer this time
review submitted 20th June 2017, Date stayed June 2017 – Scotland

We made it back – for longer this time  and absolute no disappointments or regrets. What an oasis of calm and relaxation – and thank goodness for the superb pool (as the temperature hit the low 40’s)Thank you all for everything – and we look forward to our next visit.

Le Charme du Monte da Quinta
review submitted 15th June 2017, Date stayed June 2017 – France

Tout a ete ecrit sua le charme du Monte da Quinta! Le plaisir simple et chateureux d’etre ici. Comment imaginer une annee sans revenir.

Another Super Week Here
review submitted 9th June 2017, Date stayed June 2017 – Ireland

Thanks for another super week here at Monte da Quinta – Boys already want to come back! So relaxing……………
Area fab as always – visited Monsaraz this time and was super, but most of all just super being a Monte da Quinta! x

Our Jewel of Portugal
review submitted 2nd June 2017, Date stayed May/June 2017

We just keep coming back 🙂 This pace is pure heaven for us, we just love it. Fabulous location, outstanding hosts and lets face it, is it any wonder so many have such positive comments. Loved the pool! although brrr!!!! a tad cold on many a morning, but that soon warms up. Thank you Michaela, Nigel and Brad, Monte da Quinta just gets better and better, our jewel of Portugal 🙂 see you next time xx

Carinha e Simpatia
review submitted 21st May 2017, Date stayed May 2017 – Lisboa

gostamos muito, excelente vista, muito calmo,agriadavel e relaxante. Casa Muito bem decoriada e com bom equi pament. Boa localizacao, perto da vila. Michaela & Nigel foriam us ecelentes anfitrioes, muito simpaticos. Muito bem os ovos, o sum de laranja e o vinho. Embona so fossem tres noites, foi como sestivessemos ma mossa casa. Muito obrigado pelo vosso carinha e simpatia

Third Time In Casa Oliveira
review submitted 10th May 2017, Date stayed April/May 2017 – Kelmscott

Thank you Michaela and Nigel for all the hard work that you have put into making MDQ such a relaxing and comfortable place to stay. Coming back to Casa Oliveira for the third time felt like coming back to our Portuguese home. Having spent nearly three weeks here birding in the mornings and lazing around in the afternoons, we are so relaxed we are almost horizontal! Roll on next year.

Back Soon!
review submitted 2nd April 2017, Date stayed April 2017 – Whitby

Another excellent stay with amazing weather – sun every day 34 degrees. Had some fantastic birding here and in the country, swam every day. Perfect. Back soon!

Going Back Next Year
review submitted 25th April 2017, Date stayed April 2017 

For us, the location was perfect – quiet and tranquil with a restful, relaxing and peaceful view yet near enough to walk into Castro Verde. The villa was spacious, cool and of a very high standard, well deserving of its descriptions of luxury accommodation. We loved the fact that the kitchen was generously equipped with plenty of everything and that there was a dishwasher – home from home! The views from every window in the villa were a joy. The bed was comfortable, the seating was comfortable – this is a rare occasion when my husband hasn’t come home from holiday with a bad back because of the bed or seating in the holiday accommodation! It’s the first time that we’ve stayed anywhere abroad where the owners live on-site and this worked perfectly for us. Michaela and Nigel were helpful when needed yet unobtrusive – it was great to have their input for a special meal out for my husband’s birthday and the best places to go for a couple of day trips out. Having said that, it was several days until we could tear ourselves away from the terrace of our villa and the immediate grounds and local town! The days when we did venture further afield were a great success due to Michaela and Nigel’s input. We loved the pigs, goats, chickens and ponies; the orange trees – everything! As we’ve told family and friends at home, we couldn’t fault it at all – and we do have high standards! Following on from the title of this review – we’ve asked for a week next year to be pencilled in for a return visit.

A Hidden Gem
review submitted 11th April 2017, Date stayed April 2017 – Buckingham

Every once in a while, as you travel through life, you can stumble upon what is best described as a “Hidden Gem”. For us Monte da Quinta has been one of those occasions. Nestling at the edge Castro Verde in an area of amazing natural beauty. On top of that the accommodation is as near perfect as ever one could wish for and the hosts Michaela and Nigel are the nicest people you could wish to meet. Fantastic weather all week!

This has been our first visit and we have already began arrangements to return next year. Looking forward to it already. 

First and last guests to check-in for 2016
review submitted 27th October 2016, Date stayed October 2016 – Whitby

Another relaxing holiday in this villa. Mixed weather, but we swam most days. Excellent birding. Totally relaxed and once again well looked after by our wonderful hosts. See you again soon.

Ultimate Chill-out
Review submitted 20th October, Date stayed October 2016 – UK

Well the ultimate chill-out delivered yet again, our second visit this year and the only place we keep returning to.
Monte da Quinta the farm in the middle of nowhere – but of course it is not. The town is perfectly located just over the hill. Only four nights this visit, relaxation on a different level. Everything you could wish for including the perfect hostess.

De la douceur de vivre de le Alentejo
Review submitted 28th September, Date stayed September 2016 – Alpes France

Monte da Quinta est un lieu de sejour tres agreable grace du jardins,a la piscine et a la maison bien equipee. vous passe un sejour reposant. merci a Michaela et son mari de mous avoir permis de profiter de la douceur de vivre de le Alentejo.

What a view from the terrace
Review submitted 21st September, Date stayed September 2016 – Sussex

Our first visit and certainly not our last. What a view from the terrace and so inspiring for my writing. The villa was great and we felt at home the very first night. 

Our second visit
Review submitted 10th October, Date stayed September 2016 – UK

Our second visit and its unlikely to be our last. We love the peace and quiet that this holiday brings. Thank you Michaela and Nigel for being great hosts in this fantastic set up, it is just so hard to beat. 

5 Star Accommodation
Review submitted 26th September, Date stayed September 2016 – UK

Monte da Quinta met all our accommodation requirements. It was very clean, spacious, in a traditional Portuguese style. The ‘welcome pack and little extra touches’ Michaela had added made all the difference and we felt welcome from the minute we arrived. Michaela and Nigel couldn’t have been more helpful. The view from the terrace of our villa was stunning. The pools were suitable for all ages and there were plenty of sun loungers and even a hammock for each villa. Although rural, Monte da Quinta is on the edge of town and therefore within walking distance of restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. We made use of two of the restaurants in town and both were very helpful (as we do not speak Portuguese!) and the food was lovely. My husband particularly liked feeding the animals each day and I think the hens, pigs, duck and goats became accustomed to us trotting down each morning with our boxes of food for them! We would definitely go back to Monte da Quinta in the future

Simply Perfect
Review submitted 4th September, Date stayed August 2016

Myself, wife and two children (10 & 4) had the best time in Portugal. The weather was excellent, the beaches and views incredible, the food, especially Michaela and Nigel’s supper and the fresh fish in the Milfontes restaurants was fantastic. Casa Laranjeira was perfect and we wanted for nothing. The pool was superb, our first salt water pool and although dubious when we read this prior to booking we needn’t have been as it’s only slightly salty and I’m converted from the usual chlorine pools. The kids loved the pool and we certainly made the most of it! Feeding the Pigs and Chickens was great fun and they have a serious appetite so all your leftovers will not go to waste! In summary this was the best holiday we’ve had in Europe and at the end of our two week stay when I’m usually ready to come home, I wasn’t, and could easily stayed another week. Thanks Michaela and Nigel for being so welcoming, friendly, giving great advice and supplying us with your chickens fresh eggs and home grown vegetables. We would love to return and already have our eyes on next years flights 🙂

More wonderful memories
Review submitted 3rd September, Date stayed August 2016 – Hampshire

Another fantastic week here, we keep coming back 🙂 it has already been said so many times in this guest book by other guests, but its a truly fabulous place. From the moment you arrive to leaving the pace of life slows down and you kick back and relax. The pool as always is simply great, especially after a day out and about. Thank you for arranging the vineyard horse and carriage ride, Emma loved it and still keeps talking about it! Feeling sad we are leaving, but very happy we have yet more wonderful memories of Portugal and the Alentejo. See you again next May.

Tranquil luxuries house with amazing facilities
Review submitted 8th September, Date stayed August 2016 – South of England

Having stayed at another Alentejo holiday property the previous week that did not live up to the expectations set in the marketing material, it was a relief to arrive and find everything is the same high quality at Monte da Quinta. My family has been holidaying at Monte da Quinta for 10 years. We like the fact the property is clean, smells wonderful, is well maintained and immaculate, well stocked and offers lots of little extras. Highly recommend this property to our friends and family.

Our third holiday at Monte da Quinta
Review submitted 28th August, Date stayed August 2016 – UK

A wonderful week relaxing and enjoying living alfresco on the terrace. The pool is such a treat, we will remember Kiera learning to swim here. How lovely to return to somewhere you know and all living up to expectations. The welcoming honey, marmalade, tomatoes and cucumber from the farm. Such lovely meals whether “prato do dia” or the vineyard. Thank you once again for your warm welcome, looking forward to a return visit.

Lovely to be back
Review submitted 27th August, Date stayed August 2016 – London

We had another fab week @ Michaela and Nigel’s beautiful Quinta. Peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, every second of our stay was fantastic. Already talking about our 3rd holiday here!! definitely be back again. Thank you very much for letting us stay @ your wonderful place.

Little peace of heaven on Earth – Perfect holiday
Review submitted 22nd August, Date stayed August 2016 – UK

Monte Da Quinta is the most beautiful place. We have just returned from a perfect 2 week holiday here, hubby and 2 teenagers and we all absolutely loved it. The grounds and pool are superb with amazing views of unspoilt countryside – and the house, Casa Oliviera, was spacious, comfortable and exceptionally well equipped. Michaela and Nigel have thought of everything you could possibly need and are so warm, welcoming, helpful and generous without ever being intrusive. Great information provided for local amenities, attractions and days out with clear directions to get there. The “savoury suppers’ were delicious. It is the perfect spot to undwind in and we managed the right balance of relaxing by the pool and sight seeing. A brilliant holiday and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back there if they could fit us in with all their returning guests!

A perfect mix of relxation and exploring
Review submitted 20th August, Date stayed August 2016 – UK

Our first visit to Portugal and its been amazing. The house, grounds and the pool are beautiful here. We have had the perfect mix of relaxation and exploring. You have thought of everything – recommendations, great information and directions, spot on. Thank you for the help booking trips, very much appreciated. The Monte da Quinta savoury suppers were superb and very generous as with everything. We hope to come back – its been fabulous.xxx

Home from home
Review submitted 20th August, Date stayed August 2016 – UK

1st visit here and WOW what a beautiful villa. A real home from home feel. We have had a fantastic 2 weeks. Michaela and Nigel, thank you both your hospitality and for all the recommendations. Not forgetting all the lovely fresh food (your savoury supper) and eggs from the farm. Sorry to be going home but will be returning soon 😉

Wonderful family friendly accommodation, excellent basis to explore Alentejo and enjoy Portugese beaches”
Review submitted 10th August, Dated stayed August 2016 – Frankfurt

Monte da Quinta remains our favourite place to enjoy our holidays with our 2 daughters (8 and 10). Comfortable, clean and spacious house, pleasant pool, beautiful gardens and wonderful view and surroundings. We regular visited the various beaches at the Atlantic Ocean and Algarve, but also day trips to Evora and Mertola are easy to do. You will find various excellent restaurants relatively close to Monte da Quinta and also Castro Verde offers a pleasant variety of places to have a pizza or typical regional food. But ending a warm sunny day at Monte da Quinta with a home made BBQ, a dip in the pool, a good glass wine and enjoying the stunning view remains our favourite.

Only place in the world we keep returning to
Review submitted 6th August, Date stayed August 2016 

We love the rural-ness, yet close to everything. Monte da Quinta has everything we look for in a holiday the villa is super comfortable and has everything you need Michaela and Nigel is at hand to help if you need help with reservations to excursions or vineyard visits. Castro Verde has many restaurant which are all excellent, what more can one want. Our kids love feeding the animals, the pool and going for bike rides in the stunning surroundings.Monte da Quinta is the perfect place to relax and recharge I can highly recommend.

Thanks for the hospitality
Review submitted 6th August, Date stayed August 2016 – Holland

We had a great, relaxing time here. The kids didn’t want to leave the house and the swimming pool 🙂 Thank Michaela and Nigel for your hospitality, all your information, your fresh farm eggs and sweet tomatoes! xxx

Spacious and well equipped
Review submitted 30th July, Date stayed July 2016 – London

This was out first stay at Monte da Quinta and it was amazing! The cottage in which we stayed Casa Oliveira – spacious, well equipped and very homely. The surrounding area is beautiful and an excellent spot to catch the Montagu’s harrier and various other birds! Michaela and Nigel were very friendly, approachable and not intrusive. We particularly loved feeding the farm animals 🙂

An Amazing Experience
Review submitted 22nd July, Date stayed July 2016 – Canada

What an amazing first vacation in Portugal with our little ones. We have absolutely enjoyed our time here, sitting on the lovely terrace with a wonderful breeze in the air and a great pool where our little girl finally got over her fear of the water. We have enjoyed the recommended restaurants immensely and I am sure we will be looking to come back again in the future to friends. Thank you for an amazing experience and all the best xoxo

Wonderful to be back
Review submitted 22nd July, Date stayed July 2016 – Germany

Wonderful to be back again. We have enjoyed it all a lot, our favourite house Casa Oliveira, the big terrace, lovely pool, the hammock, the animals and most of all the wonderful view and perfect weather. Many thanks for your hospitality, we are looking forward to coming back again. Wishing your a wonderful summer ! 😉

Better than ever
Review submitted 18th July, Dates stayed July 2016

I have stayed at Monte da Quinta on several occasions and always had a fantastic time. This year there have been some minor improvements to the properties which made our stay even more relaxing, namely a larger fridge/freezer making it easier to keep the delicious wines from the local vineyards cool and a dishwasher to avoid the tedium of washing up the glasses! The property is beautifully clean, with fantastic views a lovely pool, loungers to sunbathe on and a shady terrace to retreat to when it is just too hot. Castro Verde is a short walk away and has a good selection of quality restaurants and bars but without the hustle and ‘brits abroad’ of the Algarve. There is plenty to do in the local area, whether it is vineyard tours, eating some of the best food in Portugal, hot air ballooning, quad biking, horse riding, spa’s etc. Monte da Quinta makes a wonderful base for a fantastic relaxing holiday. I am sure we will continue to return.

Wow, it is tough to leave
Review submitted 16th July, Date stayed July 2016 – Dubai

Wow it is tough to have to leave….. Lazy afternoons swaying in the hammock under the trees with a drop of local vinho tinto at arms reach – that is what it is all about!
We leave vowing to be back again sooner rather than later for our 5th visit. And for longer…Thanks MDQ it looks even better than in 2006

1st Class
Review submitted 15th July, Date stayed July 2016 – Scotland

The whole family have loved our stay at Monte da Quinta. Michaela and Nigel have been perfect hosts, always on hand to give any help if needed and providing great recommendations for places to visit and eat out. Te accommodation has been 1st class. We cant wait to return. xxx

High Expectation Met
Review submitted 9th July, Date stayed July 2016 – Denmark

Monte da Quinta has more than met our high expectations for holidays in Portugal. The house was perfect and the kids have enjoyed the swimming pool and the relaxed atmosphere here. We have enjoyed the short walk into Castro Verde, watching the football matches in the European Championships there in 7 ARTE cafe. We will take all the lovely experiences with us back to Denmark 🙂

Una Semana Maravillosa
Review submitted 27th June, Date stayed June 2016 – Spain

Monte da Quinta es un silio maravillaso para disfrutar de la belleza del Alentejo. Memos pasado una semana maravillosa disfrutando de la casa, la piscina y del clima, la comida y la luz tan especial de esta region. Un lujo de semana gracias

Enjoy The Good Life
Review submitted 25th June, Date stayed June 2016 – UK

We combined the four of us have been here at Monte da Quinta 15 times.The reason being it is the best place in the world to relax and unwind! weather is always spot-on and the houses have got everything you need to enjoy the good life! see you next year!

Third Time at Monte da Quinta
Review submitted 16th June,Date stayed June 2016

This is our third time here at Monte da Quinta and we always enjoy ourselves. Castro Restaurant is very good to eat in. Very relaxing place and lots to do. Love feeding the pigs, goats and hens on the farm. Maybe again next year, as its brilliant.

Serene Spot
Review submitted 10th June, Date stayed June 2016

Beautiful and serene spot that encouraged us to relax, laugh, enjoy and have fun together.Perfect place to base ourselves to enjoy the surrounding area and the beautiful beaches. Wonderfully comfortable and well equipped houses. Long warm evening eating, drinking together.

“Perfect”
Review submitted 22nd May, Date stayed May 2016 – N. Ireland

Myself and five friends spent an amazing week on the outskirts of Castro Verde in the wonderful Monte da Quinta. We used both houses and we weren’t disappointed. We are group of birdwatchers and have travelled across Europe for many years now and I can happily say that this place is well up there with the very best we have stayed in (and there have been some good ones). It is the perfect location to visit the Alentejo region of Portugal and with the coast (Algarve) only an hour’s drive away and similarly the west coast, variety is easily found. The welcome, hospitality, help and guidance from Michaela and Nigel make this an absolutely fantastic place to stay. A huge thank you to you both.

A true find- luxury accommodation in an authentic part of Portugal
Review submitted 16th May, Date stayed May 2016

Michaela & Nigel have created an amazing place, the accommodation and pool area is so well kept and the attention to detail everywhere is super. All the little extras (amazing welcome pack, the fresh eggs, flower petals, candles, real coffee machines, snuggly blankets) really make such a difference. Monte da Quinta is also pefectely located, it’s in a wonderful setting in this really well maintained small holding with all the animals – chicken, pigs, goats, sheep and it’s lovely orchard of orange trees yet it is just walking distance (5 mins) into the lovely town of Castro Verde with an array of super authentic restaurants (very reasonable) – go with Michaela & Nigel’s recommendations – you won’t be disappointed. There are some great sites / towns & villages to visit nearby and the local vineyards also very tempting! Michaela & Nigel have a great guide book and they are on hand to help with things and overall made our stay very relaxing. All in all we (myself, husband and two boys aged 6 & 8) had a super time and look forward to visiting again soon.

Peaceful and Relaxing
Review submitted 10th May, Date stayed May 2016

This place is really special. So peaceful and relaxing. We appreciate all your hard work that makes it so so lovely.

The Most Amazing Week
Review submitted 18th May, Date stayed May 2016

Just had the most amazing week! Fantastic area, brilliant bird-watching, super restaurants and the villas – WOW! A huge thank you to Nigel and Michaela for helping to make the trip so memorable. AMAZING!

Monte da Quinta was recommended to us
Review submitted 10th May, Date stayed April/May 2016

Monte da Quinta was recommended to us by my brother and his family. They were here two years ago and came home raving about it. It has not disappointed!! We have had a super time, the house is perfect and so well kept, the attention to detail and all the little things (welcome pack, candles etc.) make it just perfect. The location is great for exploring and all the areas recommended by Michaela and Nigel have been well worth visiting.

The local restaurants are just fantastic and very reasonable!!. It feels like the real Portugal here in Castro Verde. the boys loved feeding the animals. Thanks so much, we’ll be back.

Our 2nd Visit
Review submitted 26th. Date stayed April 2016

This is our second visit, was just as good as the first – the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was just too short! Thank you Michaela and Nigel for your hospitality and for creating such peaceful and relaxing holiday homes. We hope to be back to indulge our passion for bird watching in this fantastic area.

We Keep Returning
Review submitted 5th March, Date stayed March 2016

We keep returning to this peaceful place to see the fantastic birds, great views, and to eat amazing food. We love it here! We recommend Villa Italia and the Market Verde restaurants. Its nice to be able to leave the car and walk to and from the restaurants. Thanks Nigel and Michaela for creating and immaculately maintaining such a beautiful place. See you in October.

This is our 6th time at Monte da Quinta
Review submitted 5th October, Date stayed Otober 2015

Thank you once again for making us so, so welcome. This is our 6th time and we find it better every time. So obviously coming again and again is definitely on the cards. The houses are amazing, the pool inviting and the gardens and views are absolutely lovely. Cannot stress enough how we always enjoy ourselves and never want to leave.

Our Third Visit
Review submitted 18th September, Date stayed September 2015

Our third visit and YES! we really enjoy everything that Monte da Quinta provides. Thanks for everything and for the first time we tried the new savoury supper, which we really enjoyed.

Our first visit to the Alentejo region
Review submitted 11th September, Date stayed Aug/Sept 2015

Our first visit to the Alentejo. What a wonderful and tranquil base Monte da Quinta is to explore this beautiful region. We have loved exploring the farm and feeding the chooks, piggies and goats. Wildlife spotted: geckos, crickets, dragonflies and storks in flight. We have been so relaxed we are practically horizontal. Thank you both for the lazy long two weeks.

Back Again
Review submitted 10th September, date stayed September 2015

Back for an adult holiday this time and enjoyed it just as much. Trips to Mertola and Evora and the west coast, Vila Nove Milfontes. The visited the local vineyard for lunch and wine tasting – Herdade dos Grous, a wonderful meal and wines. Thank you Michaela and Nigel for arranging everything. The weather was wonderful, and the pool was great for cooling off.

Beautifully Maintained
Review submitted 29 August, Date stayed August 2015

It has a absolutely terrific week. The accommodation is beautifully maintained. Recommendations in your guest folders were all excellent. We included a wonderful day at the beach with a superb seafood lunch. The Portuguese certainly know a thing or two about grilling fish. Our horse and carriage ride around the vineyard at Santa Vitoria was very good fun. Castro Verde Basilica was a surprise, amazing hand painted Azulejo tiles inside, absolutely breathtaking.

Our son loved feeding the farm animals and Vila Nova Milfontes is a great beach for the children. Thank you for looking after us, it was a real treat, see you next summer.

Thank you for a little piece of heaven
Review submitted 11th August, Date stayed August 2015

We arrived at Monte da Quinta late and in the dark, but as soon as we were greeted by Michaela, Nigel and Bradley we soon relaxed into our holiday, we were made to feel like friends arriving for a stay!
Waking up on our first morning we were not disappointed, both bedrooms in Casa Oliveira overlook the farm land, and we could watch the ponies and chickens in the field at the side.
We did not need to rush off to the supermarket as the luxury hamper contained everything needed for breakfast, freshly squeezed orange juice from the trees on the farm, beautiful home made honey, eggs from the chickens, tomatoes and cucumbers from the vegetable garden and fresh bread, to name but a few!
The farm house has everything in you could possible need, equipped to 5* standard. All bed linen and towels provided. Our patio was lovely, overlooking our own herb garden and BBQ.
We shared the pool with the family next door, there are plenty of sun loungers and room for everyone.
Our hosts could not have been nicer, lots of advice, helping us to book tickets for the train to Lisbon, booking dinner at the local vineyard and even driving us there!
Nigel would bring a constant supply of tomatoes and cucumbers freshly picked. Everyday we would feed the pigs, goats and chickens, which was a constant form of amusement.
Michaela’s savoury supper was wonderful, great value for money and tasted delicious, well worth ordering.
We visited Lisbon, very busy, but has made us want to go back for a weekend. The beautiful town of Evora and a local vineyard for dinner. We drove to the west coast to the beach at Vila Nova de Milfontes and to the south to Gale, both beaches great, with lovely fish restaurants. Castro Verde, 5 minute walk away, has bars, great restaurants and 3 good supermarkets.
We could not fault our stay, everything was thought of, lots of lovely personal touches.
A real credit to Michaela and Nigels hard work!

Members of the “Return Gang”
Reveiw submitted 22 August, Dated stayed August 2015

We are part of the growing “Return Gang” (as people now refer to themselves in your guests comments book). It is as beautiful as ever – we love our time with you and we love to see the changes every year.

Quad biking this time was fabulous and a must for all, a great way to spend a few hours as a group.

“Dolce Far Niente”
Review submitted 18th July, Date stayed July 2015

That is for sure one of the things you can do at Monte da Quinta. Such a nice quiet location, a house with a beautiful surrounding. Animals to feed, vegetables from the farm. Even Italian tomatoes do not taste as good as Nigel’s. It is our first week of our holidays this year so how can our house houses in the coming weeks be as good as here. Michaela and Nigel thank you for this nice place, your warm welcome and your hospitality. We want to keep this place a secret just for us, but of course we will recommend you to all our friends. Even our four teenagers liked staying here in the countryside very much. Especially the pool and the WiFi!!! We will be travelling for another two weeks through Portugal but we are sure we will miss Monte da Quinta very much.

The beautiful Monte da Quinta
Review submitted 24th July, Date stayed July 2015

On reading the on-line reviews and looking at the website we knew we were coming to a lovely place, but nothing quite prepared us for the beautiful Monte da Quinta. Every possible need thought of and catered for, truly ***** star accommodation. We loved feeding the animals and trying to get a cheeky stroke of Tiza the dog. Wonderful home grown cucumbers, tomatoes, honey and preserves.

The region is great, easy access to both coast lines, fab hilltop towns to visit. Great restaurants in CastroVerde and surrounding areas. This could not all be possible without our hosts, Michael, Nigel who made us feel so welcome, gave great advise and suggestions. We feel as if we have made new friends. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us.

We will definitely recommend Monte a Quinta
Review submitted 18th July, Date stayed July 2015

What a fabulous location, perfect fit between the vineyards and horse riding for the grown-ups and traditional seaside for the kids. Excellent additional touches of the welcome hamper and home grown veggies and eggs from the farm all helped make it feel like home from home.

Nigel and Michaela are perfect attentive but unobtrusive hosts. We will definitely be recommending Monte da Quinta and hope to return soon. Thanks for a great stay.

Fan-blooming-tastic, as ever
Review submitted 11th July, date stayed July 2015

The 6th visit for two of our party and 3rd visit for my fiancé and I. As ever fan-blooming-tastic!! How great that we had 2 weeks this year! Really got to chill out to the maximum. As ever best hosts in the land…. so many awesome restaurant recommendations – Herdade Grous vineyard – perfect for lunch (wine infused lunch); fish restaurant on the beach at Vila Nova Milfontes (most stunning beach views); our special place Malhadinha Nova vineyard. You make it a heaven and peace – the fresh eggs, lovely home-made marmalade and chutney just make us keep coming back. See you next year.

Fabulous Location
Review submitted 18th July, Date stayed July 2015

What a fabulous location perfect fit between the vineyards, horse riding for the grown-ups and traditional seaside for the kids. Excellent additional touches of welcome pack, veggies and fresh eggs from the farm all helped make it feel like home from home. Michaela and Nigel are perfect attentive hosts. We will definitely recommend Monte da Quinta and hope to return soon. Thanks for a great stay.

A beautiful setting for some R & R
Review submitted 11th July, Date stayed June/July 2015

Our friends have been “raving” about their holiday break at Monte da Quinta for the last few years so much so we pleaded to join them to see what its all about. Now we know!!! What a beautiful place for some R & R. There was no exaggeration in what they have been saying – it has all been said again and again in the previous guests comments. Many thanks to Michaela and Nigel for letting us share their dream in Portugal.

A little piece of Portuguese Paradise
Review submitted 29 June, Date stayed June 2015

When we came here last year, we had never returned to the same holiday destination twice. It didn’t take long for us to be charmed by this beautiful location; this as well as the great facilities at Monte da Quinta is what drew us back again this year. And it won’t be our last visit, for sure. Judging by the number of returning guests we can see we are not alone! There is something very special about this place. If you want “Irish pubs”, McDonalds, and loud nightclubs this is not the place for you. If, however, you want something a little bit different from the usual “touristy” places and a chance to see the real Portugal, some amazing scenery, beautiful wildlife and enjoy very reasonably priced local food (and drink!) this is what you will get. Hubby and I have been fortunate enough to have been on a number self catering/villa holidays before but have never met such warm, friendly and helpful owners as Michaela and Nigel. Their experience tells them how much to leave you to your own devices as well as being there with expert information when you want or need it. We also were treated to a never ending supply of wonderful, fresh, home grown produce from the farm (we have never had such tasty eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes and courgettes!) and a wonderful welcome pack – they think of every little detail! We stayed in Casa Larenjeira on both occasions and found it spotlessly clean, well maintained and providing everything you could want. We enjoyed feeding the pigs, poultry and geese who are very entertaining (but are far enough away from the holiday homes to not be noticeable if you don’t want to do so). There is so much to see and explore within about one hour’s driving distance or less. It’s easy to get to the wild, amazing beaches on the west coast as well as the Algarve, and this time we also fitted in a day in Lisbon which well worth the 90 minute journey on a good motorway. The tram ride is a hair raising but exhilarating experience! We can’t wait for our next visit!

You will not be disappointed with this wonderful location and welcome
Review submitted 20th May, Date stayed May 2015

When you drive through the gates you cannot help but be impressed by this beautiful property and you will not be disappointed. The animals are a delight as were the oranges eggs honey marmalade and vegetables. Nigel and Michaela are excellent hosts who went the extra mile on our behalf. The cottage has everything to make your stay comfortable.A little bit of paradise in Portugal.

Our Forth Visit
Review submitted 24th May, Date stayed May 2015

Our forth visit, just as great as all the last ones. Hosts are fantastic, the town is still as lovely. Thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing time. We ill be back again x

Stunning Place, Relaxing Stay
Review submitted 26th May, Date stayed May 2015

Believe this was my fourth visit stretching back until 2011. The farmhouse is an amazing place to stay, spotlessly clean, amazing and useful “welcome back” pack on arrival, swam in the Pool everyday, enjoyed feeding the goats and pigs. Also a good place to explore from, this year we went to Evora, toured a local vineyard and did some quad biking at another one. Our wonderful hosts could not have been more helpful. With two properties there only we often had the pool to ourselves. The setting is stunning.

One of the most relaxing holidays ever
Review submitted 22nd May, Date stayed May 2015

Castro Verde is a charming, sleepy small town, so “untouristy” that we couldn’t find a postcard. At Monte da Quinta, within easy walking distance of the town, you will get a taste of the “good life” Alentejo style with welcoming and caring hosts, Michaela and Nigel. We stayed in Casa Oliveira which offered spacious, spotless accommodation with superb views from the terraces.
We usually holiday on the Algarve and wondered whether two weeks in a more remote area would be too long. We ended up having one of the most relaxing holidays ever with a great deal of time spent lounging on the terraces, soaking in the atmosphere after a morning’s birding. Don’t come here if you want night life and entertainment, but if you like wide open scenery, beautiful wild flowers and birds, uncrowded roads and excellent local wines, this is the place for you

Birds A Plenty
Review submitted 22nd May, Date stayed May 2015

We have had a wonderful week at Monte da Quinta. Birds a plenty – more than we expected. What great hosts you have been and so very helpful. We shall return? Thank you

Very reluctant to leave
Review submitted 12th May, Date stayed April 2015

As keen bird watchers we have visited Castro Verde briefly once before. We wondered if two weeks would be too long – as it is it’s the complete opposite and we are very reluctant to leave tomorrow. We are so relaxed that we are almost horizontal, (partly due to the Alentejo wine) but mainly due to the wonderful atmosphere provided by Michaela and Nigel. Not only do they provide you with comfortable, well equipped accommodation, they feed you as well! Right from the welcome hamper to the “help yourself” oranges for breakfast, courgettes for our supper and the best eggs we have ever tasted. The birdwatching has been superb, not least from Monte da Quinta watching Red rumped swallows over the pool, bee-eaters, eagles and vultures overhead. Previous guests mentioned that their children enjoyed feeding the animals – these two ‘oldies’ did too! Thank you so much for your hospitality we shall return!!!. (P.S,) Do try the ‘Bacalhau’ to order and served on your terrace – it is delicious. Really appreciated the new espresso machine!

A Piece Of Paradise
Review submitted 11th May, date stayed April 2015

Beautiful setting in the heart of the Alentejo region of Portugal. We stayed here for a week and didn’t want to leave lovely houses surrounded by countryside. We went for bike rides a few times had lovely meals out in Castro Verde town. Bikes are available to take out. Michaela and Nigel are very welcoming and are happy to recommend places to visit which their guests have recommended or they personally recommend. We went to the west coast and had lunch at a beautiful fish restaurant which was recommended to us. Thanks again for a wonderful week we will definitely see you soon!

Lovely and Relaxing
Review submitted 21st October, date stayed September 2014

Fantastic place for a relaxing holiday. Our cottage was really well equipped and spotlessly clean. It’s only a short walk into town for restaurants and bars, or easy to relax on the patio and cook your own food on the barbeque. Lots of places to visit only a short drive away. The owners are lovely, incredibly helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. A stunning place.

A wonderful place to unwind
Review Submitted 30th October, date stayed October 2014

Tucked away on the outskirts of sleepy Castro Verde, the cottages sit within the grounds of an old farm. Casa Oliveira is beautifully presented and spotlessly clean. We were welcomed by the owners Nigel and Michaela and shown around the property. Delighted to find a welcome basket of cheese, milk and other essentials.

The views from the Casa are spectacular and the feeling of tranquity soon wraps itself around you. The accommodation standards are 5 star.

Using the Casa as a base for 3 days we drove to Milfontes on the coast (1.5 hour through gloriously quiet and stunning scenery). We also visited the town of Mertola to see the newly restored Castle. On the way we also saw the amazing waterfalls of “Pulo do Lobo”.
For a real taste of Portugal, Casa Oliveira is a “must stay” destination. I can’t recommend it enough.

The most relaxing and wonderful place to stay
Review submitted 29th October, date stayed October 2014

We stayed a week in Castro Verde and had the most amazing time. The hosts Nigel and Michaela are fantastic, warm and welcoming. Any questions or problems they are always there to help. If you want to be left alone, that is fine too.
The property is fully equipped with everything you can think of.
Nigel was kind enough to drive us one day to a vineyard so we could enjoy the wine without driving. Great stay and great hosts! We look forward to going back.

Lovely holiday in lovely surroundings
Review submitted 17th September, date stayed September 2015

We arrived late at night with a small baby. It was wonderful to be greeted by Michaela and Nigel, and food !!. Despite some rain, we were on the terrace every day from 7 when the baby woke up, to 10pm when we flaked out. The house had all the equipment we needed. The pool was a bit cold for the baby, but lovely for us. We had barbecues, ate well, and relaxed thoroughly. Highly recommended

The most perfect escape from the rat race
Review submitted 29th August 2014, date stayed August 2014

Upon arrival, all tensions of a busy life at home quickly slipped away. Only a short journey from Faro airport to this wonderful holiday location. Our hosts were attentive and respectful of your privacy, providing local knowledge for the best place to eat out and information with regards to how to make your holiday perfect. My 11 year old loved to take the left overs of our meal to the pigs. The Villa was spotless and the attention to detail amazing. This small natural paradise fulfilled every expectation. Eating out was a wonderful local experience with not a Mac Donald’s in sight “Bliss”. The traditional cuisine was appreciated by me and my two children, 11 and 16, alike. I would not hesitate to return to this wonderful part of Portugal and can see me and my family returning time and time again.

Amazing Family Holiday
Review submitted 24th September, date of stay August 2014

Thank you Nigel, Michaela and Bradley for a truly wonderful holiday, your are the perfect hosts, nothing is too much trouble. All 5 of us thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your luxurious 3 bedroomed cottage. We came home feeling very relaxed and united as a family again. I have recommended your cottages to our friends and family as the location is perfect. We loved the surrounding views, farm animals and of course the swimming pool and hammock. The location was superb we liked the flexibility of being able to walk into the local town and being able to have the easy drive and choice of travelling to the Algarve or the West coast – what more can a family ask for. We will be back x

Best place on earth to relax and kick-back
Review submitted 1st September, date stayed August 2014

Lovely place to stay, absolutely spotlessly clean beautiful cottages, the host are so friendly and welcoming nothing is too much trouble for them,we arrived by taxi and the owner took us to the supermarket in his own car, now that is above and beyond their call of duty, tranquil peaceful, I can’t say enough about these houses only that you must rent them and you will know were we are coming from with our review.

“Stunning 5th visit and still can’t wait to go back”
Review submitted 12th August, date stayed July 2014

This is our fifth visit to the farmhouse and we have now stayed here with different family members who are all in agreement with us that the location is stunning, the farmhouses are immaculate with all mod cons but keeping the traditional style. Michaela, Nigel and Brads are so welcoming and can’t do enough for you and the town is quaint and has some excellent restaurants all within walking distance. Can’t wait to come back and relax again.

Rural Retreat
Review Submitted 25th August, Date stayed August 2014

Casa Oliveira ticks all the boxes for an idyllic retreat. Set in a lovely rural area this is true escapism for those that want it. The villa itself has been beautifully converted, is spacious and is rustically styled. There is lots of attention to detail with a powerful shower, pure cotton towels, lovely bed linen and a welcome pack of local produce when you arrive. The owners of the property are very friendly and helpful and on hand to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. Being the end house Casa Oliviera had a lovely open aspect from both bedrooms with french windows opening out to the open countryside. We particularly enjoyed lying in bed at night gazing at the clear, starlight skies before dozing off! Being inland it does get very hot in the Alentejo but there was usually a breeze and the pool was very refreshing. We did a fair amount of driving on our holiday but the roads down to the Algarve are very good. The fact this this is a working farm added to the experience and feeding all of the animals was very enjoyable even for adults. The wine is excellent in this area and very good value. Pure escapism from the rat race!

In A Word: Immaculate
Review submitted 9th August date stayed August 2014

In a word immaculate. You’ve really thought of everything for the perfect stay – and more. Endless fresh tomatoes; a summer friendship between a small boy and a duck; an evening breeze that switches on magically at 5 o/clock. Cant imagine life getting much better than this. Thank you so much for these wonderful two weeks.

A Wonderful Time
Review submitted 19th July date stayed July 2014

What a beautiful place, ideal in every way. From the wonderful welcome pack to the fresh eggs and tomatoes… We had a wonderful time and loved all the animals and the daily feeds! Thank you so much for your hospitality. The location is ideal for exploring the local countryside and villages and trying out the restaurants. The children just loved the pool and Amie learned to swim while she was here! Thanks so much we will be back.

Pure Tranquility in Alentejo
Review submitted: 8th August date stayed July 2014

Monte da Quinta is the perfect place for families looking for peace and tranquility with the option to do day trips to the beach if you wish. Michaela and Nigel are great hosts, providing us with regular batches of tomatoes, cucumbers and eggs from the farm and lots of advice on where to eat and visit in the area. There are animals like chickens, ponies and pigs on the farm which are a great attraction for children, as is the fantastic pool and a huge selection of books and games for if the weather is not great. The house we stayed in, Oliveira, was really spacious and well equipped and had lovely views of the Alentejo countryside. We will definitely be returning again sometime.

Amazing Accommodation
Review submitted: 12th July 2104 date stayed July 2014

We adore this part of Portugal and staying at Monte da Quinta only serves to make us love it more!!! Amazing Accommodation, pool and farm. The fact that Andy worked with Nigel many years ago just proves we were just destined to visit here 🙂 Thank you for a wonderful week – we will be back.

Amazing Attention To Detail
Review submitted: 12th July 2014 Date stayed July 2014

What a lovely, lovely holiday we have all had, the house is just perfect and all the thought and attention to detail have made it feel like home from home (just better).  Harry our 3yr old has enjoyed all of the toys, books and DVDs and just had so much fun in the pool. We’ve enjoyed feeding the animals and watching the goats playing and waking up to the cockerel every morning – all just perfect. P.S thank you  for all of the fresh farm eggs, tomatoes, cucumber’s, onions, garlic as all your advice and information on places to go visit and to eat. Just not ready to go home. x

Idyllic Location
Review submitted:28th June 2014 Date stayed June 2014

Idyllic location! we loved every minute of Monte da Quinta…..perfection! Michaela and Nigel you have truly thought of everything to make our time here delightful, from the honey, marmalade and homemade honey flapjacks on arrival to the tranquillity of hammock time and having everything in the right spot! The endless sky, sunny views, home-grown food and the perfect recyclers (pigs, goats and chickens). We have all had the most fabulous time and truly believe that our hosts can organise absolutely anything – you move mountains to ensure we have the perfect holiday every time.

Our 2nd Time Here
Review submitted:14 June 2014 Date of stay June 2014

Our hosts are hospitable and we always enjoy a chat or two, lovely people and we certainly be returning and recommending this place. Our 2nd visit and it has been very much to our liking. Thank you for the comfortable accommodation and beautiful little touches. Weather was great and hot. Pool a must do. I loved visiting the animals.  The goats are gorgeous as are the pigs and poultry.

We will join the “Return Gang”
Review submitted: 13 June 2014 Date of stay June 2014

This was our first visit and we can see why so many return! We will join the “return gang”! Arrived tired, stressed and white – we leave relaxed happy and brown! Loved absolutely everything, especially the homemade honey flapjacks!!

Absolutely Fabulous!

Review submitted: 24 May 2014 Date of stay May 2014

We feel privileged wehave stayed 3 times and each time it gets more lovelier. Its so beautiful here and w loved spending time with you all. Cannot wait to return. P.S Best marmalade and honey we have ever tasted and our shop brought eggs will seem poor to our beautiful golden scrambled eggs at Monte da Quinta. x

Fantastic place, warm and welcoming, would return in a flash
Review submitted:14 May 2014 Date of stay May 2014

Spacious, clean and very well situated villa in a lovely town. The swimming pool was a welcomed break from the warm sunshine, while the restaurants in the town (which are well within walking distance) were all very good standard. The country house itself is fully equipped with the home comforts you would expect with an amazing powerful shower. Great place to go for a relaxing break. Activites close by include quad biking round a vineyard and of course the vast amounts of golf courses on offer in Portugal. Wine tasting is also available close by. This is my third stay in this property and I will most certainly be going back.

Peace and tranquillity in the Portuguese sunshine
Review submitted:12 May 2014 Date of stay May 2014

We have just retuned from a fantastic week in Monte Da Quinta, Castro Verde.

This was our 3rd visit to Monte Da Quinta- we returned for the great location, beautiful scenery and the truly fantastic hospitality we had recieved on both previous visits to Castro Verde – we were definitely not disappointed. The Casa’s were as beautiful as ever, the weather was very nice indeed which made the pool a delight and Nigel and Michaela’s hospitality was as ever second to none.

If you are looking for a very high standard visit to a very scenic part of rural Portugal then Monte Da Quinta is well worth a visit- you can take advantage of all the activities in the area (quad biking, wine tasting, goldf in the Algarve is <1hour away) or you can relax in the sunshine by the pool.

Overall we all had a fantastic holiday and look forward to returning to Monte Da Quinta again in the near future!

Beautiful, relaxing and coming back in October
Review submitted:23 April 2014 Date of stay Easter 2014

Just returned from a lovely break at Monte da Quinta with friends. Relaxed chilled days by the pool and going down to see the animals and the beautiful orange grove to pick our fresh oranges for fresh juice and to collect fresh eggs for our breakfast we couldn’t want anymore. We arrived to a lovely welcome hamper of food essentials to get us started as we arrived early and Michaela and Nigel were always on hand with great restaurant and days out recommendations.

The views are amazing looking over the farm and countryside. So peaceful yet you forget that town is only a 5 minute walk where you will find a supermarket plus lots of lovely shops and great restaurants. We ate out a few times both in Castro Verde and the algarve. We had much better quality and were welcomed more by the people in Castro Verde where they looked after you and on average a meal for 4 of us in Castro Verde including a bottle of wine was 70 euros which was a bargain. There’s even a really nice Italian restaurant in Castro that I would recommend. The bars in town were nice and an average bottle of beer cost around 1 euro where it was more like 3 euros plus in the algarve. If you enjoy walking or bike rides I would definitely recommend and Monte a Quinta has bikes too for you to go off on a nice ride. Plenty to do here and the algarve is only 40 minutes by car. Thanks Michaela for a lovely week and the homemade marmalade and honey was lovely see you again soon!

Just as good as ever
Review submitted:12 April 2014 Date of stay April 2014

Back again for our fourth visit at Monte da Quinta and its just as good as ever. Casa Oliveira is immaculate and superbly equipped and our hosts are very welcoming and helpful. We had great weather 30 degrees one of the days!. We managed to swim in the pool most days. Lovely peace and quiet, great bird watching – we’ll be back !!!!

“Wow, Wonderful Find” 
Review submitted:05 September 2013 Date of stay August 2013

I have spent a long time considering this review, not because I couldn’t think what to write, but because I have so much to say. Firstly – the welcome you receive is wonderful –  Michaela is there waiting for you to show you round,  the photos on the website do not do it justice – lovely spacious, homely feel.  In the kitchen is a fantastic hamper with freshly squeezed juice, homemade jams and marmalades, milk, wine, bread and a lovely sign with our names on.  The cupboards have a stock of some basics, like cooking oil, tea, coffee, herbs and spices, which again was a pleasant surprise. The property inside and out is well maintained, lovely and clean. You also have your own herb bed outside to help yourself too.  Michaela, Nigel and Bradley also supplied us with fresh veg from their garden and eggs from their hens, which was such a delight and delicious. The children loved the animals and went every day to feed them.  The pool was a great hit and perfectly laid out with sun loungers and big umbrellas. Michaela has put together great information folders in the house, with recommendations not only from her, but from other visitors and I have to say we weren’t disappointed with any of the trips we did or the restaurants we visited.  We also had lovely people staying next door which enhanced the holiday no end, sharing BBQs, going to local restaurants and up into the town to enjoy the Fiesta.

I would highly recommend this property if you are looking for an idyllic, quiet, relaxed place to stay.  It is about hour and half, to Lisbon, Algarve and to the west coast, so you are central, without the hustle and bustle, but you need a car. We will definitely be booking a return visit. Just as a final point if you needed any more reasons it was my birthday when we were there and I received a lovely card from Michaela, Nigel and Bradley.  It was such a thoughtful and kind gesture.      

Excellent – Exceeded High Expectations
Review submitted:19 August 2013 Date of stay August 2013

We had read some very good reviews before booking Casa Oliveira at Monte da Quinta for our family holiday so had high expectations. We were definitely not disappointed. The house was beautifully designed, incredibly clean and fantastically well-equipped, with stunning countryside views. Our two boys, aged 8 and 5, loved the large saltwater swimming pool, as did we, spending many relaxing hours in it, or snoozing by it in the hammock or sun loungers.

What really made our stay was the friendliness and helpfulness of our hosts, Michaela and Nigel, and their son, Bradley. They recommended days out and restaurants locally and further afield and couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful whilst also letting us treat their home as our own. Their farm animals were another great source of entertainment for the boys, and feeding them our leftovers was a great way of reducing waste. We were lucky enough to have great weather throughout our two week stay, but would be very happy to visit again at any time of year.

Michaela and Nigel have many return visitors and we’re not surprised. They have done an amazing job with the conversion of the property – have a look at their photo album of the work they’ve carried out – and deserve all the fantastic reviews and guest comments. We hope to be visiting again soon.

Our Fourth Visit! Perfect in everyway
Review submitted:3 August 2013 Date of stay July 2013 – Ireland

This is our 4th time staying here! It is perfect in terms of location – beside the Alentejo plains, uninterrupted views of the countryside, at one with nature and very sustainable, yet close to the beatiful town of Castro Verde and within striking distance of other wonderful Alentejo towns and cities. Accomodation is superb; this stay we seldom left the Quinta.

Hosts – Michaela and Nigel – have the perfect touch, very hospitable but never intrusive. Every time we go we are sure that there is nothing that can be improved on; yet they continue to fnd small ways to make you even more welcome. Our children love the pool, feeding the animals, discovering hidden nooks and crannies on the farm…and then back to the pool! There is also the fun of finding new friends next door. We love the calm, the quiet, the beauty of the place, and the fresh produce from the kitchen garden.  Our only hesitation in recommending Quinta the Monte is a selfish one – that if more people know how good it is, we will have a harder time booking for our next stay!  But the truth is, it is wonderful

Wonderful Holiday Home
Review submitted:27 July 2013 Date of stay 20 July 2013 – Poland

A wonderful holiday home!! we will be recommending this place to all our friends and family 🙂

Exceeded Our Expectation
Review submitted:20 July 2013 Date of stay 13th July 2013 – Lisbon

We had been so looking forward to our stay and it exceeded all expectations. Thank you so much for making us feel welcome. It was a perfect holiday.

Fabulous Two Weeks x
Review submitted:13 July 2013 Date of stay July 2013 – Ireland

We had a fabulous 2 weeks. Monte da Quinta is within hours easy reach of everywhere. All the recomended restaurants, beaches and attractions were spot-on. We absolutley loved the fresh fruit and vegatable from the farm and feeding all the animals.

A Lovely Holiday
Review submitted:8 July 2013 Date of stay July 2013

We had a lovely week at Monte da Quinta.  The “casa” (one-floored house) we rented (“Casa Oliveira”) was in excellent condition and well equipped. We shared the pool area with the occupants of the other “casa” at Monte da Quinta – this worked out well.

Our hosts, Michaela and Nigel, were really welcoming and made a big contribution to the enjoyment of our holiday. We picked fresh oranges from the orchard to make orange juice most mornings – a real highlight – and fed our green waste to the pigs and goats. There was a “welcome hamper” waiting for us on our (late night) arrival.

The surrounds of Monte da Quinta are nice – a 10 minute walk to the small town of Castro Verde, which has a supermarket, bakery, etc. – all the essentials.

The region of Alentejo suited us down to the ground – villages and small towns with long histories, quaint restaurants, miles of rolling countryside and almost traffic-free roads. The waves of the west coast of Portugal are also within easy reach.

It was very warm in July (35-40 C), but this was also a pleasant change for us! Sun-cream might be handy just in case. Without doubt this was one of our most enjoyable summer holidays

You Made Us So Welcome
Review submitted: 18 June 2013 Date of stay 11 June 2013

Every bit as good as we remembered and you made us so welcome again. We have had a wonderful time. Cant think of anything that would improve it.  Many thanks

Loved it, recommend it, try it. It will not disapoint and I will go again
Review submitted:16 June 2013 Date of stay June 2013

I really enjoyed my short stay at Casa Laranjeira and would have no problem recommending it. The owners Michaella and Nigel were very hospitable and provided us very kindly with some home produces. They have a beautiful setup, as they are a working place with a holding of animals and land and l believe done in the old Portuguese ways without being harmful to crops/animals and land. The accommodation was well equiped and thought out, everything, down to the wfi. They made sure we felt welcomed and were on hand should we need help yet discreet to allow us to enjoy our stay. Lovely and knowledgeable to chat to. I would sincerely recommend you try it out. Of course there is the beautiful area of Castro Verde/Alentejo/Cork oaks. Thank you For having us.

Certainly Would Recommend
Review submitted 03 June 2013 Date of stay 31 May 2013

We both had a lovely time here. You made us very welcome and it was lovely talking to you both. The accommodation is lovely and very comfortable. We would most certainly recommend and return. Thanks

Happy Memories
Review submitted: 29th May Date of stay May 2013

Thank you for creating such a beautiful place for us to visit. Wonderful views, warm hospitality and so relaxing. We enjoyed the farm feeding the animals, having fresh farm eggs and oranges and we appreciated all the great suggestions for restaurants and day trips. We have so many memories to take home. Thanks again.

Beautiful Villa in a Picturesque Location
Review submitted: 10 May 2013 Date of Stay: April/May 2013

The villa was spotless and very well equipped.  It’s in a beautiful setting and is very peaceful.  We were traveling with our 6 month old daughter and so being able to use a cot and highchair was really useful.
The villa is about 10-15 minutes walk into the center of Castro Verde where there are several restaurants and a large supermarket.  The town itself we found pretty quiet, although the lack of tourists meant the restaurants were extremely good value.
The coast and other major sights in the region are a drive away, but the roads seemed quiet and easy to navigate.
Michaela and Nigel go out of their way to make you feel very welcome.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay!

Thanks Once Again
Review submitted: 14 May 2013 Date of Stay May 2013

I just wanted to mail you to say thanks once again. We all enjoyed our stay at Monte da Quinta so very much!! Even the “teenagers” enjoyed their stay and weren’t “bored” at all!! The house, the atmosphere, the swimming pool and, I think most important, your kindness and hospitality (the welcome hamper, sweets when we went home, the oranges to be picked etc. etc.) made our holiday week a success. I enjoyed the village; walking to the bakery every morning and drinking a bika; the perfect start of a day. And I loved the village to be authentic; hardly any tourists!! We really didn’t want to leave…….. Will come back!

Excellent
Review Submitted: 17 October 2012 Date of Stay: October 2012 – London

I can wholeheartedly recommend this holiday rental. We went for two weeks at the start of October and we had a superb time and I’m already planning a trip back. The accommodation was pristine, spacious and far better stocked than my house at home! The pool is excellent with a separate childrens area and we were in it nearly everyday (even in October) This was our first holiday abroad with our 13 month old son and it was perfect – highchair, travel cot & playpen all provided. Every morning we would feed the farm animals – pigs, geese, ducks, chickens, guinea fowl (&of course turkey!) and in the afternoon go and see the goats & ponies. Children’s DVDs, toys and books were in abundance and my son loved his stay.

The location is also fabulous a 5 min walk into Castro Verde a traditional untouristy town which has the essentials – bars, cafe, restaurants, supermarkets and bakery. The accommodation is just on the outskirts so you also have the benefit of it feeling quite secluded & there are fabulous views across the Alentejo countryside from the villa terrace. Local towns such as Mertola, Serpa and Beja are beautiful & definitely worth a visit (if you can drag yourself away from the pool!) The weather in October was amazing and we were in the pool nearly everyday and BBQs every evening. Michaela and Nigel were wonderful hosts with great recommendations – particularly the local vineyards and restaurants, a visit to Malhaladina vineyard is a must. We had a lovely holiday, I can’t wait to go back.

A Wonderful Week
Review Submitted: 10 September 2012Date of Stay: August 2012 – France

We spend a wonderful week in the Casa Laranjeira. The place is very quiet and it is ideal to rest. Lots of small attentions make of our stay an exceptional moment. We recommend Monte Da Quinta which is the best holiday rental that we never had.

Rural Retreat
Review Submitted 25th August, date stayed August 2014

Casa Oliveira ticks all the boxes for an idyllic retreat. Set in a lovely rural area this is true escapism for those that want it. The villa itself has been beautifully converted, is spacious and is rustically styled. There is lots of attention to detail with a powerful shower, pure cotton towels, lovely bed linen and a welcome pack of local produce when you arrive. The owners of the property are very friendly and helpful and on hand to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. Being the end house Casa Oliviera had a lovely open aspect from both bedrooms with french windows opening out to the open countryside. We particularly enjoyed lying in bed at night gazing at the clear, starlight skies before dozing off! Being inland it does get very hot in the Alentejo but there was usually a breeze and the pool was very refreshing. We did a fair amount of driving on our holiday but the roads down to the Algarve are very good. The fact this this is a working farm added to the experience and feeding all of the animals was very enjoyable even for adults. The wine is excellent in this area and very good value. Pure escapism from the rat race!

An Excellent Rental
Review Submitted: 19 August 2012 Date of Stay: August 2012 – London

This was an excellent rental – the proximity to the town combined with the rural surroundings made it a unique setting.  The accommodation was very comfortable and well thought out, the hosts were super friendly and the kids loved the pool – top marks all around!

“Amazing”
Review Submitted: 27 July 2012Date of Stay: July 2012

One word to describe my vacation : AMAZING!!!!! Our vacation was relaxing the property is beautiful and well maintained and very clean there is everything you need, very nice rooms with bathroom, large terrace and a beautiful swimming pool. thanks to Michaela

Our Return Again Met Expectations
Review Submitted: July 5, 2012 Date of Stay: June 2012

Our return to Monte da Quinta mid June, met expectations from memory of previous holiday in September 2010. Satisfying a memory of a lovely holiday is a tall order and one that Michaela and Nigel offered and met. We again had a great experience and enjoyed visits to a local vineyard; Santa Clara barragem and pousada; Evora and Roman ruins en route; conservation for birds site just outside Castro Verde was rewarding and so interesting , as was spending more time exploring the beautiful Alentejo and Castro Verde ( a joy ) on our doorstep. Always good to return and relax to Monte da Quinta, the clean pool, beautiful flowers and that view – barbecue of fish and fresh local vegetables and lovely picked herbs as needed ! The freshest of eggs from hens were the best to start the day with the view and birds ; looking at the stars at the end made all days special.

We stayed in Casa Laranjeira and would have been equally satisfied to stay in Casa Oliveira. Casa Laranjeira is brilliantly equipped, everything you might want (and more), all so clean. We didn’t go to the Atlantic coast this time, loved our visit before and appreciated extras of umbrella, beach towels. These extra considerations for a one week holiday are so appreciated.

The journey up from Faro is just over an hour on a great, empty road, very straightforward and again we enjoyed the welcome pack with local cheese, bread, pate, local wine and home-made fresh scones. We had a mid-afternoon flight home and was great to tuck in a bit of the Algarve coast and lunch as we returned, good tip from Nigel. Did similarly last time and then caught Silves and Lagos on our way home.

Monte da Quinta marmalade and local honey are treats to take back.

A wonderful holiday”
Review Submitted: July 5, 2012 Date of Stay: June 2012 – UK

My husband and I spent a week at Monte da Quinta which is situated on the outskirts of Castro Verde – well within walking distance of bars, restaurants and the local shops. Our accommodation was perfect, beautifully furnished, clean and with all the ‘extras’ that make a holiday so memorable.  I particularly appreciated the food provided on arrival which meant we did not have to immediately dash to the supermarket.  The eggs from the farm’s own hens were particularly good.  Although we are not swimmers so did not use the pool, it looked very clean and well maintained.  We went out and about most days exploring the area and the roads were surprisingly quiet.  On the way to Mertola, we passed only six cars but numerous storks in their nests which line the roadside.  All the Portuguese people we came into contact with were unfailingly polite and friendly.  Restaurant meals and drinks out are very reasonably priced and the food was always good and fresh.  Michaela and Nigel are ideal hosts being unobtrusive but happy to provide information and have a chat.  This is an ideal place for those looking for a holiday in the countryside which is not isolated and is within a couple of hours easy travelling distance to many places of interest.  We visited Evora, Beja, the west coast and still have a list of places we did not manage to see so we hope to return within the next couple of years.

Charming Accommodation in the Heart of the Alentejo
Review Submitted: June 18, 2012Date of Stay: June 2012 – UK

A taste of paradise. The view from the veranda looks out miles over the Alentajo. Ideal for al fresco and barbecues. It is totally unspoilt.

We felt that relaxation was taken to new levels with our stay on Monte da Quinta. If fact it was our best holiday in Europe over the last thirty- five years.

The whole project over the last ten years has been a “labour of love” which is reflected in the care for the premises. We could not fault the accommodation,it was full of charm and character, spotlessly clean. Considerable thought had gone into ammenaties where everything you could possibly need was provided.

We greatly appreciated the unobtrusive attendance of the owners who made  sure our every need was cared for. Even a constant supply of fresh eggs?

The local area reflects rural Portugal in the most natural surroundings, with the Algarve not to far away. We found that the farm provided a new discovery every day.

If this sounds all to good to be true, try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Great Holiday
Review Submitted: June 12, 2012Date of Stay: June 2012 – UK

Great accommodation, exactly as described and very comfortable. This is a very nice place to spend a week or two whether a couple or a family, whether you want an active or chilled out holiday as we did.
Very safe for kids, quiet and tremendously well equipped. These cottages are in out top 10 places to stay, and we’ve been to a lot !
You’ll  not be disappointed with a visit here.

Famhouse idyll in the Alentejo
Review Submitted: June 5, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012 – UK

What can we say? This was the most fantastic place to stay. Everything was so lovely  from the welcome pack full of local produce to the fantastic range of information provided in the villa giving us so much information about the area. We visited several places including Beja and Moura, but we especially loved Mertola and Evora. We also really enjoyed the Market restaurant in Castro Verde Our hosts Michaela and Nigel were so friendly and helpful. We loved the whole villa which was so well designed and furnished. The pool was great after a hot day out sightseeing. The animals gave it all an extra dimension If you get the chance don’t miss this lovely part of Portugal and this amazing property in particular. We would certainly recommend it.

Perfect vacation spot
Review Submitted: June 4, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012 – Belgium

A rural piece with small hill view on the plains on walking distance of a town with restaurants, supermarkets, … Welcomed by very friendly owners, fresh orange juice, eggs, bread, cookies, paté, …. A perfect swimming pool, also for small children. We loved our stay!

Home away from home
Review Submitted: June 2, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012 – Ireland

Casa Laranjeira was the perfect place to base our family for exploring Southern Portugal. Close enough to the Algarve to make use of the amenities but far enough away to feel truly relaxing.
Our two small boys adored feeding the live stock and ambling around the beautifully maintained grounds, who would think it was only a five minute walk into town? Castro Verde itself has everything required of a holiday destination, restaurants, super markets and a play park for the kids.
The blend of genuine hospitality and thoughtfulness and respect for privacy made for a relaxed, comfortable and memorable holiday.

The most relaxing and scenic location I have ever experienced
Review Submitted: May 28, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012 – UK

We have recently returned from our second visit to Casa Laranjeira and it is still as idyllic as I remember. 2 Beautiful Portuguese farm houses that have been superbly renovated to a very high standard with their own (very refreshing )pool and a superb view over the local countryside. With plenty of room for 6 people Casa Laranjeira is a fantastic location for a relaxing break with family or friends. As it is a working farm there are also plenty of opportunities to familiarise yourself with the animals!
Castro Verde itself is a small Portuguese town, with all the amenities you need; whilst retaining a very local look and feel. There are a couple of excellent restaurants, a couple of local bars to enjoy your evenings, and even a local nightclub if you are feeling particularly adventurous. There are not many English speaking locals, but actually this adds a lot to the character of the town.
We took advantage of some very quiet roads and enjoyed a number of local trips and activities; these included the waterparks, plenty of golf, quad biking, wine tasting, as well as 2 trips to the West coast of Portugal to an amazing beach (with a very nice fish restaurant) and another trip to a local lake with a man-made beach. (Very popular with locals.)
As hosts were fantastic- happy to help in any way they could (including support for the language if you get stuck!).
Overall this is a fantastic location for a relaxing break and I could not recommend it highly enough.

Great Location, Great Scenery!
Review Submitted: May 22, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012 – UK

These converted farmhouses are an ideal place to stay if you are looking for somewhere to properly get away and relax! Located in a peaceful town in the Alentejo region you are faced with a view for miles of farmland. We were there for a week and managed to fit in a couple of games of golf on the Algarve (only an hours drive away), Quad biking on a nearby vineyard, a trip to an amazing beach on the West Coast (also only an hour away) and lunch in the great little fortified town of Mertola! What little time there was left was spent relaxing around the pool and feeding the animals on the farm! It’s the kind of place you don’t want to leave

Amazing!
Review Submitted: May 20, 2012Date of Stay: May 2012

This is our second time returning to Monte da Quinta and once again the week was wonderful. The villa is lovely and really is luxury. The bedrooms are decorated with a nice home feel and have their own bathrooms which are a great touch.
The welcome pack we received when we arrived was filled with everything needed to start the holiday off perfectly. Fresh eggs were also available daily. The information provided of places to go was really helpful and detailed.
The owners are so friendly and always on hand to help with any questions we had and offering further recommendations on anywhere else to go. We will 100% be returning and would recommend this Villa to anyone we felt needed a luxury holiday without the huge expense that usually goes with it.

“Birdwatchers Paradise”
Review Submitted: April 30, 2012 Date of Stay: April 2012 – UK

Birdwatchers will love this place. Sit on any of the terraces and watch red kites, hen harriers, cattle egrets and bee eaters. Listen to nightingales and the sounds of contented farm animals. It’s always great when a property exceeds your expectations, and Casa Oliveira certainly did that! We’ve stayed all over Portugal in lots of cottages, villas and apartments, and we think Casa Oliveira belongs at the top of our list. It’s spacious, peaceful yet well placed for town, well furnished and well equipped and immaculately clean. Nearby is the LPN bird reserve where we saw lesser kestrels, great bustards, little bustards, red and black kites, montagu’s harriers,  buzzards and a roller.  We wished we’d stayed  longer and we’ll be back.

A little bit of heaven
Review Submitted: March 19, 2012Date of Stay: March 2012 – UK

This all too short break was booked several months ago.  In the meantime Michaela provided us with useful information about travel directions, highway tolls etc. so we had no trouble getting there.  The cottage was exactly as pictured in the literature, everything was provided – a welcome pack of necessary groceries, all kitchen facilities and equipment, books, dvds.  The attention to detail was faultless, down to the sprig of lavender on the beautifully folded towels. Although we did not swim, the pool was clean and a good size.  Michaela and Nigel were available at any time to answer our questions on everything from the names of the plants to places to visit and eat (good restaurants and a day at a nearby vinyard).  Another plus is that it is only about 10 minutes walk into town.  The geese, chickens, pigs, goats and ponies provided endless interest and amusement as we sat on our patio in the sunshine sipping the wonderful local wines.  Heaven.  We are returning as soon as possible.

Fantastic for a short or long relaxing break
Review Submitted: March 19, 2012Date of Stay: March 2012 – UK

My Husband, Mum and I stayed at the Monte de Quinta for four days in March it was a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable short break. I would highly recommend this place to all age groups. From a young couple’s prospective it ticked all the boxes from airport to cottage. We hired a car for the first time in Europe! Fearing the worst we were pleasantly surprised to find it was such an easy 1 hr drive from faro Airport to Monte de Quinta and we did not need to use the sat nav as the roads are very well sign posted. Once at the villa we were warmly greeted by Michaela and Nigel the owners whom are always more than happy to give advice and knowledge on the area. There is plenty to do from eating out in a gourmet restaurant on wine estate to hearty dinners in Castro Verde town. (The taxis are cheap and punctual) Alternatively there is a good supermarket in town so you can stock up and just stay in the villa all week if you wish.  The kitchen is extremely well equipped with probably more than you would have in your own home. The garden has a BBQ and all equipment to go with it and the pool area is lovely. The small holding with all the animals would keep toddlers to adults occupied with its quiet but busy goings on. There is a folder in the cottage that gives you 3 pages of things to do in the surrounding area. The cottage itself has the finishing touches of a four star hotel, working in a hotel myself I would be extremely surprised if any guest had cause to complain about a single thing. Being such a short flight and the ease of travelling there it makes a short or long holiday very reasonably priced for today’s financial climate with 100% assurance that you will not be disappointed.

Simply the Best
Review Submitted: October 28, 2011 Date of Stay: September 2011 – UK

This is the best holiday rental we’ve ever had. The cottage is beautifully appointed with a large terrace which faces the very attractive garden and pool area and also has views across the Alentejo plains. Everything is well maintained and very clean. The location, just outside of an unspoilt Portuguese town, with an easy walk to restaurants and shops is ideal. Michaela and Nigel are excellent hosts, helpful but discreet. We found the farm animals endlessly entertaining. Definitely a place to recommend to friends.

Highly Recommended – A Taste of the Real Portugal
Review Submitted: September 24, 2011 Date of Stay: September 2011 – UK

This year we felt we wanted to explore the Alenteje in Portugal (or at least part of it) We stayed at Monte da Quinta – as our base for a week. This accommodation is lovely and unique it is a holiday destination within its self. The cottages are well maintained, have many little extra finishing touches and luxuries. Michaela thinks of everything – a lovely welcome back, fresh eggs from the hens. What a delight this little Quinta with the animals must be for children. Good old fashioned fun/experience etc. We really enjoyed our stay – and would highly recommend this accommodation.

Relaxing
Review Submitted: September 11, 2011 Date of Stay: July 2011 – Belgium

This was our second visit to the property and we were not disappointed. The same wonderful heaven of peace and tranquility. Michaela & Nigel work hard to create a friendly and relaxed ambiance. The setting is rural and peaceful but restaurants and supermarkets are close.Castro Verde center is at walking distance from Monte da Quinta.The are just over an hour drive.
Casa Oliviera is very spacious,well equipped and beautifully decorated.The swimming pool is lovely and very clean.
We particularly loved to sit on the large covered terrace enjoying the beautiful views

Magical Moments at Monte da Quinta
Review Submitted: August 25, 2011 Date of Stay: August 2011 – UK

Monte da Quinta was the perfect holiday accommodation, blissfully calm, tasteful and very unique. The villas were clean, tidy, well furnished and comfortable, also the private terraces and pool were faultless and perfect for all swimming abilities with a deep and shallow pool. It offers exactly what the website implies and more. Nigel and Michela were the perfect hosts unobtrusive but
pro-active and charming. All the places they recommended were wonderful and there was something for everyone. Yet it was equally enjoyable to stay by the pool under the pepper tree and enjoy the views and lucious Aljento sunshine. All in all it offers a holiday to remember and a place to return to!

We Have Made Friends In A Truly Special Location
Review Submitted: August 25, 2011 Date of Stay: August 2011 – UK

Our return visit – the only time we have ever chosen to holiday in the same place twice. Now I cant imagine choosing another holiday destination. It will be impossible for anywhere to live up to Monte da Quinta and this part of Portugal. Simply the best place we have ever stayed! From the villa, the pool, the brilliant views, figs, west coast beaches, fantastic local food, owls, praying mantis(!) starring night sky, ponies and the best hosts you could ever hope to find – Muito Obrigado!!!  Eleanor Age 13: Monte da Quinta was as magical as ever and yet again a blissful holiday. Nigel and Michaela and Bradley were the perfect hosts; unobtrusive yet thoughtful and friendly. The villas, pool, farm and grounds were immaculate and tasteful, obviously a lot of effort goes into maintaining them. Castro Verde was also a treat, rustic and steeped in history, yet well equipped with everything you need. We were lucky enough  to be able to visit the market and investigate what they had to offer. Whilst there we bumped into Nigel and ever considerate he ensured that our lack of Portuguese language did not prevent us from enjoying Lunch! All of this plus luscious weather and delicious  local food. Lorna Age 10: Thank you for letting me feed the animals and lead the ponies. Also thank you for letting me ride in the cart I will never forget it.

Our 3rd visit – and still as great as ever…to Monte da Quinta
Review Submitted: August 28, 2011 Date of Stay: Mayt 2011 – UK

Another fantastic family stay in Monte De Quinta, such a peaceful location, with beautiful views of the rolling hills of Alentejo. When not spending time having fun in the pool, we took the 5 minute walk in to town, stopping off for a coffee and treats in the local bars and restaurants, and evening walks around town enjoying the sunset. Our sons loved helping feed the animals each morning and evening (the goats were a favourite), and always made sure to bring back some fresh eggs, safely plucked from the hen house. Picking fresh oranges and making your own juice is a must. For the grown ups there is a wide range of things to do, I loved the quad biking – hours through the countryside, and my wife enjoyed a relaxing massage. Recommended day trips out –
South Coast beaches – pain free 1 hour drive – Gale our all time favourite. West Coast beaches – just over an hour away, lovely beaches away from the south coast crowds. Mertola is a well worth a visit – if not for the castle then just for the terrace restaurant over looking the Guidana River. A bit further is a great fresh water lake with a beach and cafe. Evora is a beautiful old Portuguese
walled city filled with history, and lots of great eateries. Not far from Evora are some megalithic stone circles – worth a stop off on the way from Evora.

A Real Taste of Portugal
Review Submitted: August 27, 2011 Date of Stay: August 2011 – UK

Monte da Quinta – well what can we say, perfect. Greatly appreciated the welcome hamper, stunning views across the plains from the terrace, lovely hot evenings with a glass of wine or two, fresh fish cooked on the BBQ. What else could anyone ask for PEACEFUL & RELAXING. Dominic really enjoyed feeding the pigs, goats, chickens and being followed by the curious turkey and frog watching. A real taste of Portugal – At the windmill in Castro Verde the flour mill man who showed us how to make flour and setting the sails. Thanks for the use of the mountain bikes. Obrigado

By Far The Best
Review Submitted: August 13, 2011 date of Stay August 2011 – UK

We have stayed in lots of villas over the years but Monte da Quinta is by far the best. Beautifully furnished, well equipped and authentically decorated. the Hosts are also fabulous – attentive but also discreet. We had a lovely time visiting the beaches, castles, cathedral and sitting in the cafes and watching the world go by.

Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin
Review Submitted: July 12 2011 Date of Stay July 2011 – UK

A most relaxing and enjoyable holiday in a region of many interests; coasts, mountains, plains, the real Portugal! “It does exactly what is says on the tin”. Wonderful villa and location and the hosts could not be more helpful and attentive. Love the livestock and fresh eggs!

Stunningly Beautiful
Review Submitted July 29 2011 Date of Stay July 2011 – Netherlands

We had a wonderful week at stunningly beautiful Monte da Quinta. The hosts provided us with all we needed, comfortable beds, a great swimming pool, sunshine and shade, tomatoes and eggs – exemplary hospitality. Thank you for making our stay memorable.

Our Return To Monte da Quinta
Review Submitted: July 22, 2011 Date of Stay July 2011 – Belgium

We were looking forward to going back to Monte da Quinta and it was worth the trip. The place is fantastic, the house is high standard and the pool is so pleasant. We had wonderful summer days and we felt at home as usual.

Our Third Visit
Review Submitted: July 22, 2011 Date os Stay July 2011 – Netherlands

As we hoped, this third visit (now in summer) has been definitely the best of all three. Lovely house (lots of space!) Super weather and this time we used the pool a lot. Special thanks for the possibility for Beatrys to have her first ride on a pony. Your kind hospitality as always – eggs, orange juice and delicious tomatoes!!

Lovely Relaxing Break
Review Submitted: July 11, 2011 Date of Stay: July 2011 – Norway

Once again, our holiday in Casa Laranjeira was just perfect. It is so nice to switch off from real life and the hosts Michaela and Nigel could not be more welcoming or helpful. The cottage is very well maintained and very clean. The covered terrace area is a perfect place to relax and escape the sun at midday whilst still being able to look out over the beautiful landscape and pool.
Our 3-year old loved the children’s pool and feeding the animals with scraps every day. There are several different varieties of pig, chickens, geese, ducks, guinea fowl and peacocks. ……Can’t wait to go back

Marvelous Memories
Review Submitted: July 1, 2011 Date of Stay: July 2011 – Québec Canada

What a fantastic holiday we had. Everything was just perfect. We keep marvelous memories, thank you Michaela and Nigel. Fantastic vacation! A peaceful area and your place is lovely. I would like to come back again…again ….and again, you are very charming hosts.

A Warm Welcome
Review Submitted: July 9, 2011 Date of Stay: July 2011 – Germany

Thank you very much for the warm welcome! you have created a little Oasis of relaxing and enjoying. Thanks for the lovely little gifts (eggs, tomatoes) and wonderful tips too. We hope to come back someday!!!!!! Auf Wiedersehen.

Our 3rd Visit
Review Submitted: July 2011 Date of Stay: June 2011 – UK

Another wonderfully relaxing stay. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the animals and collecting fresh eggs. Fresh orange juice was just delicious from Monte Da Quinta’s grove. Every detail here is carefully thought out, from the minute you arrive you can site back and relax. Evora is definitely worth a visit if you can drag yourself from the pool!!!!. We have recommended to lots of friends and will gladly continue to.

Perfect!
Review Submitted: July 1, 2011 Date of Stay: June 2011 – New Zealand

We have just returned from a perfect 4 days at Monte da Quinta. The house was very clean and comfortable and we were welcomed with a hamper of great local produce including fresh farm eggs.  We spent most of our time reading, swimming and sunbathing and the hosts Michaela and Nigel were very helpful in recommending things to do and see including a fantastic seafood restaurant right on the beach (1 hour drive away in Milfontes).

We wanted to get out of London to relax for a few days in the sun and Monte da Quinta was perfect for that! It is a short 10 minute walk into the main village where we ate out 2 nights. The locals were very helpful and it was nice to be somewhere authentic not littered with tourists.

The house is very well equipped and it was great to eat breakfast outside every morning under the shade before heading to the pool area in front of us. Thank you for a wonderful stay, it is incredible value for money and we will certainly be recommending it to others and quite possibly returning ourselves.

An Oasis of calm that we had hoped for
Review Submitted: 23 May 2011 Date of Stay May 2011 – UK

Upon arriving at Monte da Quinta we were warmly welcomed by Michaela and shown to our cottage which was all we had hoped for and more. As we had a 1 year old with us, Michaela had set up all the comforts of home to help us with the baby, high chair, cot, playpen and plenty of toys and books. The cottage was clean and the beds comfy, the pool and surrounding areas beautifully landscaped to aid relaxation which is what the place is all about. The animals were also a highlight, we enjoyed feeding the pigs and chickens every evening before the baby went to bed. Look forward to returning soon.

A fantastic place to relax with superb hospitality – Surrey, UK
Review Submitted: May 23, 2011 Date of Stay: May 2011

6 of us (age 26-34) have just returned from a fantastic, relaxing and enjoyable week at Monte Da Quinta. The location, standard and upkeep of the property is excellent with truly majestic views over the Portuguese countryside.
We enjoyed many of the local attractions including Quad biking, wine tasting and golf in the Algarve which was only a 45 minute drive away and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone else visiting.

The weather was also incredibly kind and we got the opportunity to make full use of the swimming pool (very highly rated by all of us) and to enjoy the solar heated showers (fantastic!)  The information on the website and the information contained in the properties when you arrive is of a very high standard and certainly allows you to experience many of the local restaurants that you might otherwise miss (the steak house in town is delicious!)
Michaela and Nigel were fantastic hosts- very knowledgeable, extremely friendly and always happy to help- thank you both for enhancing the holiday even further.  This was out first time in Monte Da Quinta, but I can say on behalf of all of us we certainly hope it won’t be the last. Recommended for:  Age 55+, Sightseeing, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: It was an absolute pleasure to share two of our favourite local restaurants with you. So glad you enjoyed the guided quad biking and lunch at our local vineyard we co-ordinated on your behalf. We are delighted you tried some of our recommended activities and made the most of your stay here at Monte da Quinta. We look forward to welcoming you all back.

Perfect
Review Submitted: May 16, 2011 Date of Stay May 2011 – UK

The cottage was perfect for us – we have 2 young children ( 20 months and 3 months) and the owners went out of their way to make our stay a comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable one. The farm has a variety of animals – pigs, chickens, geese, ponies – and our young son loved feeding and visiting them every day. The cottage itself has fantastic views and the rooms are clean and very comfortable, The pool is wonderful – perfect for our son as it has a seperate shallow area. We were very fortunate to have the place to ourselves which really made for a very special holiday. The location is great too – only a 5 minute walk into a very sleepy but nice town, with coffee shops, restaurants and even a child’s play area. We wanted a peaceful and quiet location and even got to visit one of the local vineyards which was great. Older children would enjoy the pool too and the Algarve is not that far away so if you were in need of anything more ‘ hectic’ than the option is there. Would definitely recommend .

I selected this location because of:  Outdoor/Adventure, Great food/Wine

Excellent, excellent, excellent
Review Submitted: October 5, 2010 Date of Stay: July 2010 – Canada

My family stayed here for a week at the end of July. It is an amazing piece of property with a beautiful house and fabulous hosts. The house is very clean and well appointed. The pool is fabulous with beautiful views of rolling hills. The town is a short drive or 5 minute walk and has many restaurants and excellent shopping. The animals on the farm are great as my daughter enjoyed the daily feeding of the pigs. There was never any smells from the farm which is important as the windows are wide open at night to capitalize on the cool breezes that help cool down the house. The owners are the best, they are their to answer any questions you may have but also leave you alone and give you space to enjoy your holiday. All travel and dining recommendations they made were excellent and the house is close to many interesting sites.

I strongly recommend this house, you will not be disappointed and it provides excellent value. It is a very relaxing environment that gives you a true taste of Portugal. Recommended for:  Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children
Owner’s Response: Thank you very much for your review it is very important to us as our reputation along with your recommendation is our future. So glad you enjoyed your time here with us at Monte Da Quinta, it was nice to see three generations of family enjoying some relaxed time together. Thank you for promoting the true taste of Portugal from the other side of the Atlantic. Best wishes to you and your family.

Wonderful relaxing holiday
Review Submitted: October 6, 2010 Date of Stay: September 2010 – UK

You always build a picture in your mind of the location of the property. As we arrived at night it was great to wake up and see the wonderful view and not be even slightly disappointed. The property is larger than it looks on the website, I think the lofty ceilings adds to the feel of spaciousness. Couldn’t fault the cleanliness of Casa Oliveira or the quality of the furnishings. We have always used holiday rentals for choosing a holiday, they are always great but this has to be the best so far. The solar heated shower was voted the best ever. Attention to detail is so apparent, even the white walls that surround the Casa’s are spotless. We had a wonderful, relaxing holiday and we be recommending it to family and friends. Recommended for:  Age 55+, Girls Getaway, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: Thank you. So please that you enjoyed your stay at Monte da Quinta and we hope to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards to you and your family. M

LOVE Monte da Quinta!!
Review Submitted: October 6, 2010 Date of Stay: September 2010 – Austin, Texas

I recently stayed in Casa Oliveira with my husband and two of our good friends. This was our first time to Portugal, and we absolutely loved the country and we loved our time in the Alentejo and at Casa Oliveira. The casa itself is beautifully appointed, and has a gorgeous view of the farm the Casa borders. We were so impressed! The countryside is just beautiful and the farm has a renovated artisan well, which is lovely to enjoy with a glass on Vino Verde in the evening. The landscape is mostly olive and fruit trees, and is replete with friendly animals that are happy to follow you as you tour the grounds 🙂 We so enjoyed the company of Michaela and family, and will never forget their hospitality. We will tell all of our friends! Recommended for:  Age 55+, Pet-friendly, Girls Getaway, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: We are delighted you enjoyed your first trip to Portugal so much. With so many beautiful places to visit I am glad you had the opportunity to spend some days with us here in the Alentejo. We enjoyed your company over dinner in Entradas and you never know, we may make it to Texas one day. M

Casa Oliveira
Review Submitted: August 24, 2010 Date of Stay: July 2010 – Scotland

Casa Oliveira is a lovely, comfortable,very clean property in a delightful semi-rural location, with great grounds and a lovely open outlook. There is also a super large shared pool that has a shallow section specially suited to smaller children (much needed as the weather can be very hot) and some lovely farm animals that the children really enjoyed feeding. Michaela and Nigel are great hosts and will do anything to help you enjoy your stay and are very good at providing you with local information. Castro Verde itself is a very pleasant town, with good restaurants and cafes, and a good play park all within walking distance from the property. It also has good supermarkets that are open 7 days a week. In the local area there are also plenty of interesting historic old towns and plenty of castles to explore, or the Algarve is only an hours drive away. All in all, you can have a lovely relaxing and peaceful holiday here in great surroundings. Recommended for:  Age 55+, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children
Owner’s Response: So pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. I do remember your family enjoyed very much walking and exploring Castro Verde, a little pit stop for refreshments before visiting our new play park. This has proved to be a hit with many of our little guests this year. We would like to thank you for your kind words and for sharing your last evening with us, sitting in the square, sipping chilled cerveja and listening to a little live Jazz. x

A wonderful place!
Review Submitted: August 18, 2010 Date of Stay: July 2010 – UK

Two weeks of utter blissful relaxation in accommodation that stunned us from the start with it’s beauty, space and perfect kind hosts. We arrived weary at 1am and were greeted very warmly and shown to Casa Oliveira. It was so much more than the photos here show, and even in the dark took all of our breaths away. We immediately noticed the high ceilings with natural beams, attention to natural materials in all decoration and a large beautiful kitchen with everything needed and more to make self catering a treat. Our beds were very comfortable and the walk-in shower in the morning was powerful and spacious enough for two adults and an eight year old!

When we opened the beautiful wooden shutters and doors and went outside into the brilliant Portuguese sun and onto the huge terrace the pristine whitewashed walls around the pool and between the two casas and the picture perfect sparkling cleanliness of the gentle salt-water pool water was also breathtaking. (In fact I noticed Nigel white washing the walls each changeover morning to make them as perfect as possible for all guests. That single example of personal attention to detail provided at Monte Da Quinta illustrates the care that has been put into creating such a special place).  Then we explored some more and marvelled at the views which changed stunningly each day as the sun started to set in early evening. Thoughtful and diverse planting has created an oasis of green and even includes a hammock under an acacia tree beside the pool. That was my absolute favourite place to relax, read, play with my ipod (Wi-Fi!) and sip cool drinks during our holiday.  With a charming farm to explore our eight year old has been asking us every day when we can return to play and feed the animals.

We would certainly recommend this property to all our friends and family and have already done so. The location is great with it’s proximity to an authentic Portuguese town with excellent supermarket for self catering and tapas bar, cafes and restaurants a short stroll away. The Algarve beaches and the West coast beaches are just over an hour away on very good roads. They can be enjoyed easily with free or cheap parking just about everywhere before driving back to a real gem of a town where local families and friends of all ages gather in the evening square to chat, laugh and to enjoy beer or coffee in equal measure.  Thank you Michaela and Nigel and Bradley for your kindness and hospitality. We had the best holiday ever!Recommended for:  Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Girls Getaway, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, People with Disabilities, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: We appreciate how much people look forward to their holidays and we endeavour to ensure it is a memorable and special occasion for all our guests. Thank you for your kind comments.

Perfect place for holidays
Review Submitted: August 27, 2010 Date of Stay: July 2010 – Spiennes, Belgium

The casa Oliveira was very clean, well equipped and comfortable.We really appreciated the covered terrace overlooking the countryside.The property is located in peaceful surroundings with beautiful views.There are restaurants and supermarkets nearby.The pool was fantastic.Beaches are only one hour drive from the property.Michaela & Nigel provide very good service.We’ve really enjoyed our relaxing holidays and looking forward to return as soon as possible.A place highly recommended. Recommended for:  Age 55+, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: Thank you Patrick for your kind words. We are glad you enjoyed your holiday and hope to see you back soon.

The Perfect Holiday
Review Submitted: August 18, 2010 Date of Stay: August 2010 – UK

Monta de Quinta is a truly great place to holiday. Beautiful property, immaculately maintained, in a lovely region of Portugal & with a fantastic pool. The farm grounds and animals were a real bonus with feeding the pigs & leading the ponies becoming a daily highlight for our 2 daughters. The position outside Castro Verde is perfect for exploring a charming town and also the many delights of the Alentejo region, while also having access to the West coast beaches & the Algarve. We found the owners Michaela & Nigel to be consummate hosts. They are passionate about their property, their web site is informative & accurate and they were only too happy to help us discover many of the less well known attractions Alentejo has to offer. Would recommend Monta de Quinta unreservedly – we had a truley lovely holiday. Recommended for:  Sightseeing, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway
Owner’s Response: Thank you for your kind comments. We endeavour to ensure we provide the quality of accommodation to match the beauty of the region. We are proud to be licensed by the Ministry of Tourism and hope our guests go home having enjoyed a truly memorable holiday with us in the Alentejo.

Excellent holiday in Casa Laranjeira
Review Submitted: November 1, 2009 Date of Stay: September 2009 – UK

We had a wonderful holiday in Casa Laranjeira, our third time staying in this delightful cottage. The property is spotlessly clean and well maintained as well as very spacious. The huge covered terrace is a perfect place to relax and escape the sun at midday whilst still being able to look out over the beautiful landscape and the pool.

We love staying in this property because it is such a break from the hustle and bustle of 2 full-time careers and you can truly relax and tune out while you are there. It really does feel as if time stands still for a few days at least.

This time we explored the town some more. At first glance it does not appear to offer much but unlike UK shops, they don’t have big shop fronts so you need to go in and have a look. We discovered a fantastic beauty salon where a 1.5 hr pedicure cost just 12.50 Euros and a manicure was only 6.50 Euros for a very professional, high quality result.

We really like the fact you are tucked away from the Algarve but can get there in 50 minutes if you want or it’s about 50-60 minutes away from the Atlantic coast. We highly recommend going to Vila Nova de Milafontes, a beautiful small town by the sea with a fantastic beach and river.

Our 2-year old loved the children’s pool and feeding the animals. There were several different varieties of pig, chickens, geese, ducks, guinea fowl and peacocks.

We recommend trying out the local restaurants which all offer very tasty meals though there is nothing like sitting on your own terrace with a bottle of wine and watching the sun go down too whilst barbecuing! The owners have road-tested restaurants and local attractions and can point to lots of different things to do though.

We will be back, there is something really special about Casa Laranjeira.
Owner’s Response: We are looking forward to welcoming you back for your fourth visit. Best wishes to you both and little Emma.



Bird Watching

We were fortunate to have the fabulous photographer Nick Pearce as one of our visitors to Monte da Quinta. Nick took some great shots of birds and insects that he encountered locally, painstakingly spending many hours in uncomfortable positions waiting for the right opportunity. Here’s just an example of some of the bee-eaters that he witnessed (more shots in our Bird Watching Gallery ). We are lucky to see these extraordinarily colourful birds quite regularly at Monte da Quinta, as we have many bee-hives on our land and we can hear their distinctive call. Even if you aren’t a keen birder, you can’t help admiring their skill at catching the insects in mid-air. We don’t mind losing a few bees to these beautiful birds, although we would prefer they ate the wasps.

Storks are a common sight in our area. Their nests always look precarious perched on the top of a telegraph pole. They often provide additional accommodation for smaller birds grateful for the large, robust construction. Maybe they rent the space below the main seating area. Who knows, but it is said that the storks often return to the same nest with the same partner. Most of the storks migrate during the autumn to Africa and return to the Alentejo in December. Around mid-summer, the young start to learn to fly.

All Year Round                                            Spring
Great Bustard                                                 Lesser Kestrel
Iberian Imperial Eagle                                  European Roller
Back bellied Sandgrouse                             Montagu’s Harrier
Bustard                                                            Great Spotted Cuckoo
Black Vulture
Bonelli’s Eagle                                               Winter
Golden Eagle                                                  Hen Harrier
Griffon Vulture                                                Red Kite
Black Winged Kite                                         Common Crane
Little Owl

It is possible to spot an average of forty different species of birds right here at Monte da Quinta during April and May.

There are bird watching tours available through excursions on foot or in all-terrain vehicles throughout the Castro Verde Special Protection Area. Get to learn about the birds accompanied by the best experts.  LPN Castro Verde

Here is a short film by Wild Step Productions – Birds of Southern Portugal

“Birdwatch in Alentejo” is a company run by Jorge Safara offering guided bird watching tours to visitors to the Alentejo.

birdwatchinalentejo

 

 

 



Did You Know?

The Alentejo enjoys over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, a figure well above the national average and the highest in Europe.

There are 126 kilometers of coastline in the Alentejo with long sandy stretches and intimate private coves. Milfontes and Porto Covo are just one hour from Monte da Quinta. And the Algarve is only 40 minutes by motorway.

Castro Verde is located in Baixo (Lower) Alentejo, an area of 8,503 km2 and one of the least populated areas of Portugal. Baixo Alentejo is crossed by 3 main rivers: Guadiana, Sado and Mira. The Guardiana passes through Mertola, just 30 minutes from Monte da Quinta.

The Royal Basilica is the landmark of the town of Castro Verde. An imposing temple built in the 18th century over the old main church. Highlights include its Baroque interior with the tiled walls depicting scenes from the Battle of Ourique, its treasure of sculptures, paintings, jewellery and religious artefacts. A ten minute walk from Monte da Quinta

Sao Pedro de Cabeca is just 4 kms from Castro Verde. Standing on a hill with a beautiful panoramic view, it was built in the 16th century in honour of D. Alfonso Henriques victory at the Battle of Ourique which is said to have taken place on 25th July 1139 at that very spot.

The Alentejo region boasts 66 vineyards producing a range of great tasting wines that you can only enjoy by visiting Portugal. it’s a wine lovers paradise but you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate the high quality at remarkably low prices. Herdade da Malhadinha, Herdade dos Grous and Santa Vitoria vineyards are all with 20 minutes of Monte da Quinta. We can provide drop-off and pick-up!

100s of species of birds of all shapes, sizes and colours make their homes in Alentejo. Visit the LPN, 1,700 hectares of conservation and protection, where you can see the famous Great Bustard as well as eagles, kites, kestrels, vultures, rollers and Harriers amongst others. LPN is 10 minutes from Monte da Quinta.

Beja Castle is the top attraction of the main city in Lower Alentejo. Its keep built in the reign of King Dinis is one of the biggest in the Iberian peninsula. Built entirely out of marble, it is 40 metres tall and has 108 steps. Beja is 30 mins drive from Monte da Quinta.

Mertola is a fine example of Muslim influence in the region. The principle church of Mertola used to be its 12th century mosque, the best surviving example of Muslim religious architecture in Portugal. Just 30 minutes from Monte da Quinta.

There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in the parish of Castro Verde. From fine dining at the Herdade vineyards to traditional meal of the day (prato do dia) at local establishments, there is something for all tastes and expenditure. You can eat from as little as 7.50 euros for a prato do dia or up to 40 euros per head for a 3 course Michelin star type meal. Black Pig is just one of the local specialities. All either within walking distance or a shortdrive from Monte da Quinta.



Orange Blossom Honey

Monte da Quinta Orange Blossom Honey
Here in the Alentejo the honey is traditionally extracted in the month of September. Our rich dark honey gets its characteristics from the nectar gathered by our bees in the orange grove. 2013 was our first harvest of 175 litres, with double the hives 2014 looks to be a bumper year.

We are very happy to include another locally sourced item in our complimentary guest hampers.

Our welcome hampers also contain: Monte da Quinta homemade honey flapjacks and preserves, along with honey from our bees and our free range hens eggs. Freshly squeezed juice from our orange trees, bottled water, a bottle of Alentejo wine, savoury snack, local sheep’s cheese, locally baked bread, butter, milk, tea, coffee and sugar.



Bacalhau a Casa

We are pleased to offer this traditional Portuguese dish cooked to order and delivered to your door here at Monte da Quinta.

Our “Bacalhau a Casa” is served with a tomato and onion salad and a mixed seasonal salad.

Bacalhau com natas, is a creamy cod dish. Oven-baked and consisting of layers of bacalhau, onion, diced fried potato and cream. Use of dairy such as cream or cheese is not common in traditional Portuguese main courses, however the popularity of this dish—in households and restaurants—make it a classic.

Available on a Friday, with two days notice. Cost per person 9.50 euros

 



Positively Buzzing

When our Portuguese neighbour asked “have you ever thought about keeping bees at Monte da Quinta” I said, “oh yes, but I’m not sure I am cut out to be a bee keeper”. “No problem” he said, “I will keep he bees and we can share the honey”.  And that is the way we like to do things here in the Alentejo.

A Year Has Passed
It has been a year since 5 hives arrived at Monte da Quinta and what a hard year it has been for the colonies they contained. Due to the extremely dry, cold and late arrival of spring in 2012 our bees struggled to stay healthy and started do dwindle in number.
The struggle became even harder when the annual aerial battle commenced with the stunningly beautiful but utterly deadly Bee-eaters. These visiting migrants from West and South Africa are almost exclusively aerial hunters of insect prey. Prey is caught either while in continuous flight or more commonly from an exposed perch where the bee-eater watches for prey.  European Bee-eaters are able to spot a bee 60 m away. Consequently by mid summer just one colony of bees survived at Monte da Quinta.

A new year and a new start. We have now introduced a wild colony of bees, close in proximity to the blossoming Peach, Apricot and Orange trees at Monte da Quinta. Having made a rather rapid retreat from our Orange Grove on a particularly warm afternoon last week, as a large black buzzing cloud started to leave the hive.  I am pleased to report that the bees are currently doing very well indeed. We plan to add at least another three hives, so with our fingers crossed if our little buzzing workers can out smart those aerial predators this year we will finally taste our first honey.

Did you Know:

Pollination
Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination. Honeybees account for 80% of all insect pollination. Without such pollination, we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables.

Pollen
Bees collect 66 lbs of pollen per year, per hive. Pollen is the male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. The Honeybee uses pollen as a food. Pollen is one of the richest and purest natural foods, consisting of up to 35% protein, 10% sugars, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins A (carotenes), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (panothenic acid), C (ascorbic acid), H (biotin), and R (rutine).

Honey
Honey is used by the bees for food all year round. There are many types, colors and flavors of honey, depending upon its nectar source. The bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants. Honey is an easily digestible, pure food. Honey is hydroscopic and has antibacterial qualities. Eating local honey can fend off allergies.

Beeswax
Secreted from glands, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build honey comb. It is used by humans in drugs, cosmetics, artists’ materials, furniture polish and candles.

Propolis
Collected by honeybees from trees, the sticky resin is mixed with wax to make a sticky glue. The bees use this to seal cracks and repair their hive. It is used by humans as a health aid, and as the basis for fine wood varnishes.

Royal Jelly
The powerful, milky substance that turns an ordinary bee into a Queen Bee. It is made of digested pollen and honey or nectar mixed with a chemical secreted from a gland in a nursing bee’s head. It commands premium prices rivaling imported caviar, and is used by some as a dietary supplement and fertility stimulant. It is loaded with all of the B vitamins.

Bee Venom
The “ouch” part of the honeybee. Although sharp pain and some swelling and itching are natural reactions to a honeybee sting, a small percentage of individuals are highly allergic to bee venom. “Bee venom therapy” is widely practiced overseas and by some in the USA to address health problems such as arthritis, neuralgia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even MS.



Marmalade “Golden Treasure”

A Little History Lesson

The Roman author Apicius wrote a cookbook in about the fifth century AD that mentions marmalade, so we know that marmalade goes back at least that far. The Persians were making it, too, by at least the sixth century AD. They also made it from quinces, and considered it the finest of all fruit desserts.

By the middle ages, the Portuguese were making marmalade and importing it all over Europe. It was not a marmalade that we would recognize in the UK, being more of a thick paste than a clear jelly. It was a popular item for gift-giving among the nobles, and was thought to be a good remedy for upset stomachs. It was considered more of a candy than a condiment, and would often be eaten at the end of a large feast, to help with the digestion.

King Henry VIII received a gift of marmalade from a Mr. Hull of Exeter in 1524. It came in a box, so we can assume that it was probably still the paste variety. We can probably also assume that King Henry enjoyed it, as he had a healthy appetite and may have needed the occasional digestive assistance. It had an additional benefit: marmalade, it seems, was rumored to have aphrodisiac properties.

It wasn’t until the 18th century that marmalade began to take the form in which we recognize it today. In 1797 a retired merchant named John Keiller encountered a Spanish ship in the harbor of Dundee, Scotland. The ship had been forced to make harbor due to a storm, and the captain offered Keiller a great deal on Seville oranges, which were not keeping as well in the hold as he had hoped. Keiller bought the entire shipment and took it home, only to be disappointed that the fruit was so sour.

Keiller’s wife, an experienced confections cook, decided not to let them go to waste, and cooked up a batch of a bitter-sweet orange jam, using skins, pith, and all. The marmalade was a great hit in the Keiller’s local sweet shop, and by the mid-1800’s the family business, now in its third generation, was going strong. Keiller marmalade was being sold in England as well as Scotland by then, and was doing almost as well as it had in Dundee, despite a steadily increasing number of competitors. The Keillers even set up a small operation on the island of Guernsey, where they wouldn’t be required to pay duty on imported sugar.

In the British Isles, marmalade came to refer only to the preserve made from oranges or other citric fruits, but in many other countries the word still represented any type of jam or jelly. Under British influence, the European Union has limited the sale of “marmalades” specifically to preserves made from citrus fruits.

Monte Da Quinta’s Golden Treasure

During the month of February we are busy making Marmalade at Monte da Quinta. We like to provide our homemade preserves as part of our welcome hamper given to our guests.

Here is our recipe using the very finest Lemons and Seville oranges Citrus aurantium grown in our Orange Grove at Monte da Quinta.

INGREDIENTS: 1360grms Seville Oranges (bitter), Juice of 2 Lemons, 6 Pints Water, 2720 grms Sugar

Wash the fruit, cut in half and squeeze. Slice the peel thinly, add to the pan with the orange juice, the juice of two lemons and 6 pints of water. Pips and pith should be tied in muslin and put into the pan. Simmer for 1.5 hours, until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the muslin bag and stir in all the sugar. Boil rapidly until setting is reached (approx. 30 minutes of boiling). Leave to cool slightly, then pot into warm jars. makes approx 9 jars.   DELICIOUS!



Castro Verde

 

The town of Castro Verde originates from an ancient Lusitanian hill forte. The town gained status and was recognised by King D. Sebastiao, who was here in 1573 and founded the Misericordia Church, and by king D. Joao V who, in the 18th century, ordered the building of the Royal Basilica.

This town has gradually grown over the years, establishing itself a regional junction. So much so that at the beginning of the 17th century, king D. Filipe II founded the Castro Fair, where the Alentejo plain and the Algarve mountain range meet, an important regional social and commercial meeting point, the great fair of the South.

Every nook and cranny of the town deserves a closer look, Castro has managed to stay modern without forgoing its identity, channelling architectural languages and ways of life. It also puts its public spaces to good use, providing them with artwork and recreational and leisure areas so that they can be fully enjoyed and valued.

The folk of Castro Verde are proud and self-aware, with strong, defined identities, people who sing and play the viola campanica.



Birdwatching

Guests Comments

“Hello and thank you to Michaela and Nigel for their kindness and hospitality at the Quinta. We had a fantastic and memorable trip to the Quinta and Alentejo region. This little peace of heaven in a beautiful and tranquil Castro Verde was everything and more that we expected. Being a wildlife photographer I was amazed at the abundant wildlife available to you on the doorstep. Numerous birds, animals, insects and flora all here onsite! and in the local valleys, rivers and barragems giving host to Rollers, Kingfishers, Raptors such as Montagu, Black Kites, Imperial Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonnellis Eagle and Lesser Kestrel. Bee Eater, Azure Winged Magpie, Golden Oriele, Shrikes, Chats, Nightingale and much more, too long to list here. I genuinely saw all these and photographed them plus more. The Quinta had everything you could want to be comfortable and more. Very happy guests and would rate this experience as 10 out of 10 and totally recommend it.”

“A Birder’s Paradise!! LPN & Casevel amazing sites. Just to mention a few during our visit: Lesser Kestrel (80), Red and Black Kite, Great and Little Bustards, Black Bellied Sand Grouse, Corn Bunting, Eagles (various), Bee Eaters, Buzzards, Egrets, Storks, March Harrier, Montago Harrier, Cuckoos, Shrikes, Black Winged Kite. A Nightingale came to staying in the olive grove and sang all night and every day. We will be back – can’t wait” “A simply wonderful place Monte da Quinta takes relaxtion to a different level. Every day brought a new discovery. Not least the views of Black-winged Kites from our terrace and the constant song of the Golden Oriole, Bee Eater and the Nightingale. Locally I found: Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Rufous Bushchat, Lesser Kestrel, Black- bellied Sandgrouse. This is a good area for Great Bustard and finally from Monte da Quinta or a walk down the lane toward the ford should provide good views of a Booted Eagle”.

Monte da Quinta Birding Guide

We have a comprehensive guide for our bird watching guests. All information has been kindly provided by previous visitors. The information provides local sites, directions on how to get their and a list of identified species. Here is a useful guide to 36 places of interest provided by the Turismo de Portugal Birdwatching

The Terrain

Holm-oak groves, scrubland of rock-roses, rocky outcrops, streams, weirs, riparian galleries, cultivated fields, pastureland and fallow land.

Species

White Stork, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Eurasian, Black Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Red Kite, Montagu’s Harrier, Hen Harrier, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Merlin, Common Crane, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Blackwinged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Eurasian Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Calandra Lark, Thekla Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Common Nightingale, Rufous Bush Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, Melodious Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Common Raven, Spanish Sparrow.

Birdwatching Sites

Interpretation Centres Vale Gonçalinho Environmental Education Centre LPN – Liga para a Protecção da Natureza (League for the Protection of Nature) Castro Verde Tel. +351 286 328 309

Entradas, Monte do Vale Gonçalinho, Barragem do Monte Gavião, Carregueiro, Casével, Barragem da Apariça, Ribeira do Cobres, São Marcos da Atabueira, Senhora de Aracelis, Monte de Belver, Monte do Guerreiro, Rolão, Piçarras.

Other attractions in the area are the flora, reptiles and amphibians, dragonflies, archaeology, ethnography.

Other areas nearby Guadiana Valley Natural Park 37º42’N 07º39’W



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