Five Beautiful Farm Stays in Portugal to Visit this Summer

We’re venturing beyond Portugal’s famous azulejo-clad cities and golden beaches to the rustic-luxe, rural farmhouses where days hiking through Alentejo’s olive groves and supping Douro Valley wine give way to evenings stargazing from farm-to-table restaurants. Yet to discover agritourism? Read on for Portugal’s best farm stays.

Portugal is well known for its golden-sand beaches and tile-clad cities. Yet this summer, as we look ahead to easing travel restrictions, revamped farmhouses framed by olive groves and citrus orchards have found their place in the limelight. In Portugal's rural hideaways, social distancing comes naturally - but not at the cost of having a dull experience. Here, travellers can step back in time to an era where living off the land is an art form.

Daytime highlights here include learning about cork, olive oil, wine, and ceramics - just a few of Portugal's most iconic exports - and sampling produce grown within a 25km radius. By night, falling asleep under the stars to a symphony of cicadas is a treat for the senses.

To complement the experience, hoteliers have crafted dreamy retreat-style abodes that recover the milk and honey of farmhouse living in a contemporary context. Think: white-washed rooms filled with handcrafted furniture and breakfasts made sweeter with fruit plucked from the garden. The reinvigoration of agritourism could not have come at a better time. With travellers eyeing safer and more sustainable getaways for the future, these properties are paving the way for a rural revival.

From Alentejo to the Algarve: Portugal's best farm stays

hotel

Farmhouse of the Palms

Faro

Atop a hill in the lesser-known Algarve interior, this secluded house-meets-hotel blends design-forward interiors with bed-and-breakfast-style hospitality. The centuries-old property was transformed into an intimate, five-suite retreat by Flemish couple Frank and Véronique, who painstakingly preserved architectural details including the house's original bread oven and traditional stonework. Most furnishings and decor are custom-made by artisans in the neighbouring town of Sao Brás de Alportel, including one of the house's most asked-about design features: the finger-painted terracotta flooring. Book Suite no. 4, for valley views from a rooftop terrace complete with a canopy bed for al fresco snoozing. After a farm-fresh breakfast, explore biking trails and birdwatching hot spots, discover the art of olive oil production at Monterosa or visit the Saturday morning market in Olhão. Be warned: once you check-out, you may feel like redecorating.

Address

Cerro do Botelho, 8150-027 São Brás de Alportel

hotel

Vila Monte Farm House

Olhão

A scenic drive down a cobblestone road lined with olive trees leads you to this farmhouse-style retreat that integrates the traditions of the eastern Algarve into its wellness, cultural and gastronomic programming. The 55-room property is set on a nine-hectare estate where it's easy to get lost in the aromatic gardens. The moon and the seasons dictate the calendar of experiences, which includes harvesting figs, clams, carob and flor de sal, and trying your hand at goat herding. Between all the agricultural fun, relax by the property's two pools (one of which is adults-only) or in your room accented with pastel tie-dye pillows and rattan lamps - most come with their own private terrace, too. Outside, pops of fuchsia bougainvillaea, stone firepits and atmospheric lanterns set the scene for a glass of wine and regional tapas from À Terra restaurant.

Address

Sitio dos Caliços, 8700-069 Moncarapacho

hotel

Six Senses Douro Valley

Lamego

Set in a romantic 19th-century manor house overlooking the vine-covered hills of the Unesco-listed Douro Valley, Six Senses makes a compelling case for a wine-themed wellness retreat. Not only is the sustainable hotel home to organic gardens, 10 acres of protected forest, nature trails and it's own vineyard, but its state-of-the-art spa makes use of the region's resources in the best way possible too. Case in point: its hot-stone massage uses heat-absorbent rocks found in their vineyard while home-grown citrus fruits and herbs make an appearance in body scrubs and facial treatments. The wellness focus extends to the 60 rooms designed in a tranquil, earthy colour palette. Visit the Alchemy Bar Workshop to make your own cosmetics or discover the art of growing and pickling vegetables at home. For a real taste of the region, head to the on-site restaurant, where local ingredients are transformed into imaginative dishes best paired with a glass of Douro Valley wine.

Address

Quinta Vale de Abrão, 5100-758 Samodães

hotel

Casa Mãe

Lagos

Casa Mãe's traditional-meets-trendy approach has made this once abandoned 16th-century estate a magnet for lovers of slow-living. Every detail of the 30-room hotel has been considered, right down to the zig-zag terracotta floors, which Parisian founder Véronique Polaert had custom-made to bring a modern twist to Portugal's classic materials. Rotating artist residencies and workshops, including classes with local ceramist Ricardo Lopes, ensure the creative energy is flowing - yet outside is where the real magic happens. Casa Mãe's 5,000sq m orchard is home to some 200 chickens, aromatic herbs, grapes, heritage tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables that support its restaurant, Orta. Consider this a love letter to the flavours of the Algarve, serving dishes of red snapper caught in Sagres and cocktails sweetened with Aljezur honey. Guests interested in deepening their knowledge of farm-to-table fare can embark on a foraging session and outdoor cooking lesson.

Address

Rua do Jogo da Bola 41, 8600-712 Lagos

hotel

São Lourenço do Barrocal

Alentejo

Nestled among Alentejo's ancient oaks, this serene farm stay has been owned by the same Portuguese family for more than 200 years. The estate used to be an ancient farming village but has since been reimagined as an atmospheric hotel by award-winning architect Eduardo Souto de Moura and interior designers Ana Anahory and Felipa Almeida. Choose between private cottages, rooms and suites spread across the 7.8-million sq m estate, on which you'll also find a winery, spa, stables, hiking trails and two farm-to-table restaurants. Explore the region's heritage along the Olive Trees Trail, learning about the property's herd of pedigree cows en route, or with a wine tasting in the vineyard. At night, the star attraction is skyward thanks to the property's position under the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. The best entertainment is found in nature.

Address

Herdade do Barrocal, 7200-177 Monsaraz

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