A beautiful house nestled in its luxuriant garden, with a large pool and annexe providing flexible accommodation for up to ten people, all in the magical setting of Monchique Mountain, with stunning views across the foothills to the coast beyond.
Established over forty years ago, Casa Ginjeira enjoys one of the mountain’s prime locations, in a peaceful south-facing valley, yet close to the local amenities. The house is set in a large garden surrounded by olive and citrus groves and ancient terraces that are still traditionally farmed, against a backdrop of cork oak forests. While sitting on the veranda or by the pool you will be able to relax in total seclusion, and yet the nearest restaurant is actually a short walk away, up a country track. Monchique is the perfect holiday location. The region is popular with walkers, cyclists and lovers of nature, as well as people who come for the gastronomic specialities of the area. The numerous excellent restaurants specialise in black pork dishes as well as favourites such as chicken piri-piri. You needn’t miss out on any of the famous beaches of the Algarve, as both the south and west coasts are equally accessible from our house, and when you return, the countryside provides a green refuge from the busy resorts.
The pretty market town of Monchique is just 4km away, with more restaurants and bars and a large supermarket where you can buy anything you may need. Further afield you have the choice of two coastlines within easy reach; the glamorous and busy South, with its golf courses and nightlife or the wild and spectacular West, with world class surfing. There are many famous golf courses also within easy reach. There are also historic towns to explore, and there are miles of empty lanes that wind around the valley to be explored on foot or on the bicycles that are for use of guests. Wherever you go it is a pleasure to return to our peaceful valley, where the air is filled with the scent of eucalyptus and orange blossom and nothing but the sounds of gurgling streams, birdsong, chirping crickets and perhaps a lone frog.
When you first arrive you come to the large courtyard, with a typically Portuguese pavement of marble mosaics in a wavy pattern depicting lemons. To the side is a high retaining wall of beautiful granite stones, broken by a waterfall that trickles into a basin. This is the rock that the mountain is made from, and everywhere the slopes have been formed into wide terraces, mostly by manual effort without machinery, to create the food-basket of the Algarve, where the rich fertile soil is watered by numerous streams.
The feathery leaves of some mature jacaranda trees can be seen over the wall on the other side of the courtyard, their brilliant blue blossoms tempt you down into the garden below. When you look over it, you can see down into the first of many terraces that make up our garden, melding imperceptibly into the surrounding countryside, so that the neighbours’ donkeys, sheep and cows seem to be grazing on our land. The side of the house facing the courtyard resembles a traditional Portuguese country house, with decorative pediments in yellow ochre over the door and windows.
Casa Ginjeira retains the gracious style and comforts of an established home, with antiques and artworks collected over the years, whilst it has recently been thoroughly modernised with new bathrooms and beautiful terracotta floors which are heated when required and cool in the summer. The sitting room is furnished for comfortable evenings around the log fire, and has modern entertainment systems as well as a host of books. The well-equipped kitchen, decorated with traditional Portuguese tiles, opens onto the dining room, with a large dining table of African hardwood. The main house has two bathrooms with baths and walk-in showers and four spacious bedrooms all with terracotta tiled floors and enough space for a desk, an armchair, and other comforts that make a bedroom more appealing. All the rooms have french windows, with louvred shutters, that open onto the wide veranda, giving the house a colonial feel. With the french windows open and the curtains drawn to let in the breeze, the rooms are kept cool by the shade under veranda’s pretty tiled roof, and their high ceilings ensure the air circulates within.
In 2019 we converted an old stone cottage to supplement the accommodation. In the 60 sq.m. Pool Cottage we have provided a mezzanine with a double bedroom and ensuite, and below this a further bathroom and a large open-plan living area with underfloor heating, a full size kitchen and enough seating around the open fire for twelve, or alternatively to bed-down two extra people. The Pool Cottage would be ideal for a couple who want to be a little separate from the rest of the house, or a family with children, or else it can be used as a large living room, being close to the pool. For smaller parties who do not need the extra space we can also be flexible on price, offering a discount for mid-season or last minute bookings where the Pool Cottage is not required.
Please note that the Pool Cottage will never be rented separately while you are renting the main house. The place is exclusively yours - and so is the pool.
The 10x5metre swimming pool is built behind the main house so as not to spoil the peace of the garden in front. It is on the level of the rooftop, and so it also enjoys magnificent mountain views. You reach it by climbing a flight of curved steps in the courtyard. It has plenty of places to sunbathe between dips, and shares its broad terrace with four olive trees, which also provide the shade for another place to eat. There is a large built-in barbecue with a sink and running water. At the other end of the pool is the Pool Cottage with its kitchen, so you can easily prepare the food close by.
The extended season ensured with underfloor heating inside the house is also extended to the swimming pool, which is heated by a heat pump powered by our own solar electricity. From April to October pool heating is included in the price of your rental. This is a great benefit, as many holiday rentals charge extra for pool heating. Outside those months it is not usually practical to heat the water.
Above the pool is a decked area surrounded by flowerbeds providing another place to relax on sun-loungers under grapevines clambering over a rustic pergola. Our large garden has many more places to relax; in a hammock slung between jacaranda trees; amidst lavender and olive trees; or way down in the orange grove, where you can gather armfuls of sweet juicy fruit. Water runs through the garden in a rill, the air is cooled by fountains and waterfalls, and there is a large semicircular fish pond presided over by a garden spirit sculpted into the wall.
Wherever you wander in the garden you will always return to the veranda, which is an outdoor room with many uses; enjoy lunch around the dining table in the shade; take a siesta in one of the recliners; watch the valley fill with golden sunlight as you take drinks in the evening and at night gaze up at the sky filled with countless stars.Get the full listing »