Villa in Portugal

Old Jun 10th, 1999, 07:04 AM
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Villa in Portugal

We went to Tuscany, Italy last year and loved it. Portugal sounds romantic but we wonder if it even compares to Cinque Terre in Italy. What we are after is a seaside village where we can rent a villa.
Has anyone done this in Alvor or Largos?
Would we be better off in a hotel? Hope to do a lot of walking/mopeds? and go exploring (we're in our 50's).
Old Jun 10th, 1999, 08:12 AM
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My husband & I just came back from a trip to Northern Spain & Portugal. In Northern Portugal we stayed at a small seaside town called Viana Do Castelo that sounds exactly what you are looking for. I fall in love with that area. Very relaxing, gorgeous, unspoiled beaches, nice old medieval (walking) town with old ladies selling fruits, flowers and fish out of carts in the main plaza. We stayed at a place called Sandy-Mar. This place rents fully equipped one-two or three bedroom apartments (we rented a 1-bedroom; $35/night!!). The neighborhood was very upscale and 300 meters from the beach. We saw a lot of houses (gorgeous!) for short-term rent. We found a beach nearby called Efife that was even a better beach. The Hotel/Parador Santa Luzia is also in this city. The city of Porto (Oporto) is about 45 mts. south. Strongly recommend it. E-mail me if details are needed.
Old Jun 10th, 1999, 09:46 AM
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Oops!...I left out a URL that had some info on the area I suggested on my previous post...
Old Jun 10th, 1999, 12:55 PM
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You don't say what part of Portugal: Lagos is a major town on the Algarve (southern) coast. Many resort towns in the area that used to be charming fishing villages (Albufeira for example) are now built up with apartments and villa "complexes". Scenery is great -- cliffs, wide sandy beaches. There are a lot of Euro tourists, that's very much what their economy is based on. It's also Atlantic, not Mediterranean. On the odd rainy day, we did not find a lot to do/see. Driving can be a bit hairy -- Portugal has a high accident rate. It is always interesting to see a new place, but to my mind the Algarve does not compare with Cinque Terre for visual beauty, history, and (especially) food. However, it might be cheaper(if that's a factor). My 2 cents!
Old Jun 10th, 1999, 11:37 PM
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We just got back from Portugal and Algarve last Sunday. This is true that they have started building heavily in Algarve with high-rise buildings. The result is that the charming harbours and villages are now "drowned" by ugly buildings (i.e. Albufeira, Armacao de Pera). However you can rent very nice villas in the countryside, but again it is getting heavily constructed.
We had the feeling it was a bit better in Cascais (although it depends on the area) and the Sintra area is definitely beautiful. Both towns are located near Lisbonne.
Old Jun 11th, 1999, 12:02 PM
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Old Dec 9th, 2001, 07:11 AM
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I am topping this post at the request and benefit of Mr. Jacob and his wife (and others interested), who may be heading out to Portugal soon.

We found Sandy-Mar thru Viana's Office of Tourism, who were extremely helpful. It was a mid-May '99 trip. Surpringsingly enough, if having the choice of a second language, it appears people in Portugal are more eager to speak in English than in Spanish.

The full address of the apartments is:

Apartamentos Sandy-Mar
J Reis Vieria Rua F- Lote 9A
Praia Do Cabedelo
4900 Viana Do Castelo
Tel: (058) 322982

We barbecued every day, shopped at a supermarket about 10 minutes from the apartments. Unbelievably fresh fish, for fresh fruit we went to the town market where the ladies were selling their fresh picks right from the carts. I can't wait to go back to Portugal, but would go back to the smaller villages. Never seen nothing like it, just amazing.
Old Dec 9th, 2001, 07:21 AM
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I checked the URL I had posted in 1999 and is no longer. The information is now posted at

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