Cottage near Moncarapacho, Algarve - Stunning Panoramic Sea View, Pool + relaxation!
About Joan Murray
My main criteria is for guests to relax, I create a very easy going atmosphere, but have high standards as far as accommodation is concerned. You are totally private in the cottage and have the enjoyment of the large mature gardens, lawn and pool at all times. It has been likened by guests to renting a complete large villa. I always put in my famous welcome pack, with wine and beer, so little or no shopping is needed when you first arrive. There are wonderful restaurants and cafes in Moncarapacho, and one superb restaurant, Antonio's. The Eastern Algarve is totally unspoiled, and long may it stay that way. Beaches are unspoilt and even in August, and a 10 minute walk can leave you with the beach to yourself. There are small islands all along our coast (look up the Ria Formosa). These islands are fully equipped for beach fun, but also we have amazing birdlife (including flamingoes). Small and quick ferries take you out to Fuseta, Pedras Del Rei, Tavira and Armona beach. I just want you to go home with your batteries charged. Hope to see you, Joan X
Joan Murray purchased this Cottage in 1989
Why Joan Murray chose Moncarapacho
We bought a complete hilltop and built the villa and cottage. It has a panoramic view of the Ocean from Spain to Faro. These sites are no longer available. Not boasting but it is completely unique. It is completely private, not surrounded by other houses. I have automatic gates and a security fence
What makes this Cottage unique
Because it is so private, it feels like you are renting a large villa. The swimming pool and terraces have amazing panoramic views of the sea and mountains. Relaxing is everything, however you want to do it. Quiet or loud, it is entirely down to you.
No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made
My Piece of Heaven
Wonderful location with stunning views. The cottage has everything you need for a very comfortable stay. It is so peaceful and calm the perfect place to unwind and recharge your batteries. Not forgetting the glorious swimming pool we hardly ever got out of! And last but definately not least the inimitable Joan our Host and what a Host. Kind,helpful and so much fun. Her welcome pack is phenomenal and I cannot wait to go back. I so recommend this place its amazing!!
Amazing as ever
We returned again for what would be our 8th visit (maybe more!!).
We absolutely love the location of this cottage. We love the relaxing feel it give as soon as we arrive. The cottage owner Joan is amazing, lovely, very friendly and accommodating despite this being a self catered cottage. As Joan lives on site, it can be easy to forgot this is "self catered".
Joan leaves you plenty of provisions to start your holiday, We always buy more when we runs out, we wouldn't expect Joan to keep providing! The welcome hamper, which is above and beyond what we would normally receive in a self catered cottage. I'd go as far to say this is exceptional and very impressive.
They is an honesty bar/fridge by the pool, you can help yourself to beer/coke/wine etc and leave the required payment or replace what you've used when you go to the shops.
We hire a car as the town is about 1 mile away, however the local taxi company is very amenable. The town of Moncarapacho is about a 15/20 min walk away, passing beautiful scenery as you go.
The cottage is equipped well, a gas & charcoal BBQ, private seating area, dishwasher and washing machine! I know right - Amazing!
We had some friends come to stay and they stayed in the adjoining bedroom, no through walk way, so still private, but another room off to the left with an ensuite and small courtyard with tea & coffee and fridge etc. Great for parties of 4, you can share the outside space and kitchen. My understanding is it's only let exclusively to friends and not to people you don't know, so you have the run of the amazing "large" pool and surrounding terrace/garden space.
Love love love this place, so much so we are returning in September, cannot wait. :o)
Gary & Lisa Sanders
This is our fourth visit in a row to this piece of paradise! From the moment you arrive you feel so relaxed, happy and at home. Joan really is the most wonderful host and one of the reasons we keep coming back. Her welcome packs are out of this world, homemade pate, avocado dip and hummus just to mention a few. As well as freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, milk and wine...all meaning you don’t have to leave for a few days or think about cooking. My Mum even said she would travel weekly from Hereford to receive such delicious treats! There are so many reasons why we come back - the setting, the gardens, the big pool, the dogs and of course sharing drinks and giggles on the terrace with Joan. There is everything and more that you need here, we enjoyed bbqs the evenings we stayed in, listening to music and sitting on the spacious terrace. We can’t praise Joan highly enough, it really is paradise. See you next year xxx
Oh! Completely delightful fun guests....and cannot believe it is their fourth visit. And they bring 'Mum' who stays in the wonderful en-suite bedroom adjacent to the cottage. You are such adventuress guests, and rushing off into the hills, finding really amazing Portuguese restaurants.... so looking forward to seeing you again next year.
I love doing the welcome packs for my guests.....and you are particularly great for some of my experiments!!
This was our second visit to Cassa D'Alegria, for a much needed relaxing holiday and once again we were not disappointed. The facilities provided, which includes privacy, extremely comfortable accommodation, a superb welcome pack, exclusive use of a large swimming pool, private terrace complete with panoramic sea views, delightful gardens and surroundings offer a peaceful and tranquil ambience and this is not to mention the most enjoyable company and hospitality of our host Joan, whom we shared some memorable times with. We enjoyed the locality particularly the many fine restaurants in Olhao, Moncarapacho, Fuseta and surrounding district. The accommodation enables you to choose how you want to spend your time, either quiet days/nights in and to BBQ, or to visit a local restaurant or to enjoy sociable evenings with Joan and friends, which we found most enjoyable.
All in all, we found the entire experience to be thoroughly enjoyable and we have already booked for next year and with a possibility of returning sooner.
We cannot praise this accommodation high enough!
Getting away for a proper break.
Perfect for those who don’t mind being a little out of the way. Perfect bolt hole to relax and unwind. We have been coming to the Algarve fo 15 years and love Moncarapacho. There are beautiful beaches to explore at Barril and Tavira island. Tavira town is stunning with plenty of good restaurants. The villa is small but perfectly formed as they say. Everything you need is there and if it’s not, I’m sure Joan would help you get it.
Misleading information on property description
Joan is a very friendly, kind and knowledgeable hostess and her welcome pack was one of the best we've ever had. This makes it difficult to be critical of the accommodation itself, which we found disappointing.
The good points are the very comfortable bed, the sea views, the covered terraces and the fridge on the terrace. We had fabulous weather during our stay.
We think that the property description is misleading. Hilltop Cottage isn't a cottage with one bedroom. A more accurate description would be a basement bedsit or studio apartment.
The bed is in a curtained alcove and the access to the shower room is next to the bed. The shower is pretty grim - it's a small, curtained shower tray probably 80x80 cms. Clothes storage is a small wardrobe in the shower room. The living area is exactly as shown in the photograph, i.e. a sofa and TV. The kitchen area is fine but over-loaded with equipment. There wasn't a Nespresso as described, it's a filter coffee machine. There's insufficient cutlery or glasses if one wants to use the dishwasher.
The pool is outside the main house on the level above the rental property. It's just a short walk up to the pool but this isn't clear on the property description. "You have a 60 sq.m. 'private' pool" suggests it's "your pool". It's not at all clear that it's located on what is effectively a neighbouring property.
Joan deserves the personal praise she has in her reviews but I'm afraid this style of accommodation isn't for everyone, and if the listing were made more accurate then it would save disappointment.
15 minutes drive to Fuzeta,which has a beach on the Ria Formosa. Also the ferry to Fuzeta Island (15 mins). Or you hire one of the Water Taxis, they will take you to virtually deserted beaches even in August! There are other beaches within 25 mins of the cottage. If you are willing to walk 10-15 mins along these beaches, they are empty even in August. Good information in cottage on all beaches etc.,
Airport: 30 minutes (Faro)
Car hire essential.
7 minutes drive to Moncarapacho, where you have a local Market, and small supermarkets. 10 mins Estoi - Roman temple, C19th palace. Tavira 20mins, venetian atomsphere, Spanish border 30 mins. Olhao cubist town with fantastic fish and fruit market. Seville 1 hr 40 mins Lisbon 2-3hrs.
Moncarapacho has everything a market town fish vegetable market, very good restaurants, small supermarkets open 7 days a week. Or you go down to 125 road and you have ALDI, LIDL. Sea fishing trips, bird and dolphin spotting and diving expeditions can all be arranged.Visit to the Ria Formosa park centre (many rare birds). IN FUSETA, you have water sport such as Kite Surfing, Boat Tours, Stand up Paddle, kayaking, Water skiing. Also,there is another Water Taxi, he has so much local information, and will take you to all the different Islands, off the coast. Or there is also ferries and water taxi in OLHAO, ALSO TAKING YOU TO ALL THE ISLANDS.
TAVIRA is a beautiful town, and well worth exploring, reminds me of a faded Venice. The architecture is very unique. It is the unspoilt side of the Algarve, and is very Portuguese.