The rooms and verandas have ramps or gentle slopes to make pram
and wheelchair access easy, there is even a ramp into the pool.
Properly trained dogs are welcome if they like cats, the farm
has a cat called Diesel, she lives outdoors.
Internet access for those who bring a laptop. Email checking and
browsing only. Sorry, no downloading of games and films.
smoke out of doors and use the pails of sand provided for cigarette
butts. The house has wooden ceilings and rafters which will hold
the smell of cigarette smoke.
control remote handsets on request.
Oxalá is a country cottage only ten minutes
from many of the Algarve's beautiful sandy beaches, some are hidden
away in secluded coves, others are resorts with all seaside amenities.
Less than five minutes drive away are two golf courses. The little
village of Estômbar is only walking distance,
where there is a market every weekday morning for fresh bread,
meat, fish and vegetables, and there are plenty of small grocery
stores, busy cafes and great local restaurants. Estômbar
is one of the few villages in the Algarve as yet untouched by
tourism. No hotels, resorts or caravan parks; it is still quiet
and authentic with its twin-steepled heritage church which celebrates
holy days with a canopied procession. The historical ancient Moorish
capital city of Silves is just nine kilometres
away. Within less than five kilometres are the towns of Portimão
and Lagoa, a waterslide-park, and the freshwater
natural spring pools and amphitheater at the nearby Fontes
which holds a summer jazz festival.
Algarve was known as the garden of Portugal, the range of hills
and Monchique mountain protect it from the north
and keep the temperature a few degrees warmer than the rest of
Portugal. The main crop was olives, figs and almonds. This farm
is a remnant of that time. Estombar was settled in Roman times
and then later by the Moors, this is evident in names of the narrow,
white streets. Its castle, now just four stone walls at the end
of my mother's garden, is one of the dozen on the Portguese 'Escudo'.
Most of the villagers of Estombar used to work in one of the fishing
factories that surrounded the estuary of the River Arade close