Our secret: a family house opening its doors to tourism in an almost unknown land, facing the sea and in the heart of the Ria Formosa Nature Park, considered one of Portugal's seven wonders.
We just tried to do the exceptional background justice, both in terms of architecture and in terms of landscape.
How would you describe Flattered Algarve in a nutshell?
Flattered Algarve are two apartments in an old Convent in the beautiful old town of Tavira on the eastern part of the Algarve in Portugal.
How would you describe the atmosphere of both apartments?
We believe both apartments feel very simple and relaxed in terms of design. The starting point is the simple yet contemporary architecture from Pritzker award-winning Eduardo Souto de Moura, one of our most lauded and respected Portuguese architects. We have beautiful design details including the traditional terracotta tiled floors, that were locally sourced in Tavira, where there is still a big tradition of handmade terracotta tiles production today. The simple white walls with the signature frameless doors from Souto de Moura. For the architectural aficionados, we believe this is a real feast.
On top of this, and taking into consideration the beachside and summer spirit of the place, we went for a simple palette of furniture opting for simple colors. We had great help from the De La Espada team who supplied most of the furniture and offered guidance with colors and textile options. In the end, we just tried to do the exceptional background justice, both in terms of architecture and in terms of landscape.
What is so special about Flattered Algarve to you personally?
It’s our summertime place, where we come with our family and friends to enjoy our summer vacations. It’s a haven for anyone who appreciates the local climate and the relaxed atmosphere of Tavira, as a small town, and the Eastern Algarve in general.
Are the apartments best suited for couples or families? What’s your policy on kids?
It’s perfect either way. We are family-friendly and accept kids of any age. We provide a set of baby items (cot, high chair, baby toys, baby bathtub, etc.) whenever requested, free of charge. We also offer an extra double bed (sofa bed) in the living room for occupancies of 5-6 guests. Our rates change according to the number of guests.
Our apartments sit next to each other in what is called the Salinas Wing of the Convent. They face the centuries-old Tavira Saltpans. They both have the exact same single level layout offering 1 bedroom with a double bed (160x200 cm) and an en-suite bathroom, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds (80x200 cm), 1 extra bathroom as well as the living room that includes the kitchen and a sofa bed (160x200 cm).
Outside each apartment, you have your own pergola where you can enjoy a meal or relax in one of our lounge chairs. The Convent offers two salt pools. One, with approx. 500 sqm surface, sits in the central courtyard where you can enjoy parasols and poolside lounge chairs besides grass patches where you can sunbathe. There are also two bathroom facilities, including for disabled people, maintained by the condominium. The second pool, a smaller one, sits in a second smaller courtyard called the Orangerie. Both pools are easily accessible from our apartments. I would dare to say our apartments are in the quietest part of the Convent.
The Convent offers well cared for and beautiful Bougainvillea and Jasminum pergolas all over together with generous grass patches. We also offer one private parking space per apartment inside the Convent. You get a remote control to access the gate during check-in.
The apartments feature a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, two private bathrooms with shower, a living room with a double sofabed, a dining room and a fully equipped kitchenette. Outside is a small terrace to relax and have dinner.
Personally, one of the things I most enjoy doing while spending time here is catching a taxi boat and spending the day at the beach in Praia de Cacela. It’s my favorite beach. By the end of the day, we head to Cacela Velha, next door, and enjoy an early evening session of outdoor dining with a plate of oysters and a glass of fresh beer at Casa da Igreja. The queue can look a little bit overwhelming but it’s definitely worth the wait.
For me, it is also a wonderful place to just relax. To be honest, this is the place where I bring all the unread magazines and books I’ve accumulated along the year and get my reading up to date.
That said, there is great stuff you can experience. One of the most interesting things we’ve done recently was a day-long boat trip in Ria Formosa leaving from Olhao. You get to do birdwatching, swim on deserted beaches, have lunch on one of the islands. It’s a great thing to do with kids. Generally speaking, all water activities such as surfing, kitesurfing and SUP (stand up paddling) lessons, jet skiing, sailing, etc. can easily be booked from the river piers in Tavira’s center or within a 6-8km drive at nearby beaches such as Cabanas.
For guests who take jogging seriously, or just like to enjoy a morning walk while doing some birdwatching along the way, there are beautiful pathways leaving from our doorstep into the saltpans and branches of the Ria Formosa.
Another cool thing we’ve recently experienced was an afternoon at a mud spa in the saltpans of Castro Marim (a 30-minute drive).
Tavira is an old traditional town offering a well-preserved historical center. One of its biggest charms is being quiet and relaxed. It also offers a rich cultural agenda, especially throughout summer, but also in winter which is quite unusual for the Algarve. It’s very close to cities like Olhão and Faro, the capital city of the region, and literally sits in the “window sill” of the eastern point of the amazing Ria Formosa. Most beaches can only be accessed by boat which definitely helps to keep them secluded and pristine.
The local food market is just within a 5-minute walk. Here you will find fishmongers selling exceptional local fish, local growers, traditional bread, an organic supermarket, a seafood specialty shop offering some of the best oysters in town, all within the same premises. Big-name supermarket chains can also be reached within 13-19 minutes walking. Tavira’s main square can be reached in a 9-minute walk and there are plenty of restaurants in the center. Although to be honest, to visit our personal favorite local restaurants, you must leave town. In a distance of 6 to 13km, which means no more than a 20 minutes’ drive, from our doorstep.
This part of the Algarve is well known for fish and seafood. Being next to the Ria Formosa marshlands, teeming with wildlife and exceptional food resources, allowed the development of a variety of centuries-old culinary traditions. The strong influence of the Arabian heritage also plays an important role.
Things like razor clams, oysters, shoe crabs, big-scale sand smelt fish, octopus, cuttlefish, local sardines and tuna form a big part of the local repertoire. The local Xerem and the Açordas together with the local rice. The traditional Muxama (dried tuna). The traditional desserts with fig and carob. The list is endless and mouthwatering. It’s a remarkable place to discover some of our oldest food traditions.
I know this may sound like a cliché, but I would definitely avoid August if you can. Apart from this month, where almost 90% of Portuguese families enjoy their summer vacations, I think it’s always a great time to come. It ultimately depends if you’re travelling with family and kids, are on a romantic escape or simply on your own. Summer months are warmer but the weather is great all year round.
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