3-star Hotel / Parador
HZAM1, Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal
An oasis of tranquility on the beautiful Alentejo coast
In the Costa Vicentina Nature reserve in the southwest Alentejo, this 365 hectare estate, on the coastal plain, leading down to the sea, was built in 1826 and has been in the same family for five generations.
Still a working farm, its owners have recently converted the main house and its outbuildings into a very special, rural hotel.
With a lovely heated, salt water swimming pool, its tranquil, natural surroundings, are a true haven of peace where you can soak in the real essence and magic of the Alentejo.
Contemporary and chic in design, yet totally in keeping with the surroundings, its comfortable, tastefully decorated and furnished bedrooms are spread around five properties. They are all well equipped and have their own terraces, making your privacy and intimacy a priority.
The stylish sitting room with its open fireplace is inviting on chillier evenings and the rustic dining room is great for breakfast and evening meals, whilst the poolside bar in the summer months is ideal for a refreshing drink or snack.
Seemingly away from it all, the whitewashed, low key village of Zambujeira do Mar, with bars and restaurants and a dramatic beach, popular with surfers, is just four kilometres away. Praia do Tonel and two good fishy restaurants are a fifteen minute walk and the lovely seaside town of Vilanova de Milfontes, less than half an hour's drive.
There are eighteen rooms in all, distributed among the main house and four houses on the estate – double/twin rooms, suites and small houses. All of them are individually decorated and furnished in contemporary, Alentejo style. Whitewashed walls, rustic tiled floors – simple in design, but tasteful and chic and very comfortable beds.
The double/twin rooms all have ensuite bathrooms, a terrace, a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite T.V. and wifi, a desk, a safe and air conditioning.
The suites are more spacious and have the same amenities as the double rooms, but they have a living room with a kitchenette and one has an open fireplace. Their terraces also have a table and chairs as well as sun loungers on the terrace.
Some of the rooms and suites have a view of the sea on the horizon. Others look onto the pool area or onto the surrounding countryside.
There are also five small apartments, sleeping from two to six people which are set up for self catering.
Heated salt water swimming pool
Sitting room with fireplace
Small gift shop
There is a breakfast room in the main house where a delicious buffet breakfast is served.
Dinner (order in advance) is also served here. The food is regional, mainly using locally sourced produce and the menu is devised by the well known restaurant, Tasca do Celso in nearby, Vilanova de Milfontes.
The poolside bar serves drinks and snacks throughout the day.
There are two good, family run fish/seafood restaurants – A Barca Tranquitanas and O Sacas at just over a kilometre in Entrada da Barca, Porto das Barcas on the coast.
Zambujeira del Mar has more restaurants and bars. Ask at the reception for recommendations.
Hotel FacilitiesWiFi all areas
Sports and WellbeingSwimming Pool (outdoor, all year)
Room facilities (all rooms)En-suite bathroom
Fridge / Minibar
Tea/Coffee making facilities
Safe deposit box
DiningRestaurant, open to the public
Bar, open to the public, serving drinks and light snacks
AccessibilityNot suitable for guests with reduced mobility
ParkingOn-site parking (free)
Electric vehicle charging station
PetsNo pets allowed
Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal
The whitewashed, laid back, fishing village of Zambujeira do Mar, is set on a cliff, overlooking its dramatic, sandy beach with its powerful rock formations.
With family run bars and restaurants, serving fishy delights and a few small shops, it is popular with surfers and those seeking a relaxing break from city life. However, in August it is host to a huge music fest, Festa do Sudoeste, when the whole village is transformed!
At other times of the year, it is a great place for bracing cliff top walks or for cycling along the coastal path which takes you a little bit further north to Porto de Pesca with its two tempting fisherman's taverns.
Superb beaches run all along the coastline, including Praia da Amalia, named after the famous fado singer Amalia Rodrigues, who holidayed nearby and sought her inspiration here.
Another curiousity further down the coast, just beyond Praia Carvalhal is a privately owned estate where you see bison and zebras and other exotic animals. Fantastic, dramatic cliff backed beaches all down the coast – Malmao, Furnas, Almograve,Zambujeira, Carvalhal, Amalia, Odeceixe – to name a few. Great for surfing.
- Walk or cycle one of the trails of the 450 km long Rota Vicentina. Either choose the Fishermans' Trail along the amazing coastline or the Historical Way taking in the rural interior. Ask at the hotel for recommendations.
- See the storks nesting (in the Spring) in the craggy cliffs at Cabo Sardao with its lighthouse.
- Visit lovely seaside town of Vilanova de Milfontes, the "princess" of the Alentejo, with it C16th Sao Clemente fort and memorial of the first plane to Macau which took off from there.
- All kinds of watersports at Vilanova de Milfontes – surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle, kayaking, canoeing..
- Take a memorable boat trip on the river Mira either from Vilanova de Milfontes or Odemira.
- Go to one of the local, country markets for a fascinating insight into local life.
- Make a trip down to Cabo de Sao Vicente, "the end of the world" and Europe's southernmost point.
- Visit the attractive town of Aljezur with its C10th hilltop castle, Moorish quarter and quaint museums.
- Feast on fish and seafood and other delights at the many family run restaurants in the area.