Moinho do Sol

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Accommodation

Location

Date of travel

Apr, 2014

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

Personal / family celebration

Our son, his wife and 3-year-old Tom wanted somewhere special to spend 2 birthdays with Mum and Dad near Tavira, Portugal. The In-Laws are renovating nearby so we wanted to be together. The most interesting and attractive property we looked at on the web was the Windmill of the Sun, high above the town, with 360-degree views of the sea and surrounding wildflower-clad hills. April is a good choice weather-wise as it's cooler and ahead of the main tourist season. We were lucky: there had been rain early in the month but when we arrived, the sun shone and at times reached 30 degrees. everyone praises the town, Tavira, with its friendly people, wonderful beaches, freshly caught fish and seafood and pleasant ambience. East of Faro (40 kms) its much quieter than the west, flatter with sandy not rocky beaches. The history, dating back centuries, river with a Roman bridge and plenty of streets to wander make it close to perfect for families, couples, singles and any age group. Plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants lie along the river and in the surrounding streets. Look hard and see where the locals eat and you can't go far wrong. Don't forget to sample the cakes including delicious pastel de nata. There are lovely bakeries, several well-stocked supermarkets but the local market is more fun. No shortage of lovely souvenirs – pottery and textiles etc. Just a warning. It's not easy for disabled people with many cobbled streets, steps and narrow entrances. The windmill is "eccentric" and quirky: generally well-equipped it has most things you'd need for a week or two and plenty of space on the patio for sitting out and barbecues. The small pool is refreshing when the temperature rises. Two double beds are great for 4 people and an extra mattress was provided for Tom. The views from the upstairs bedroom are stunning with a friendly, resident gecko for company but only the able-bodied can climb the staircase and ladder. Downstairs the double room with en-suite is fine but if the wind gets up, as one guest described: "it's like a Banshee wailing". Walks through he surrounding countryside will reward you with many sightings of birds like the azure-winged magpie and swathes of beautiful wild flowers, almond, lemon, orange and fig trees. Vineyards and olive groves add to the lovely hillsides and farmers work the land with little machinery so the pace is gentle. Silence is broken by the cockerels, chickens and dogs. We were visited by local opportunist cats but only at night. If you want peace, tranquillity and a chance to see what life is like for people who have little materially but are rich in kindness and spirit, it's the perfect place to unwind and reflect. You need a car as most local shops have closed and the bus service stopped a while ago. Portugal, sadly, is not much visited compared with some other neighbours and deserves more exploring. I'm sure those who do won't be disappointed.

Helen

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.