"White hill town with a palace" Estói by SOLODANCER

Estói Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 21 photos

Sleepy Estoi

The tiny village of Estoi is superbly situated inland on gentle hills north of Faro, the main city and capital of the Algarve. Like all the surrounding white hill towns in this part of Portugal, farther away from the ugly overdeveloped commercialized Algarve coast, this region is studded with gorgeous old villages and sleepy towns, un-touristy thus less visited making it a visit so worthy for one seeking tranquil vistas and out of the way truer experience.

The first and probably the main thing the visitor has heard about Estoi is its fortunate association with the grand little Palacio de Estoi, an elegant late 18th century rococo palace which is a diminutive version of the Palacio de Queluz near Lisbon. Built as a residence for the Visconde de Carvalho, it had languished neglected and locked up for years until 2010 when the entire complex including its beautiful gardens full of citrus orchards was finally renovated and embellished to become the grandest of Algarve's list of pousadas.

The other principal attraction and close association with Estoi are the Roman ruins of Milreu, an extensive 1st century villa complex which served as a summer residence for wealthy families from Faro, then known as Ossonoba. The ongoing archeological excavations which was started in 1877 have so far unearthed baths, a basilica, a shrine, individual residences and an agora or a market place. The site of Milreu is the very first attraction one makes contact with upon entering Estoi.

Crowning this white village (other than the striking Palacio Pousada de Estoi on the immediate outskirt of town) is its singular church the Igreja Matriz, a 17th century structure propped up on the town's hilly square looking dominantly large for this little village.

Other than the above, Estoi really has no other major attractions. But it's such a pleasant hilltown to wander into and spend a good day's pleasure even if one decides to simply hangout at the several strategic cafes on the main square where the bus stops for loading and unloading or taking walks along the village's enumerable tranquil paths among thick orchards and surrounding hills clad in ubiquitous trees of cork oaks and olive.

  • Last visit to Estói: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated Feb 26, 2014
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Reviews (2)

Comments (3)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    The Palacio Pousada de Estoi is really beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    • SOLODANCER's Profile Photo
      Sep 3, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      It's a really cool place and fantastic arcadian setting. It had languished for years but now a new leash on life and pretty reasonable to stay at. Try to make it here if when you ever visit Portugal.

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Sep 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I'm quite enjoying my virtual tours of Portugal on VT'ers pages

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Very nice photos! I really like the Pousada!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I so love Portugal and Spain - been a great joy to get out and never cease to be surprised by the beauty travels there have discovered - and what a stunnser of a pousada this one is...and youve been several times! (I can happily say I splashed out on the one at Ourem and in Spain, Jaen - the lengths we go to when getting over men!)

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