The hotel-village of Aldeia da Pedralva is one of the more unconventional places to stay in the Algarve.
Situated between the towns of Carrapateira and Vila do Bispo, the small rural village of Pedralva was in danger of being abandoned. As the traditional agricultural way of life became economically unviable at the end of the 20th century, younger generations of Pedralvans were forced to swap the farming life of their parents and grandparents for city life in Faro, Lisbon and across the EU.
With only nine permanent residents remaining and with many of Pedralva’s cottages in ruins, the village was given a second lease of life in 2006 thanks to a novel urban regeneration project. Antonio Ferreira led a joint project, in conjunction with the Vila do Bispo council, to purchase the cottages one by one, with the aim of restoring them through traditional building techniques and using local materials and skills.
Purchasing the properties took time – tracing the owners and heirs took Antonio from Portugal to Germany, France and the UK over almost two years. It took a further two years to complete the renovations, with the team paying close attention to retaining as many of the original architecture features as possible.
The new Aldeia da Pedralva was born in 2010, with twenty-four completely renovated one, two and three-bedrooms cottages. As you’d expect, each property is unique, but thanks to their traditional decor they all share a homely, comfortable atmosphere. The village’s newly adopted nickname is the ‘aldeia lenta’ or slow village – a well-deserved moniker, as you’ll quickly adopt a more laid-back attitude to life on arrival. Your new neighbours will greet you like old friends as you stroll around the village’s narrow, cobbled alleyways, and the Sitio de Pedralva restaurant is the place to be on the long summer evenings.
For outdoor enthusiasts, this is an ideal location with over 300km of mountain biking trails, and the Amado Surf School on Praia Amado beach is a ten-minute drive away. Aldeia da Pedralva is also a popular stopping point for anyone walking the epic Rota Vicentina trail network and is included on our Wild Algarve Coast walking holiday.