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Architectural gem in the Algarve countryside!

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,722 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 - 6 nights


About the property

Light-filled 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom contemporary home, situated in nature.

Experience living in pure architectural simplicity whilst being in harmony with nature. Retaining its traditional Portuguese exterior, this villa's interior was completely transformed into a loft-like space which is filled with natural light. Designed by well-known architect Erik Kortchinsky, this is a unique modern country house. The floor to ceiling windows in the living and dining-room area allow nature to enter seamlessly inside the space. The interior of the house is bathed in light every moment of the day, illuminating the glossy concrete floors and walls. The furnishings are minimal and contemporary, allowing the energy of the space to flow. The house has wi-fi and cable TV, and all necessary kitchen equipment. The terrace opens onto the south side of the house, and from the mezzanine you are able to see the sea in the distance. On the mezzanine floor there is a sofa bed, allowing for another one or two persons.

Safety awareness- because of the mezzanine area, & stairs with open spaces between them, this home is not suitable for children under 8 years old or the very elderly. There is also a strict no-smoking policy inside the house, but one may of course smoke- with care, outside.

A car is essential to travel to nearby beaches and the local towns, however one can easily walk to the village of Santo Estevao, which has a pharmacy, two small supermarkets, and local cafes.

As the property is situated in nature & part of an ecological reserve area, there is not a swimming-pool. There are several beautiful beaches within a 10-15 minute drive. One can also sit in or by, the water feature to refresh oneself on a hot day.

More Details

Property Manager
Sonam Kushner
Member since: 2014
Speaks English
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
14 July, 2018

About Sonam Kushner

I grew up in India, went to school in England, then lived and worked in London. Prior to coming to the US, I was based in Belgium, living and working all over Europe. My home here is in the New York area, where I live with my husband and daughter. I have my own homeopathic practice since 1997. My other passions in life are our two Tibetan Terriers, good food and wine, yoga and traveling. I have owned my home in the Algarve since 1984, and have recently re-built the interior with the help of a fantastically gifted architect by the name of Eric Kortchinsky. He has done his magic and created my Dream Home!

Sonam Kushner purchased this house in 1984

Why Sonam Kushner chose Santo Estêvão

Portugal is a very special country, the people are wonderful, the food and wine delicious, the fado music amazing, and the quality of light there is extraordinary. The location is also great- from my home, it is just half an hour to the Spanish border, less than two hours by car to Seville, and three hours to Lisbon.

What makes this house unique

Inspite of the huge influx of visitors and the inevitable general increase over these last years in tourism to the area, I feel that this eastern part of the Algarve still retains some of its old traditional charm, and remains relatively unspoiled. Tavira is a lovely town, and nearby Olhao has become home to many artists, both Portuguese and foreigners.

Guestbook comments from the manager

It was an honour for us to be your first guests- what a spectacular home! Our only regret is that we were unable to stay longer because our continuing travel plans had already been confirmed by the time we found Vivenda Franco.
Apr 2015
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Santo Estêvão in Municipality of Tavira

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1722 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • Min. age of primary renter: 8 ...
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • village ...
  • Away From It All
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bath (no shower) , Bidet
  • The bathroom with the shower is en-suite to one of the bedrooms.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed
  • This home is essentially for 4 people, comprising of 2 double bedrooms. There is extra sleeping for one or two persons on a sofa bed, which is located on the open mezzanine area.
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Terrace
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • Kayaking
  • paragliding
  • Parasailing
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
The garden has been landscaped so that one can walk around the property and stop and sit and ponder, in various spots under the shade of the old carob trees. The water feature in front of the south facing terrace has become a veritable bird sanctuary.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(23 traveller reviews)

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Architectural gem in the Algarve countryside!
average rating of 5.0 based on 24 reviews

Viva Vivendo Franco

  • 5 of 5

This is a truly unique place that will make you smile and feel uplifted the moment you cross the threshold. This home provides its guests with a strong connection to a timeless old Portugal countryside garden from a stylish and completely unexpected interior - the realisation of the different levels and light in this space are amazing, but it still retains the spirit of the quinta on which it is founded. This is not your standard rental property- the photos which attracted me in the first place don’t really do it full justice. The quality of fittings, linens, crockery, cutlery are all first class - as are the fridge, oven and hob. There is good internet, digital tv and dvd. But enough of the physical... here you will find a spiritual space that will make you feel elated - to sit in the mezzanine with the upper doors fully open, listening to bird song, the occasional cockerel, with a hint of far off woodsmoke in the air is truly bliss. Vicarious as it may be, I have thoroughly enjoyed Sonam’s vision which has been beautifully realised by her gifted architect Erik Kortchinsky. Thank you Sonam for allowing us to experience your home... you have fuelled our desire to be in our own spiritual haven in Portugal.

I haven’t even mentioned the proximity to Santa Luzia with its wonderful harbour restaurants serving the best octopus anywhere, the beautiful Barril beach, the charming shops of Tavira or its wonderful Mercado - but sometimes the truly simple is best... go in the garden and immerse yourself in the nature of Portugal - discover and enjoy.

Thank you to Adelaide for a lovely welcome and to Erik for a difficult goodbye - we could have happily sat and chatted over another 3 bottles of vino verde !

We had such a great happy time here - can you imagine exchanging the wind, rain and snow of Scotland in December for clear blue skies and 20 deg C. for an entire week in this wonderful place ? We have had more octopus than we have ever eaten... and more wine than is probably good for us - shamefully i broke the bottle opener - a stress fracture through over use ( we happily replaced it of course).

We have been coming to Portugal for over 20 years - and this is our best memory yet. We look forward to coming back again soon.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Jan-2018
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It is a wonderful feeling to know that the spirit of your home has touched a guest's heart and soul. May this memory, together with the clear blue skies, sunshine and retained charm of this part of the Algarve, sustain you through the winter months. Vivenda Franco will wait for your return!
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Beautiful house in an exceptional area

  • 5 of 5

The house was really wonderful, very comfortable and clean, very well equipped

The location is optimal and very convenient to explore Algarve.

We had a very comfortable and relaxing time and enjoy very much our stay there.

Thank you Sonam and the helpful Adelaide for your hospitality.

Monica , Amos, Sharona and Gabriel.

  • Review Submitted: 15-Feb-2018
  • Date of Stay: February 2018
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
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Perfect Getaway Spot

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I spent six nights here in September and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The location is great; close to the highway and to Tavira but remote enough that you can be totally isolated if you choose. The house and property are beautiful, spacious and well-appointed. Kitchen is well-equipped and dining areas both inside and out are great. As the winter months approach in New England we’ll often think back wistfully to breakfasts on the patio with the perfect weather and views. Check in was seamless and all communications with Sonam were excellent. We highly recommend choosing this house for your next stay in the eastern Algarve.

  • Review Submitted: 10-Oct-2017
  • Date of Stay: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: How lovely that you will hold the spirit of this part of the Algarve- together with fond memories of your stay in my home, through the oncoming winter months. Thank you for being our guests!
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Amazing experience

  • 5 of 5

We have spent one fantastic week in this paradise called Vivendo Franco during August. May be is one of the most beautiful coutryhouse that I never been !!!. Is still better than pictures !!!. House is very modern, well equiped, comfortable, clean, white, peace, spacious with a very big and minimalist garden. Good location in a quiet country but very close to the Santo Estevao town. Tavira, with a lot of restaurants is at 5 km far and beautiful beaches of Ilha Estreita and Barril Beach are also very close. Sonam is a perfect ambassadour. Knows all about this area and she could suggest to the guests a lot of things to do, places to visit, restaurants etc... Of course that when we come back to Algarve, Vivendo Franco will be our election.

  • Review Submitted: 12-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind words. So very happy to know that you and your family enjoyed your experience staying in my home. We will be happy to welcome you back!
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Wonderful - way beyond expectations !

  • 5 of 5

We had the most wonderful week in Sonam's beautiful well equipped home. Everything is at the highest standard and the property is indeed an architectural gems as described. The photos don't do it justice - we could happily have stayed forever!

  • Review Submitted: 10-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind words! My architect friend created a magical space for me, and I am so delighted that you had the opportunity to experience this as guests in my home.
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A fantastic house with an extraordinary light

  • 5 of 5

Our stay in the house in Tavira has been a rare experience beyond the ordinary. Perfect description of how to find the house. The welcome by Adelaide and the instructions for the house. The house itself was amazing to stay in - the light, the architecture, the convience of the house well equipped, the view, the garden, the silence and the stars. The house was so nice that it was difficult to leave it to go on excursions in the area - a lot of opportunities close. Many thanks to Sonam for letting us stay in the house and to Adelaide for metting us on arrival and departure. We wood love to come back.

  • Review Submitted: 12-Oct-2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for these kind words. It seems that you have perfectly captured the spirit of my home. I am very happy that you had the opportunity to include your time in my home as part of your discovery of Portugal. It will be waiting to welcome you, should you decide to visit again!
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Nearest Airport
40 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
15 Kilometres
Benamor Golf, Tavira
Nearest Train
7 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
9 Kilometres
A 22
Nearest Restaurant
3 Kilometres
Luis do Prego, Malhao Santo Estevao
Nearest Beach
10 Kilometres
Ilha da Tavira, Terra Estreita, Barril
Car: necessary

Tavira, one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in the Algarve, dates back to the Roman times. Its Roman bridge spans the River Gilao, and its picturesque cobbled streets and little alley ways have remained the same for decades. In both Tavira and nearby Santa Luzia, one really feels as if time has stood still.

In the months of July and August, the Cine Club of Tavira hosts their yearly open air film festival, held in the grounds of an old convent in town- the Cloisters of Convento do Carmo. These evenings are very special, and all of the locals from the area and other towns gather here!

Be sure to visit the daily market (Mercado Municipal)- located on the Southern bank on the Eastern side of town, for fruits, vegetables, fresh cheeses and meats, plus an an incredible array of fish. Amongst the shops on the outer walls of the market, is Beterraba, a very good health food store.

Nearby, in walking distance is Bistrot 'oPorto (near to where one gets the ferry to Ilha do Tavira) a wonderfully delicious restaurant for lunch and dinner.

On Saturdays, there is also an amazing fish and vegetable market in Olhao, which is 25 minutes away. Follow your shopping with a snack and drinks at Cantaloupe, one of the better sidewalk cafes, with more interesting menu choices than the usual.

In the busy months of July and August one must be sure to make reservations in restaurants for dinner!


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Santo Estêvão, Algarve

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
High Summer
1 Jul 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
6 night minimum stay
for 6 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £13 per night, per additional guest
Late Summer
1 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £13 per night, per additional guest
Autumn/early winter
1 Oct 2018 - 30 Nov 2018
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £13 per night, per additional guest
1 Dec 2018 - 31 Mar 2019
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £13 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
6 night minimum stay
for 6 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £13 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Refundable Damage Deposit £333.43

Please note, this home essentially sleeps 4 people. A further one or two persons can sleep on the sofa bed on the mezzanine area for an extra charge of 15 euros per person per night.

For cancellations up to 8 weeks before arrival date, there will be no charge. Cancellations 4-8 weeks before arrival date- 50% of the rate will be refunded. Less than 4 weeks before arrival date, no refunds. Payment can be made to a local euro account, a UK sterling account, or for US dollars, via Paypal. All transfer costs are to be covered by the payer.

Property is inspected prior to arrival and departure, and all breakages must be paid for. If renters wish to purchase for themselves additional coverage for expenses due to accidental property damage, please visit:, which can provide up to $5,000.00 in coverage for accidental damage to vacation rentals.

Arrivals and departures: changeover day is generally flexible unless otherwise stated. In high season, bookings can tend to be quite close. Arrivals are from 14.00 on the first day of the rental period and departures are by 10.00 on the last day of the rental period. There may be some flexibility on arrival and departure times, which can be agreed accordingly in advance. Guests arriving at the property after 20.00 whom require meeting at the premises may be charged an additional 25 euros, and shall be advised of this on confirmation of flight details.

Linens and towels will be changed once a week, including a general house cleaning. For long lets, clean linen will be provided weekly, and the cleaning of toilets. Any extra cleaning required will be at the cost of the renter. Also, for long lets, any extra electric usage for heating or air-conditioning, will be the responsibility of the renter.

There will be toilet paper and soap for arrivals, and a "welcome" package of food and beverages.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Manager a Question

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