Category Archives: 2013-2014

Guests 2013-2014



2013 Summer – Andrei and Alina – Bucharest, Romania, enjoyed the coastal region; exploring towns and villages from east to west of the Algarve..  Away from their busy working lives, they were truly able to relax.  They took full advantage of their rental car, visiting all of the nearby points of interested.


Praia do Vau is one of every one’s favorite beaches.



2013 September – The Mc Gowans are a happy lot with continuous smiles on their faces.  Sisters, Sandra and Caroline, joined their mum and dad, Kathleen and Patrick, for a two week break from their busy lives.   Caroline celebrated her birthday while here and the whole family enjoyed the Bar-B-Q with their Portuguese friends, Sofia and Vitor.    Although, there was a bit of a panic to catch the plane home, they do know how to relax the Algarvian way…soaking up the sun and keeping cool by the pool. From the Guest Book:  Sept. 2013 – Thank you for in the 20 years of family holidaying, the best holiday accommodation yet; for the little things, plus the warm welcome and lovely personalities of you both. Thanks again, Kathleen, Sandra, Caroline and Pat


DSC07054Summer of 2011 and Summer 2013 – Miguel and Elodie returned with Miguel’s cousin, Micael and his girlfriend.  Although this is Miguel and Elodie’s second visit with us, Miguel has been coming to the Algarve for the past 6 years.  He knows the territory. They explored the beaches — Albufeira, Faro and spent their last night at the Casino


Salt water pool********************************

Laura enjoying the Bar-B-Q area.

2013 Summer – Frazer and Laura had 10 sunny days to explore this area.  They stayed in the studio during their stay, their first visit to the Algarve.  Trying to take as much sun back to Scotland as possible, they enjoyed walking the beaches, swimming in the sea and the pool.


DSC058822013 Winter – Randi and Michael – What a nice surprise visit from Randi Sulkin and Michael Bucove, long time friends from Ketchikan, Alaska.  Whenever we have our friends from Alaska here, it’s like “old time week.”  Randi and I played some flute duets and spent hours talking about everything under the sun.  They were very much taken with the Algarve and claim that they will return in the not too distant future.

Guest Book Comments:  Wow! Wild, windblown KRBD hats and chickens with overcoats?  Stories of Ketchikan characters and almond cookies with no almonds. The food! The wine! The laughter! Long walks and treasured talks, yoga in Portuguese, and then the cheese, cheese, cheese,! Thank you, dear friends, for introducing us to your Portugal and proving once again that the magical web of the Alaskan diaspora lives on. — Smile & hugs – Randi

Randi and I have been many places that we’ve liked and loved.  Here is one of the loved ones.  How pleasant here is, I’m sure you know by now.  I’ve barely begun my retirement — I could retire here.  I’m thinking about it…not that it is difficult to do.   But like Ketchikan, it feels like home here, much because of the people and music.  Michael Bucove.


2013 January – John Lindberg (left) with Caddy, Mikael, at the leaderboard, -1 A very good result.

Our Swedish connection has been extended; we have another friend from that northern country.  John, friend of Mikael and Marina’s, stayed in the studio while competing in the European Seniors Qualifying Golf Tournament.  It was held over a two week period.  During the first week’s qualifier, John won the tournament to advance on to the finals where he placed 12th.  He is now officially on the European Senior’s Tour!  Congratulations, John!  Not only are you an outstanding golfer, you are a first class person and we truly enjoyed getting to know you.  We wish you great success on the tour and hope you will be able to return to the Algarve.


From our guest book:  Thanks for having me!  I really enjoyed my stay in the studio and slept like a baby.  If I ever return or move to the Algarve and Portimão, I’m returning to the studio and to meet my new friends Isabel and Greg….Thanks for everything!  Regards, John



2013 February – Armando et Marie They came, they saw, they bought … yep – they drove all the way from France to spend a week looking for a holiday apartment – and they left already knowing their choice and commitment!

Wishing them many happy holidays in this beautiful part of Portugal!


2013 Spring – David and Hazel


From Manchester area, hoping for sun and long walks … the weather didn’t quite cooperate … but I think David and Hazel were able to get the long walks and general feel of the area. Besides, as great readers, the apartment provided plenty of sitting space for reading enjoyment. It was great to exchange ideas and book titles 😉

From our guest book:

A cool wind and cloudy skies, but we both had a great time in your company.

Thanks for the hospitality.

David and Hazel

2013 Summer, 2012 Winter – David and Ana Bela

Jacqui, David and Leanne

Jacqui, David and Leanne

Another visit from Ana Rosen, although much shorter than last time, it was a full week with part of her family; daughter, Jacqui and husband David with their daughter Leanne; son Carlos and his wife, Jackie.  They made a good effort to visit all the hot spots around Portimão…a boat cruise to explore the caves; Anniversary celebration for Carlos and Jackie on the Praia da Rocha; a trip to Monchique; relaxing time around the pool and a sardine Bar-B-Q to top it off.

Carlos and Jackie wrote: 

Dear Greg & Isabel,  My Wife And I Just Wanted To Say A Massive Thank You To You Both For Helping To Create One Of The Happiest Memories Of Our Lives.  You Are Both Lovely People With A Lovely Home.

P.S. Don’t Work Too Hard !!! See You Soon.

All Our Love Carlos & Jackie

June 2013

DSC06663From the Guest Book: 

Dear Isabel and Greg, 

We have thoroughly enjoyed our week away from our hectic life.  We loved sharing your beautiful home and garden.  We had everything we needed and more.  Thank you so much.  We will not hesitate to recommend the apartments to friends and family and we would definitely stay again when visiting the Algarve. 

Lots of best wishes,

David, Jacqui and Leanne


From Inverness, Scotland, David and Ana came to enjoy months of beautiful, sunny weather. They went for a long walk every day, exploring town, country and beach. Amiable, pleasant and cheerful neighbors – we’ll miss them.

From our guest book:

Had  lovely eleven weeks holiday at your apartment. Thank you both so much for your hospitality and your kindness.

Really enjoyed our walks and weather could not have been better. We wil feel the cold in Scotland.

The apartment was very comfortable and it was like home from home.

Hope to return soon. Once again, thank you so much for a lovely stay.

Ana Bela & Dave

from Scotland


2014 May – David and Anne

DSC08571The garden was in full bloom and David and Anne enjoyed the Bar-B-Q area with their friends whom they have known since their days in Africa.  The weather was at its best and they made the most of it by taking the Jeep Safari tour, a boat cruse and trips to Monchique and Silves.  Getting around didn’t seem to be a problem as they bused down town and moved in and out of Portimão as if they had been living here forever.

Salt water poolFrom the Guest Book:  30 April t 15 May 2014

Anne & I had not been to the Algarve for at least ten years and what a difference to that which we remember of so long ago…..Our hosts, Isabel & Greg were great.  They were very helpful and kind.  The weather was almost perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky for the whole two weeks and the temperature stuck around about 28º c. 


2013 Spring – Jim and Lynda

Jim and Lynda relaxing after a beautiful sunny day at the beach.

Jim and Lynda relaxing after a beautiful sunny day at the beach.Our first time visitors from northern Wales, Jim and Lynda spent nearly every day at the beach where Jim cast his line out to the sea to see what he could catch.  He’s a true sports fisherman, the catch and release variety which is a bit of a novelty around here.  They found all the best local dinning spots and enjoyed playing a game of cards to relax after a long day in the sun.

Clay pot with medronho bush

2013 Summer – Mateusz and Marcim

DSC06700Mateusz and Marcim from Poland spent a good amount of their time keeping cool under the grape arbor and exploring the village of Portimão, which they seemed to enjoy.

Received from Mateusz in an email: 

Dear Isabel & Greg,
Thank you so much for everything. Your offer to pick us up, your thoughtfulness to equip the studio so that there is literally everything you might need, the cookies… Big, big thank you! …..
We’ve fallen in love with Portimao and will definitely come back!
Best regards, Mateusz.

2013 Summer, Fall – Bob and Suzy Hay

DSC072792013, Oct

Back again – and only 3 months after they stayed with us! A little break away from Wolverhampton, near Birmingham. So great to see again this most cheerful couple who seem to enjoy life around them and add sunshine to villa do Vale with their pleasant disposition and natural optimism.

From our guest book:  Dear Greg and Isabel,  Once again many thanks for making us so welcome on our return visit to the best equipped holiday apartment on the Algarve.  We loved the pancakes and meeting Mirja and Kallu.  Best wishes to you & hope we can make it a hat-trick in the future.  All the Best,  Bob and Sue


Rainy day pancakes with Kallu and Mirja, from Porvoo, Finland

2013, June


Bob and Susan came for a week and then stayed an extra day; they loved it here.  The weather was perfect for swimming, BBQ’ing, and enjoying the garden.  Their little Smart car was perfect, too.  They drove all the way from the UK! via Salamanca and Évora, and then back again through the north of Portugal and Spain.  They are quite the adventurers.

From Our Guest Book:  Dear Isabel and Greg,  Many thanks for your fantastic hospitality to 2 British Refugees from the rainy U.K.  Your Apartment is wonderful, with special mentions for the pool & BBQ,  We hope we can return and “Do It Again”!Best Wishes from, Bob and Sue.


Apartment-outside garden area

2013 Summer – René and Kris

DSC06709Kris and René, of Geneva, Switzerland, are shopping for a house here in the Algarve and while looking, stayed for a week in the apartment and a second week in the Vilamora area.  René is an avid golfer, so living on a golf course is a first priority.  He was able to play a few rounds at various courses in the area and once with Greg at the nearby Alto course, which he said he liked very much.  We hope we see them here again next year as they get closer to making a decision on a new house.

From Our Guest Book: 

Thanks for a lovely week in your nice apartment.  Loved the cookies + pancakes!  Hope that we can be “neighbors” soon!  Kris and René

2013 September – Ian and Sue Clark

DSC03705Ian and Sue really enjoyed Villa do Vale setting, relaxing and sunbathing in the secluded garden area – up until the very last day when it started to rain … leaving just in time, before Fall weather hit this area!

Note left:

Dear Greg & Isabel,

Many thanks. We have had a great time, we love the apartment.

Kind regards,

Sue & Ian

Since 2011 – Jim and Val

Jim & Val


2014 – Spring and Summer

Coming two times this year makes it 6 times that Jim and Val have stayed at Villa do Vale.  Guess they like it.  Their summer visit was in honor of Val’s birthday.  It was good weather, as usual and they caught up on sunning and the use of the pool.


2013 – September

What a pleasure to see this easy-going couple – we enjoyed ‘catching up’ and just chit-chat about life in general. This time they split their time here between the studio and apartment – getting the most out of Villa do Vale accommodations! See you soon!


2012 – Fall

Jim and Val can’t get enough of this sunny weather.  And it was surely warm and bright this time around.  They were joined by their friend, John and the three of them discovered a new restaurant, “Marafados” in Alvor.

Jim’s 50th is coming up this next Feb.

From our Guest Book:

Greg & Isabel

Thanks again for a fab holiday as usual.  What great weather we had too.  Back to the wind and rain (Oh No…).


2012 – Spring

Jim and Val were back for a week’s stay and this time Val’s mother, Sheila joined them.  The weather was a bit of this and that, but all in all, the sun prevailed.   Jim played a round of golf with good results, while Val and Sheila did their best to get in some shopping.

From our Guest Book: 

Greg & Isabel,

Thank you some much for another relaxing holiday, you are both so kind and generous.  Jim enjoyed the golf…Sheila and I just chilled out.  The weather turned out fab in the end, so going home a little browner.   See you soon.  Val, Jim and Sheila xxx

2013 September – Sina and Vivienne Anderson

Vivienne and Sina were lucky to enjoy a perfect sunny week … well, only the last day was a bit cloudy 😉 They had previously stayed in the Albufeira area, but decided to try this side of the Algarve and went as far as Lagos (quite windy!). They were away all day long and preferred the beach to the pool area. ~Did you ever go horse riding as was your intention?

From our Guest Book:

Dear Greg & Isabel,

Thank you so much for your hospitality and kindness while we stayed in your lovely studio.

We really enjoyed our stay& exploring the area.

It has been a lovely relaxing break.

Many thanks,

Viv & Sina


2014 Spring – Lucile and Anais


Anais and Lucile, 24th of April, 2014, Loulé, Portugal

Lucile and Anais have been friends forever (since they were 9 years old) and enjoyed a fully packed holiday with trips to the beach, to the mountain top (Monchique) by jeep safari, the big city (Lisbon) and the small city (Loulé), trip to the caves by boat (the waves were not nice to them, but never mind).  Seems like they were up for anything and everything.  When asked if they’d like to go a concert of classical music, they were ready within the hour.  The concert was an hour’s drive away, but they didn’t mind.  For a first time to the Algarve, they managed in a week’s time to see and do a lot.

Lucile lives in Paris and Anais lives just out side of the city.  They met all those year ago while training for Gymnastics (floor exercise). Lucile teaches primary grade children and Anais teaches Physical Education.


Scan_Pic0004From our Guest Book: 

April 2014

Dear Isabel and Greg! 

Thank you very much for your hospitality!  We enjoyed our holidays in your home.  We were feeling as at our home!  The night with you at Classical concert was a beautiful moment.   We never forget our trip here!  It’s a great place and we will give to our friends and our family your address. 

Thanks, we would like to some back!

See you,  The frenchies Lucile and Anais.

Review by Lucile:

  • De retour à airs, nous revenons qu’avec d’excellents souvenirs. Greg et Isabel sont vraiment très gentils, ils nous ont permis de nous sentir chez nous…. Ils ont été très disponibles pour nous, c’était sincèrement adorable. Nous sommes ravis de cette expérience et nous pataugerons cette adresse à ceux qui voudront visiter l’algarve, qui est également une magnifique région. Le studio est très confortable, spacieux et bien équipé. Et la villa se trouve à 10 minutes à pieds de la magnifique plage Praia da Vau ou Praia da rocha. La villa possède des jardins terrasses pour les petit dèj’ au soleil, et la piscine est très agréable. C’était super n’hésitez pas à vous y rendre. Merci encore Lucile et Anais


2014 Spring – Ian and Nina

2014 Spring

Ian and Nina drove down from France to revisit the Algarve after 41 years away.  Although they found it different, they looked at it with fresh eyes.  They enjoyed the garden and were very kind  in accepting the fact that the pool was under repair.   The weather was kind in return and with mostly sunny skies they were able to see the whole of the region from atop the Monchique mountain.

From the Guest Book: 

5th of April to 12th of April 2014,

A nostalgic return to the Algarve for us, as it is some 41 years since we last visited.  Back then it was undeveloped and tourism to the area in its infancy.

Many changes have taken place, some good and some not so good, but the golden sandy beaches remain the same as ever. 

We managed a trip to Monchique this time and to the top of the mountain at Foia where the views looking down on the Algarve coastline are quite something.  Lunch at the Rampa restaurant on the way down is well worth the stop.

Isabel and Greg are excellent hosts and have a well equipped holiday home in a good location on the Algarve.  They are always ready to give information and advice if needed.

The welcome provision on our arrival were much appreciated.

We’ve had a lovely week’s holiday and thank you.

Ian and Nina McNeil

2014 Spring – Carol Dibnah

DSC08067March 2014

We very much enjoy visits from our dear friends and Carol being here is like old times, with plenty to talk and laugh about.  Lucky for us she has the energy to spent time with us while doing all the tasks that she had lined up for herself; sorting out car documents, locating seat belts (an adventure in itself), doubling up on yoga classes, meeting up with a great number of her Algarvian friends.

We did miss the rest of the Dibnah clan, but at least felt a connection with them, too.

From our guest book:

March 27th 2014

Dear Greg and Isabel!

Staying here is like coming home to a warm, caring family! I have enjoyed myself so much, the scent of the orange blossoms, the taste of the chicken piri-piri, the sound of the music, the comfort of the bed and the clear blue skies have made my trip a delight for the senses! (not to mention the clatter of the scrapyard!)

Thank you so much for taking me to yoga Isabel, I really, really enjoyed those classes. It feels as if I have never been away. Scotland is always awaiting your visit with open arms and a warm log fire!

All my love,




2014 June – Alec and Ruth

DSC09179Alec and Ruth, June 2014

Alec and Ruth are from Scotland and live on a farm just north of Perth.  Coincidentally, we have some very good friends who live in Perth, so there was much to share about Scotland.  We hope to see Alec and Ruth on our next trip to Perth.  Alec is semi-retire from running the family egg farm, leaving the major part of the business to his son.  Ruth’s sister, Susan has visited Villa do Vale a couple of times, so we have enjoyed  the family connection.

The two made trips to Monchique, Silves and numerous times to Praia do Vau.  The weather was mostly sunny and warm, so they took home the energy that brings.

Garden Patio

Fruit and Wine in the Garden Patio


Monday 23.06.2014

Dear Isabel and Greg,

Thanks you both so much for a wonderful holiday in Portugal.  The apartment was excellent & you were such fabulous hosts – We really enjoyed the 10 days, especially the BBQ with friends.  It was a joy to meet Cam, such an interesting lady.  Again our sincere thanks and we hope we can return to see you soon.

Kind Regards,

Alec and Ruth



Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here,

2014 June – Dragos and Corina


Dragos and Corina – Praia do Vau

June 2014

Dragos and Corina, a Romanian couple who live in Ireland, came to Villa do Vale for a bit of rest and relaxation and found the night life to their liking.   They met up with fellow Romanians who were able to show them around the area.  They also enjoyed the pool area and took some of our sunshine back home with them.

Cornia in the Garden patio

From Our Guest Book: 

End of June, 2014 

Many thanks for everything!  We totally enjoyed our stay.  Studio is great, loved the orange juice  🙂

We’ll definitely be coming back.

Out Best Wishes, 

Corina and Dragos.


2014 July – Christine and Darren


The Saltwater Pool, Darren and Christine’s favorite spot to relax.

2014 – July

Christine and Darren of Essex, U.K., enjoyed the pool, walks along the beach, to Alvor and beyond.  We enjoyed their pleasant smiles and the easy way they go about their holiday, very relaxed and laid back.   Also, their kindness was appreciated by the pets, Joey and Zorra.  It’s nice when visitors recommend Villa do Vale to friends and family.  So, we are expecting Christine’s son, Joey (not the cat!) in September.  Thanks, Christine.

From Our Guest Book:


And this:

Dear Greg and Isabel,

Thank you so much for the wonderful stay here in your beautiful apartment.  You have been great hosts. We will email you when home safely.  We hope to return again. 

With Love, Christine and Darren.

Praia do Vau

Praia do Vau

2014 June – Jakub and Renata

A Little Wine To Go With That Cheese?

A Little Wine To Go With That Cheese?

June 2014

Jakub and Renata come from Poland, via London, where they work and live. Their stay included visits to Alvor, Praia da Rocha, the West Coast, hours in the sun at Praia do Vau and enjoying the night life on the beach front.  They love to travel and have been throughout Europe and to the Far East.

Praia do Vau

Praia do Vau

2014 July – Peter and Josie

July 2014

Peter and Josie Howard have spent two weeks in the Algarve for the past many years.  However, this was there first time this side of Vilamoura where they play golf.   This year, after a week of golf, they relaxed here in Portimão, around the pool reading their books and soaking up the sunshine.   Hopefully, next time we’ll get some golf in at the local courses nearby.

They come from Oxfordshire in the little village of  Cropredy which sounds very quiescently English

Salt water pool

August 2014 – Chris and Victoria – They came for the sun and Vicki and Chris surely found it.  The wind came up during the afternoon, but the pool is protected enough so as not to spoil their time spent lounging, reading and soaking up the rays.   They enjoyed walking and dinning along the beach front.

From Our Guest Book:  Dear Greg and Isabel. Thank you for making us feel welcome during our stay in your lovely apartment!  We would highly recommend you amongst our friends.  Hope to stay with you in the future. Keep Well, All the best,  Chris & Vicki


Kallu and Mirja

DSC07278 - Copy2014, October

Another visit from Mirja and Kallu, their fourth and hopefully, still counting.  They continue to enjoy daily walks to the beach, swimming in the ocean and strolling along the coast line.  Mirja works with fabric and clay to make necklesses and other works of art.

Since their last visit, we have had the pleasure of visiting Mirja and Kulla in their lovely home in Poorvo, Finland.

From Our Guest Book:

2013, October

We were glad to see the cheerful faces of Kallu and Mirja again – they are like family now – Joey (the cat) and Zorra (the dog) happy to see them also.

They make good use of our pool, going for a swim early in the morning – great October exercise! – and sunbathing whilst reading their books. They already know the area and like to explore the local markets, fairs, etc. very comfortable with the local transportation 😉


Rainy day pancakes, with Bob and Suzy Hay


DSC036752012 Spring

in our patio – Kallu & Mirja

Another stay of weeks of good time and rest for Mirja and Kallu – this time in our apartment. They are still enjoying a good swim in our pool, first thing in the morning!

2014 July/August – Elena y Fernandes

Studio Patio

July/August 2014

A very nice couple from Spain, Elena and Fernandes stayed in the studio for a week and although there was a language barrier we manage to communicate.  They were very pleased with the beaches and soaked up the sun while on Praia do Vau and around the pool.  They also enjoyed the night life along the Praia da Rocha.


2014 August, 2013 July – Paul and Mags Harding

Praia do Vau

Praia do Vau

August 2014,

Paul and Mags came back for another week in the sun.Again, they spent many hours down on the beach, Praia do Vau.  Plus, they enjoyed the many restaurants in the neighborhood and along the beach.

We discovered that they will be in Edinburgh at the same time as us, so, hopefully we’ll meet up for a chat and coffee in that lovely city.  That would be fun.

From Our Guest Book:   7th of August, 2014

Dear Greg and Isabel, 

Thank you for a lovely week in Villa do Vale.  Our second summer in Portimão and just a lovely as last year.   You have been fabulous host and there really is nothing we could want.  With very best wishes to you  and maybe we’ll catch up in Edinburgh.  Mags and Paul  xxx


July 2013

From Belfast, Paul and Mags Harding came to enjoy our beaches … and so they did, walking everyday to our nearest ones and staying by the water edge all day long – a healthy tan to take back and a good break – so they say!

It was great to realize Paul is a football player – who has been to the Algarve before … on a training trip with his team.

Their comments:

Dear Greg and Isabel,

Thank you so much for our lovely week at Villa do Vale. You have been so kind in thinking about all of the little things we might need.

The apartment and gardens are delightful and we have appreciated all your advice and tips about the resort and beaches. A really great holiday.

We’ll definitely recommend you to friends & family and would love to return on our next break from the Irish.

Best wishes,

Mags and Paul x x x


2014 June – Cam


June 2014 –  Cam Mitchel

It had been 15 years since last seeing Cam and it was such a great reunion.   We loved showing her around this part of Portugal, plus a little bit of Lisbon.  But mostly, we enjoyed our quality time together, catching up on news of mutual friends and of each others’ lives.  No matter the time or distance we feel so very close to Cam after knowing each other for more than 40 years.

Thanks Cam for making the long trip over to see us.

2014 August – Joana e Tia Paula

DSC09350Agosto 2014
Joana Cesário e a sua tia Paula vieram passar as suas férias anuais na Villa do Vale, vindas do norte, Torres Novas. Passaram o seu tempo a ler, a relaxar e a visitar a praia.

DSC09353August 2014

Joana Cesário and her Aunt Paula came to Villa do Vale for their yearly trip together.  The sun was hot and the pool was refreshing so they kept cool around the pool.  Their home is to the north, Torres Novas, and they have been taking a holidays together for many years.   They spent a relaxing time reading, visiting the beach and sampling the local restaurants.

2014 August – Gisele and Alex


Enjoying a meal under the grapes arbor.

August 2014

Gisele and Alex come from France and they enjoyed 11 days of sunny, warm weather with many hours by the pool and in the shade of the grape arbor.   They loved their stay so much that they asked to extend their visit, but alas, there was no room in the inn … but we were able to find accommodation elsewhere so they could continue their holiday.


2014 September – Gina and Tim

DSC09758September, 2014

Gina and Tim Lumber traveled from their home in Galera, Spain, east of Granada, to take a break from their busy retirement lives of gardening.  They had last been to the Algarve 30 years ago with their young children and wanted to see the changes the years have made.  They went to Salema Beach where they had been before and found some things new but the beach area much as they remembered it.

They enjoyed mornings on the beach, both sunning and walking.  Much of their afternoons were relaxing around the pool while reading.  Gina particularly enjoyed dipping in the pool to cool down and Tim, being a Formula 1 enthusiast, was able to follow that on the telly.

From the Guest Book:

Dear Greg and Isabel,

What a lovely 2 weeks we had in your lovely apartment!  The perfect base to re-visit Portugal after 30 years when we came here for 2 weeks when our children were very small.

We enjoyed your grapes and figs!!  — leaving us bags of them at the door!  It was lovely to meet you both and our neighbors  —  one lot from Ireland and the other from Russia–

All in all a great 2 weeks.  Take care and maybe see you again when we come to Portugal!!  —  no need to look for anywhere else to stay!!

Gina and Tim


2014 September – Oleg and Nina

DSC09754September 2014

Oleg and Nina come from Voronezh, Russia and before arriving to Villa do Vale, they spent a week touring Lisbon.  Since they managed to see and visit nearly every important place in the city, they were very happy to relax by the pool, read their books and take the rest of their Portugal visit at an easy, calm pace.   Each day they walked to the beach, swam in the ocean and walked along the shore and cliffs. They also visited Lagos area.  We were the lucky ones when Nina offered to treat us to her very delicious crepes filled with fruit and jams.  Thank you so much, Nina.

Nina has retired from her teaching life.  She taught English in a Language Institute and Oleg teaches physics at the University in Voronezh.

From Our Guest Book:

Dear Greg and Isabel,

This week in your Villa was full of sun, quietness, beauty and complete relaxation. 

However, far more charming was the atmosphere of love and desire to make us feel homy and happy.  We appreciate it!  It is a rare gift

Thank you very much.  We love you.

Nina and Oleg 

2014 Fall, 2013 Spring – Stephen and Carole

September of 2014


So Carol and Stephen did come back to Villa do Vale as they said they would and again played golf as many times as they could fit into one week.  Twilight remains their favorite time, which usually mean they start their round of golf around 3:00 pm and are finished well before the sun goes down.

Unfortunately, Carol had a not-so-minor fall on her last day while visiting the beach and had to spend some time at the hospital to have some stitches and a dislocated toe tended to.  She came out smiling and did not let that dampen her spirits.  Hopefully she is a fast mender and will be back on her home golf course very soon.

Carol showing off her foot x-ray.

Carol showing off her foot x-ray.

From the Guest Book:

Dear Greg and Isabel

Our second stay here, and just as wonderful as the first!  It really does feel like our second home and you are truly friends.

All the little things you do, but his time especially for taking such good care of us on our eventful last day.  The trip to hospital was made so much easier by your friendly support and I can even laugh about it.  With a week on crutches I should build up my arm muscles and be a brilliant golfer (in my dreams!!) Take care, and hope to see you again mext year.

Love, Carole and Stephen


Carole and Stephen came to play golf and that they did.  Six rounds in two weeks.  They loved the twilight tee times which allowed them to start in the mid afternoon with plenty of time to finish in the cool evening air.  They also walked the Praia do Vau beach and explored the village of Alvor.

Scan_Pic0001Praia do Vau

From the Guest Book:  Dear Isabel and Greg,  Thank you for everything you did to ensure we had a fabulous holiday.  You were so welcoming and friendly, that we immediately relaxed in our ‘home from home’.  The attention to detail (home comforts, all mod con), the surprises hanging on our door, the extremely comfy bed, the beautiful garden, the way Zorra and Joey treated us like family, the booking of the golf, the loan of the SATNAV…I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!!  Rest assured we will be back next year.  Love from Carole and Stephen.

DSC06101Stephen and Carole relaxing by the pool.




2014 Fall – Mark and Cathrina

DSC05503October 2014

Mark and Cathrina of Ireland visited Villa do Vale for the first time.  They enjoyed the nearby little Alvor village for its restaurants and night life, and they spent some quality time by the pool.

From Our Guest Book:

24th September — 09th October

Dear Greg & Isabel,

Thank you so much for your lovely apartment & making us feel so welcome in what we have been calling a home away from home.  Look foward to seeing ye again in the future as we definately plan on coming back.


Mark & Cathrina

2014 October- Clive and Carol Woolley

DSC09170Carol and Clive did not get bothered by the wishy-washy weather we happened to have  – a week of rain showers interceded with clear skies. They went to Lagos, Silves, Alvor – and explored this area going into town and the coast, for long walks. They had a good break from their busy lives in Birmingham and it was lovely to have them!

2014 October – Sharon and Nathan

West Coast Beach -

West Coast Surfing Beach

October 2014,

Sharon and Nathan are from Nottingham, England. Unfortunately, we were away during their visit, so we didn’t have the chance to meet.  However, by the reports, we learned that they were able to explore the whole of the Algarve, leaving the apartment early in the morning and returning after a full day of touring. We hope they enjoyed their stay and that they might be motivated to visit again so we can finally meet.

From Our Guest Book:

2nd Nov. 2014

We have enjoyed our stay in the Villa do Vale.  We had a warm welcome, and the bag of ‘goodies’ was a lovely surprise.  We have felt at home and  your apartment is well equipped and a lovely place to stay with the benefit of both a pool and a garden.  We have had a great time exploring western Algarve too!!

2014 Winter – Kurt and Marlene

DSC07891Feb. 2014  

Our very good friends, Kurt and Marlene Kuehl stopped by on their way home from their exciting trip to South Africa-  They’ll make it back to Ketchikan eventually, via California were Kurt is going to try out his new golf swing that he perfected while in Portugal.  And Marlene will be off to Anchorage to dog sit for Kristen and David before finally returning to K-Town.

We had the best time together; as always, it’s just so great being with our dearest friends from times way beyond our recent memory.

Kurt tried out the Archery range that is just down the road and shot several wild animals (3-D target types).  He said it was fun, but I’m sure he’d must rather have been up on some mountain shooting the real thing.

Kurt sighting in on target

Kurt sighting in on the target

From Our Guest Book:

Greg  and Isabel,  As we expected, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your lovely home, the beach walks, dining in and out. and exploring the area.  Most of all, we treasure reconnecting our friendship and sharing stories from the past and our plans for the future.  We hope to see you again, soon! and wish you good health in the coming year.  Your friends, love Marlene & Kurt 

And thanks for the golf lessons and all the special Portuguese wines and liquors  AND the time spent at the archery range.  Hope to return some favors in Bend this fall.  Your Friend, Kurt,


Filed under 2013-2014, Our guests