If you are looking for secluded Algarve hotels  offering great hospitality then Rocha de Gralheira is well worth checking out. I took this picture of Jack the proprietor some years ago as we checked out. We go back to the Algarve sometimes twice a year and always fit in a stay at Rocha de Gralheira. It started off as an enormous dining room serving excellent food at very reasonable prices with rooms for guests who stay over. There’s a swimming pool as well and you need to be told about a place like this.  You would never ever find a great place like this to stay at on the Algarve, not even by chance.

We like Jack’s place, better know as Rocha da Gralheira  because we feel completely at home. After a big evening meal, we just walk upstairs and that’s it until the next day. No driving, no worries about finding our way anywhere, We know our  bed’s not more than 80 metres from the dinner table.  Jack hasn’t changed at all over the years but the reception behind him sure has.

We know that we’ll probably spend more on dinner than the cost of our room and that we might share the dining room with a wedding celebration or a communion party. At breakfast we have the whole spotless dining room to ourselves.

At night, I can look out at the lights in the valley below San Bras and hear nothing but a dog barking. In the early morning, I can just make out the crow of cockerels in the distance.

It takes us four and a half hours to get from Marbella to Jack’s just outside San Bras de Alportel. From Faro airport to Rocha de Graheira it’s not more than 17 kms inland and four minute’s drive from San Bras de Alportel.

If you are looking for glitter and show on holiday and the company of lots of others, Jack’s is not for you. If you just want to be yourself and feel absolutely free to come and go and feel totally welcome, do give Rocha de Gralheira a  try.


  1. Hi Stacey, I'm very glad that your travelling worked out well and that my suggestions were helpful.

    Also, I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to write back and tell me how things went.

    Next time you are out here, I hope you'll count on me again for any help.

    Very best wishes from Marbella Stacey and thanks for writing in again.


  2. thanks for your advise we got the bus easy and saved loads of money by not getting taxi's we even use the link you sent to get a bus one day from sabinilla to Puerto Banus and had a fab day!

    Thanks again your site is a great idea and must help so many people its always daunting going to a country place never been before and trying to get around.


  3. Hi Stacey, thank you very much for taking the time to look through Gomarbella and also for writing back, I really appreciate having feedback.

    I was looking at my last reply to you and where I said Manilva, I should have said Sabanillas but I'm sure you guessed that.

    I hope the timetable works out OK, let me know if a taxi is needed and I'll check the price with the La Linea taxi company. Right outside the frontier, on the Spanish side, there is a big taxi rank and that will be the most convenient place to get a taxi if the bus doesn't work out.

    Tomorrow at midday I'm driving halfway up Portugal and then on Thursday I'll follow the Douro river down to the coast and then continue up through Porto to Vigo back in Spain again. It's my first visit to Galicia and I'm really looking forward to going there!

    Have a good journey Stacey if we don't speak before.


  4. Hello I will be flying into Gibraltar 4th June but staying in duquesa was thinking of either getting a taxi from la linea and how much that would cost or wondered if any buses actually go there? I have tried looking on the portillo links for timetables and schedules but they are not working. Any help would be appreciated

    Many thanks Stacey

  5. Hi May, you are very welcome. If you write back to me nearer the time, I'll check in more detail for you.

    Perhaps with the fluctuating fuel prices it was just too difficult for the Portillo bus company to keep updating the fares list.

    May's a very good month to travel, you have only a promise of the summer heat and the temperatures are generally very comfortable.

    Best wishes May, Mike

  6. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for letting me know how much it cost; it will certainly help us budget for the trip. We would be heading there only in May.


  7. Hi May

    I'm really sorry to have replied after so long. Somehow I missed the message from you and found it quite by chance just now looking back in my inbasket for something else.

    Thank you very much for the alert that the bus fares link wasn't working. The Portillo bus company had taken their page off the internet and so I have the link you mentioned.

    It's late in the evening and no one will be answering the Portillo customer attention phone so from memory and guessing a little, Sevilla to Fuengirola will be around €18, Fuengirola to Mijas Pueblo, €2.50 one way and the train from Fuengirola to Malaga airport less than €5.00.

    I hope that helps your planning May, sorry not to be more precise but I thought it best to get this off to you rather than wait till tomorrow.

    Good luck with your travels, it will be good to hear from you how it all goes when you have time.


  8. Hi Mike,

    I just wanted to alert you that the Portillo url showing bus fares posted on your website is no longer working (www.ctsa-portillo.es/ima/pdf/tarifas.pdf)

    Do you know what are the estimated bus fares for "Sevilla-Fuengirola", "Fuengiro-Mijas" and "Mijas-Fuengirola", as well train fare from Fuengirola to Malaga airport? I checked Portillo and Renfe websites but was unable to find it. Thank you very much.

  9. Hello Durai

    Thank you for writing in again. I did publish your question and also answered it over the weekend on the blog where you first wrote to me "Malaga Airport to Puerto Banus by bus"

    If you have difficulty finding my answer, then just copy the title of the blog above including speech marks and search for it in Google and it will come up. If you still can't find it, write back to me on this page and I'll copy it here.

    Good luck and thanks for trying again! Mike


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