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Architect / artist converted 17th C' farmhouse in World Heritage Site

Mary St.George

Member since: 2009
Call Owner
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Speaks: english, french, spanish, portuguese
Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights

Contact the Owner

Mary St.George

Member since: 2009
Speaks: english, french, spanish, portuguese
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 20, 2015
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Architect / artist converted 17th C' farmhouse in World Heritage Site

Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


Colares House Rental Photos and Description

4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, from 4 to 8 adults

Casa do Celeiro was discovered by its architect / artist owners in 1980. It was a ruin which had been the stable/barn of a 'quinta'(manor house and farm). The main attractions of the site were its views of the Serra and the sea and its seclusion and intimacy due to being a courtyard built into a hill. The house today has the same basic format but is now suitable for self-catering groups of 4 to 8. There is an 8m dia. pool at the top of the property and a stone terrace with pergola and large garden in front of the Cottage. The Cottage has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large sit-in conservatory on upper level with view to private courtyard. The kitchen / living room are on the ground floor and the annex 10 metres across the courtyard is ideal for a couple. It has a double bed, en suite bathroom with a small terrace facing the Serra and sea. The house is comfortably furnished and although not luxurious it is charming and rustic. The tranquil setting, fabulous views of sea and hills and close proximity to Almoçageme the local village make this property a magnificent retreat.

The Cottage (6) prices are listed under rates and the Cottage + Annex (8) prices are explained under the section 'Additional information about rental rates'

Art Courses: The owners live on site in separate quarters. They work as artists and offer short courses from time to time. Guests may be interested in participating in the drawing & painting or etching courses and are encouraged to indicate their interest when booking. Alan designs and makes contemporary sculpture and jewelery. Mary is a painter and a printer. Please ask owners for their website for more details / photos of house, courses, and area.

Piano: there is an old upright piano (Hoffmann) in the Cottage living room which although slightly out of tune and with worn keys is quite ok for sight reading and composing but not for recitals.

Owners' Background: Alan who is British worked as an architect in London at BDP (Building Design Partnership). He qualified at the AA (Architectural Association). When he moved to Portugal he opened an architectural office in Cascais in 1980. He retired in 1992. He nows paints watercolours and designs and makes scupture and jewellery. Mary, American, also worked as an architect, having completed her diploma at the Central London Poly (now Westminster College). She also has degrees in Art History, International Education and painting and etching. She was head of the Art Department at St. Julian's School in Lisbon and continues to teach on a part time basis. She and Alan exhibit their work regularly. The owner's websites: (Mary) and (Alan). There is also a subheading, 'The Gallery' on the website (

Golf, tennis, beaches: Several golf courses within 20 minute drive. Beloura is considered the best golf course for tourists as it has a more open and friendly atmosphere ( Tennis and water sports within 10 minutes. 3 beaches within 5-10 minutes drive: Praias (beach) das Maças, Adraga and Grande all have restaurants and cafes on waterfront / Guincho Beach (15 minutes drive) has international surfing / wind surfing and excellent up market restaurants / Praia Grande has surfing lessons and hire.

A Biker’s Paradise

One of the major advantages of the positioning of our house is that it is right in the Serra de Sintra with splendid views up and down the Lisbon coast. For a mountain biker this is very advantageous as we are at the entrance of one the mountain roads so you can ride directly into the Serra. From this road thre are many dirt paths to take you deeper into the Serra. We also have one mountain bike on loan.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Mary St.George (Owner)
Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, french, spanish, portuguese
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 20, 2015

Why Mary St.George chose Colares

We found a 17th ruin (barn and stable) attached to an old 'quinta' (up-market farm) and as architects took our time developing it for our family and now for guests.

What makes this house unique

World Heritage Site (Serra de Sintra), secluded setting with panoramic views of Atlantic and Serra. Close enough to amenities but away from noise and crowds. Converted by owners / architects. Full of paintings, etchings and sculpture. A place for artists to retreat to work or relax. Mary open to teach art students in her studio.

Old upright piano. There is a sturdy Hoffman piano which is fine for sight reading and composing but not for recitals. Slightly out of tune and with worn keys but still fun to play on.


One of the advantages of our position in the Serra de Sintra is that we are within easy reach of spotting interesting local birds. Our house is on the edge of the Serra (Pé da Serra, Colares, Sintra) so that one can walk up into the low wooded mountains directly from the house. There is also a link (Portuguese) with more information:

Some of the local birds in the area include: Sparrow Hawk, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Swift, Green Woodpecker, Black Cap Warbler, ‘Ferreinha alpina’ among others.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We have rented many times in Europe but have never felt so at home as here. We loved the paintings, the views, the walks and especially Alma(dog). The 'festa' of the Bombeiros (volunteer firemen) in Almoçageme was wonderful. The band and dancers made us feel like we were traveling to a different place. The restaurant the bombeiros made was wonderful. Food, ambiance, etc.!!! I loved watching the waves at the gap in Adraga beach. The changes in weather have been startling but the house is so homey that even a severe storm just made you curl up (without regret) with a book. The best of all was conversation with Alan and Mary. Thanks so much. Jonee & Bob Nehus
Oct 2010
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Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights
Travel with confidence
Travel with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
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based on 17 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Architect / artist converted 17th C' farmhouse in World Heritage Site
average rating of 4.7647057 based on 18 reviews

Comfort, convenience, elegance

  • 5 of 5

Mary and Alan St. George.s house has a fabulous view and wonderful location. The rooms are comfortable and very well equipped. There is a communal kitchen, again very well equipped, a comfortable lounge, a great terrace and huge garden in which to wander or just lounge. The swimming pool, right up at the top of the property, is like an infinity pool...round and, at the right angle, all you can see is the sea beyond. Fabulous. The nearby village, Almocageme, is an unspoiled, non-touristy gem. Nearby is an innovative cafe and gallery and Sintra and beyond can be reached by the hourly bus from the bottom of the drive. Nearby too are many good local restaurants and beaches. This is really a pearl of a property in an area that has resisted tourist tackiness and exploitation and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. If you are in a group, Mary can introduce you to a great local cook, Sarah, who will bring an excellent and innovative local meal for you each evening at a reasonable cost. That and Mary's hospitality made our holiday perfect.

  • Submitted: Jul 28, 2014
  • Stayed: Jul 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We were truly delighted to meet this charming extended family from all over who came for their annual reunion/holiday. We also learned that sometimes guests really want a cook so that was a new idea which we are planning to offer as an option. Thank you for staying at Casa do Celeiro!

Spacious, architectural, artistic, central!!!!

  • 5 of 5

We loved this property - Casa do Celeiro, the area- Almocageme, Sintra, Cascais, Lisbon, and the hosts - Mary and Allan!

First, the property. Everywhere you look there are beautiful architectural details. It is like staying in an art gallery with Mary's paintings inside and Allan's sculptures outside throughout the property. The pool is lovely, and while we didn't go in in April it was almost warm enough too. I'm sure it is very refreshing after a long day of exploring the area. We did read and nap on the lounge chairs most afternoons with the view of the ocean and sunset visible from the pool terrace the upper terrace above the pool.

The area- The property is centrally located 45-60 minutes from Lisbon airport and driving directions are quite simple. Once there, is it about 5 minutes to the local village and grocery store in Almocageme, 15 minutes to Sintra and Cascais and less then 5 min to Praica Adraga and Praica Grande, the local beaches and their restaurants. It was lovely to take day trips and then come back to the unit.

Food- We found good grocery shopping including gluten free, soy and almond products which we needed for one person, in most stores- more selection in the large stores. Several local markets in and around Almocageme also. While, it is necessary to drive a short distance to all restaurants, it was well worth it.

Running, hiking, biking- directly from the driveway of the property, there is a walking/hiking path into the serra, the forest of Sintra national park. My husband and daughter's boyfriend also ran every day on the adjacent road and it was a highlight of their trip.

The Owners and Hosts- Mary was extremely helpful and timely with responding to my questions pre-arrival, dealing with the booking and payment, suggestions for activities, restaurants, etc.

Off-season comments- We arrived the end of April with a full range of clothing, knowing that warm weather wasn't guaranteed. All stores and sites were open. While we had some rainy and overcast days, there were always periods of clear sky on the same days. We stayed warm and toasty in the greenhouse room where we (4) ate most meals, read and napped. We also used the wood fireplace in living room and Mary turned on space heaters where/as requested. The grounds were filled with flowers and trees ranging from newly blooming roses bushes and wisteria to Palm trees, all very lush. Must be even more amazing as season progresses!

All in all a wonderful vacation!

  • Submitted: May 11, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so tickled by this review. A lovely family who really appreciated it all here. Something as well that we forget is that for hikers and runners we are very well placed as the Serra is on our doorstep literally. Thank you!!!

enchanting and romantic house and surroundings

  • 4 of 5

This is an enchanting house in a very beautiful setting! You can enjoy the peace of nature as well experience city life in Lisbon within a 45-minute drive. We had an amazing time, the pool is great, the spacious rooms and privacy if there are two or more couples staying is fantastic, the fireplace, the friendly and helpful owners,a.s.o. It s great for a short stay but even better if you stay longer and can take time to enjoy it to the full!

  • Submitted: May 7, 2014
  • Stayed: Apr 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are really pleased to be getting bookings in off peak periods as the weather is mild throughout the year. The night storage heaters do their job but the fireplace is a lovely and useful extra feature when needed.

Charming, beautiful cottage with hospitable owners

  • 5 of 5

The cottage exceeded our expectations in terms of amenities, location, and just the overall feel of the place. The location was a good home base for day trips. It was perfect for 5 women traveling together. Outdoor space a real plus, even though it turned unseasonably cool toward the end of our stay. Alan and Mary could not have been better hosts, attentive to all our needs and good resource of where to go, how to get there, and what to do. Excellent customer service. Would definitely recommend.

  • Submitted: Sep 27, 2013
  • Stayed: Sep 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: So delighted to meet a group from my 'terra' who seemed to enjoy and appreciate everything to the fullest despite some inclement weather. Hopefully we can entice some more Americans to venture to this not so well know but beautiful spot on the Iberian Atlantic coast. Thank you!

Beautifull Place

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in this beautifull Cottage for 2 weeks. We are 2 Familys each with two Kids from Germany. It was such a good time and the house has everything what is needfull for 8 People. Especially the Kids loved the 8m pool and also the adults could relax there or in the wide garden with always a new amazing view down to the atlantic ocean. The hole property was clean and well maintained and the owners are very helpfull in all questions. Mary doing nice Art Work and the dog Alma always take care arround the property. The little pure village Almocagem nearby has everything what was necessary during our time in Pe da Serra, including the best fish Restaurant on the beach. Lisboa, Cascais and Sintra and a lot off beautifull beaches are all arround the Corner. I will recommend this place to friends who are looking for something special. Our Holiday trip was a good mixture of Pure Nature, Tourist Atractions and the best Atlantic Ocean beaches in europe we could find. Including relaxed times on the property with a charming contact to the owners and enough place for our 4 Boys.

We will come back !! Reinhard from Germany

  • Submitted: Sep 2, 2013
  • Stayed: Aug 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are blown away by this very flattering review. It is a special relationship one has with holiday guests and this one could easily be one of the nicest experiences for us. Thank you and yes come back! Best, M & A

One of the most memorable trips

  • 4 of 5

It was one of the most memorable vacations for me. The house had everything we need - it was beautiful, comfortable, and well equipped with every convenience. Its location was great, close to Sintra, Cascais, Lisboa... and the view was to die for. We had dinner out on the front patio a few times and watched the spectacular sunset color the distant sky. This house was our home away from home. Every time we came back from our day trip, we were always eager to return to the welcoming embrace of the home on the hill. Mary was more than wonderful and kind to us. She gave us helpful tips as to where to buy food or listen to Fado or to take the Cascais train to Lisbon so we could enjoy the beautiful ocean view. She let my mother-in-law stay an extra half day so she wouldn't have to wait in the airport and better yet, she fed her :-). Her kindness was the icing on the cake which made this trip even more special. One suggestion on directions to the house: look for the km cement markers (low) on the right of the road. The house is between 85 and 86 km, I think. Come stay at Casa do Celeiro. You will love it. Gloria Liu, Boston Massachusetts

  • Submitted: Jun 26, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Such a pleasure to meet this family who seemed to love the house, the area, the country and just breathed it all in. Wish we could have controlled the weather but they didn't seem to mind. Thanks for this!


Nearest Airport
35 Kilometres
Lisbon, 1 hour
Nearest Barpub
1 Kilometres
Café/Bar (Village of Almoçageme, 3 minutes by car)
Nearest Ferry
30 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
10 Kilometres
Nearest Train
15 Kilometres
Sintra & Cascais
Nearest Motorway
14 Kilometres
A5 motorway
Nearest Beach
3 Kilometres
Praia da Adraga
Car: necessary

Lord Byron’s letter to his mother, August 11, 1809

‘The village of Cintra about 15 miles from the capitol is perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe, it contains beauties of every description natural and artificial, Palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts, and precipices, convents on stupendous heights a distant view of the sea and the Tagus, …..’

Sintra is a World Heritage Site. In June and early July there is a classical music festival and the concerts take place in a number of stunning quinta's (manor houses) and palaces. There is a huge range of historic monuments and gardens to visit (National Palace in Sintra Vila, Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, Capuchos - convent built into rock, Quinta de Regaleira - turn of the century palace and gardens full of grottos and follies and Monserrate Gardens among others. The Sintra Modern Art Museum and Olga Cadaval Culture Centre have up-to-date and exciting exhibitions and concerts.

Other Activities: art courses on site

Golf: Many people like to stay a bit further away from the center so that they can for example enjoy a golfing holiday but also visit the historic sites in Sintra as well as its many lovely beaches which are a bit off the normal tourist track. As we are situated halfway between Sintra Vila and Cascais/Estoril we offer the quiet and beauty of the Serra de Sintra (World Heritage Site) which has many stunning historic gardens and old palaces and castles but are close enough to the golf courses and other activities in Cascais and Estoril which is 15 minutes away. Walking in the Sintra hills is easy from our house and if you like the company of our dog Alma she is always willing to oblige.


Rates & Availability

From €100 Per night

Colares House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Middle 2
Mar 29 2015 - Jun 26 2015
Changeover Day: Saturday
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add €30 per night, per additional guest
Jun 27 2015 - Sep 4 2015
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add €60 per night, per additional guest
Sep 5 2015 - Nov 6 2015
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add €30 per night, per additional guest
Nov 7 2015 - Dec 18 2015
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add €30 per night, per additional guest
Dec 19 2015 - Jan 2 2016
5 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit €100.00
Notes prices above are for a group of 6 (The Cottage).
Prices for 8 (Cottage + Annex) are as follows/week:
Low: €910
Middle: €1330
High: €1750
30% at booking by bank transfer or Paypal / balance in cash on arrival or bank transfer 4 weeks prior to arrival
Enter dates to see total


Colares House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 200 m²
Location Type:
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Water View ...
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Activities Guide
  • Basic Soaps
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , bidet
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , bidet
  • Bathroom 1 is shared by the 2 bedrooms on the upper level of the Cottage. Bathroom 2 is on ground floor of Cottage. Bathroom 3 is in the Annex. It has been recently refurbished with an obscured glass wall between it and sleeping area.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 twin/ single , faces sea, upper level
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single , faces sea, upper level
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double , 1 child bed , 1 baby crib , faces private couryard, ground floor
    Bedroom 4 - 1 double , Annex, faces private couryard
  • The 2 bedrooms upstairs in the cottage share a bathroom (bedrooms1 & 2). The single beds can be pushed together in bedrooms 1 and 2. Bedroom 3 has a double bed and is on the ground floor with bathroom in hall. It also accommodates a baby cot and child's bed. The cot can be moved to either of the upstairs bedrooms. The Annex (bedroom 4) has its own bathroom and a double bed. All bathrooms have a heated towel rail. All rooms have night storage heaters. The annex has a wood burning stove. The rooms are decorated with paintings and etchings. They have good storage for clothes and comfortable seats or lounge chairs. The 2 upper level cottage bedrooms have stunning sea views. The conservatory has a large sit-in space facing the courtyard. Bedroom 3 faces a private courtyard and the Annex faces the same courtyard and also has a small terrace with views of the sea and the serra (wooded hills) which surround the house. Bed linen and towels are changed week
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Piano
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Balcony
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Courtyard
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Fully Fenced Property
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Patio
  • Small Cooler
  • Terrace
  • 8 garden chairs
  • 6 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • festivals
  • forests
  • marina
  • museums
  • nude beach
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Self-catering guests are self-contained with their own kitchen/living/sleeping quarters. It is possible to arrange a cook in the evenings. The many stairs and hilly environment make it very difficult for wheelchair access. The garden has many fruit trees (apple, pear, lemon, plum, fig). There are 4 reclining chairs at the pool + 5 chairs. The house backs onto the Serra so guests can go on walks without having to get into a car. There is a beautiful mountain road on the doorstep where biking enthusiasts can explore the area. Two bikes on site are available for guests. As the owners are artists and have their studios on site, guests may participate in courses in drawing & painting or etching with prior arrangement and depending on group size. Walks directly behind house into the wooded hills of the Serra de Sintra with stunning views up and down the coast. Interesting sites: Peninha, Capuchos, Malveira village.

Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website:

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