Two cottages set in immaculately kept gardens offering self-catering accommodation for 4 to 6 people. The estate is tucked into the bend of a river, has a swimming pool and is within walking distance of a variety of beaches. The property is at the end of a rough lane and quite secluded, offering a high level of privacy, yet the town of Vila Praia de Âncora is conveniently close for restaurants, shops and other amenities. The mill that gives the property its name is beautifully restored and visitors have the use of the ground floor to play table tennis. Nearby are the beaches of the Costa Verde, and the historic Minho region offers fantastic opportunities for touring a corner of Europe that is still relatively unknown and unaffected by the worst excesses of modern development, although a new motorway network provides easy access to airports and major cities. A great place to relax for a romantic getaway, or to take the family for a seaside holiday that's just off the beaten track.
Beaches: The family seaside resort of Vila Praia de Âncora is 2km away, and it's possible to walk to it by fording the stream in the garden then following a quaint village lane. Either side of it, the many safe, clean beaches of the Costa Verde stretch for miles - surf beaches, sandy, rocky, wide, discreet, family, romantic beaches - you can go to a different one each day to suit your mood. At Afife there's a surfing beach (and surf/body boarding lessons); at Caminha there's a beach with one side on the Atlantic, the other on the River Minho; or you can hire a ferryman to take you out to a deserted island; on Serra de Arga there are fresh mountain pools and waterfalls; and there are also warm, sheltered river beaches on the Rivers Lima and Minho.
Touring the countryside and historic towns: For rugged, wild countryside, visit the Peneda-Gerês National Park, or go further to the Douro Valley. The village lies at the base of Serra d'Arga (784m), and the villages and country lanes in its hills offer a landscape from an earlier era. There's a wetland nature reserve at Lagoas, in Bertiandes. History, churches and monuments, culture and nightlife abound in a dozen towns within a short drive, or for more sophisticated entertainment, there's the Casino at Póvoa de Varzim. For the more active, there's karting, canoeing, surfing, 10-pin bowling, fishing, cycling and horse riding. A visit to the World Heritage City of Oporto is a must, as are the traditional local Romarias, with folklore, singing, dancing, decorative crafts and the famous cuisine of the Minho region. And there are restaurants galore, serving the famous Minho dishes.