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Hidden away in quiet, discreet, woodland gardens, with large pool

Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • Cottage430 sq. ft.
  • Bedrooms1
  • Sleeps2
  • Bathrooms1
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay5 nights

1 double bedroom, 1 bathroom, open-plan kitchen/lounge; sleeps 2 maximum

The Dacha is a simple yet well-appointed and surprisingly spacious cottage set amongst the trees and terraced gardens of the owners’ house, on the outskirts of a hill village a few kilometres inland from the beaches of Portugal’s Costa Verde. There's one large double bedroom looking out towards the pool, bathroom and an open plan living room with kitchenette and dining area, opening on to a terrace and barbecue area adjacent to the gardens, swimming pool and lily pond. The cottage was new in 2006, and has been tastefully furnished and equipped with painstaking care, with lots of little extras designed to make your holiday more comfortable. Visitors can enjoy the various lower terraces of the property, with their variety of woodland and orchard areas, shrubberies and flowering borders.

Beaches and Golf: The family seaside resort of Vila Praia de Âncora is about 15km away, and either side of it, along a 50km stretch, are the many safe, clean beaches of the Costa Verde - 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, within 8km.

For golfers, the excellent Ponte de Lima course is 20km away. Part of “a bucolic scenery of mountains, vineyards and fruit gardens”, it's a course typical of the Minho region. Par 71, 6005m, including Portugal's longest hole at 622m (par 5).

Touring, tourism: For those who enjoy rural sightseeing, just touring around, or taking some long walks, there's the rugged, wild countryside of Peneda-Gerês National Park, and further away the Douro Valley provides plenty of opportunity. The villages and country lanes of Alto Minho offer a landscape from an earlier era; and Serra d’Arga (784m) provides great views in all directions. For more sophisticated entertainment, there's the Casino in Póvoa, and plenty of history, culture and night-life in a dozen towns within a short drive. There's karting, canoeing, surfing and fishing, and the World Heritage City of Porto. The traditional Romarias, folklore, singing, dancing and decorative crafts and costumes provide an unusual taste of the local culture. And the famed cuisine of the Minho region can be found in restaurants galore, accompanied by Portuguese wine - one of the world's best kept secrets!

Property Manager

Bergen Peck

Member Since 2006
Response rate:
Response time:
within one day
english, french, spanish, portuguese
Calendar last updated:
Mar 24, 2018


    • Internet
    • Swimming pool
    • Accessible
    • Parking


      • 1 Bedrooms, Sleeps 2
      • Bedroom 1
        1 double
      • The bedroom is spacious, with plenty of wardrobe space, heater/fan (depending on season) and large window with mosquito net looking out to the gardens and pool. We provide bath robes, and also offer as a gift Burel travel bedroom slippers, hand made in Portugal's highest mountains. Original art on the wall, quality bed linen and an extensive library of novels (you can take the novels you're reading home with you as long as you leave books you've read behind).


      • 1 Bathroom
      • Bathroom 1
        toilet, shower
      • Hair dryer is provided. Towels are provided. Soap and toilet paper are provided.

      Location Type

        • Mountain
        • Rural


            • Away From It All
            • Romantic


                • Guests provide their own meals


                    • Local Restaurant Guide
                    • Activities Guide
                    • Hair Dryer
                    • Internet
                      Free wi-fi internet accessible from parts of garden, and sometimes inside the cottage. Good mobile phone signal.
                    • Linens Provided
                      Bed linen and towels changed weekly.
                    • Living Room
                    • Basic Soaps
                    • Parking
                    • Parking Off Street
                    • Toilet Paper
                    • Towels Provided
                    • Free Wifi


                        • Coffee Maker
                          Traditional 'italiano' stove-top coffee maker.
                        • Cooking Utensils
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                        • Grill
                        • Kitchen
                          Small, part of the open plan living area, but well equipped with oven, gas hob, fridge, kettle, toaster, coffee machine, juice maker, sink, and a good range of utensils, crockery and cutlery.
                        • Oven
                        • Pantry Items
                          Spices and condiments, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and paper kitchen towels always provided, as well as any food left from previous guests still in good condition.
                        • Refrigerator
                        • Stove
                        • Toaster


                            • Dining Area
                            • comfy seating for 2 people


                                • Books
                                  Good library of novels and other books, mostly in English, but also other languages. Take them with you if you haven't finished, but leave yours that you finished with.
                                • CD Player
                                • Games
                                  Cards, jigsaws and some board games.
                                • Radio
                                • Stereo
                                  CD player and radio.


                                    • Beach Towels
                                    • Lawn / Garden
                                      Extensive steeply terraced mature gardens, with woodland, lawns and areas of flowers and shrubs.
                                    • Outdoor Grill
                                    • Tennis
                                      Available free of charge in the village, on request (you need your own racquets and balls.
                                    • Terrace


                                        • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                        • not suitable for children
                                        • smoking allowed
                                        • wheelchair accessible

                                          Pool / Spa

                                            • Communal Pool
                                              Pool 11 metres by 5 metres (at the widest point), and from 1.4 metres to 2m deep. In theory, shared with the owners, but they rarely use it while guests are in the Dacha.
                                            • Outdoor Pool

                                              Onsite Services

                                                • Massage


                                                    • autumn foliage
                                                    • forests
                                                    • pond
                                                    • restaurants
                                                    • waterfalls

                                                      Leisure Activities

                                                        • bird watching
                                                        • horseback riding
                                                        • scenic drives
                                                        • sight seeing
                                                        • walking

                                                          Local Services & Businesses

                                                            • massage therapist

                                                              Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                                • cycling
                                                                • fishing
                                                                • golf
                                                                • hiking
                                                                • mountain biking
                                                                • surfing
                                                                • swimming
                                                                • tennis


                                                                    • Outside, the gardens are full of discreet corners and terraces where you can sit and get away from it all - a pond, a shrubbery, by the 11m x 5m pool, amongst the vines and fruit trees, in the potted plant garden. A good range of garden furniture is provided. The garden is surrounded by trees, so while you can always find somewhere to lie by the pool in the full sun, there's also plenty of shade, and the cottage itself is pleasantly cool all day long, offering a welcome respite from the summer sun. The pool is shared with the owners, though they tend not to use it when there are visitors in the Dacha. Visitors have access to the village sports facilities (tennis, etc). Massage is available in the Dacha, in the gardens or by the pool. All bed linen and towels (including pool towels) are provided. For days at the beach, sunshades, wind breaks and beach towels are also provided.

                                                                      House Rules

                                                                      Check-in: Flexible

                                                                      Check-out: Flexible

                                                                      Cancellation Policy

                                                                      100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                                      18 Reviews


                                                                      Latest reviews

                                                                      A fantastic spot to recharge the batteries!

                                                                      H & DDundee, Scotland

                                                                      The Dacha is the perect choice if you want a quiet and tranquil break to get away from it all. Set in beautiful surroundings, the accommodation offers everything you require and is much more spacious than most one bedroon accommmodation. It offers all the necessary kitchenware should you wish to eat in but the restaurants recommendations provided by the owners are fantastic and should definitely be tried.

                                                                      We didn't do much sightseeing preferring to relax by the pool reading books, but the countryside is beautiful and definitely worth expoloring.

                                                                      Would thoroughly recommend the Dacha for a relaxing break.

                                                                      Owner's Response:

                                                                      We have tried to provide all you might need to be fully self-catering, but we really do recommend eating out. The local Minho cuisine is highly regarded all over Portugal - and neighbouring Galicia, and the food is wholesome, varied, served in grand proportions and cheap. Eating out is a way of life here (with all the family - children are welcome everywhere), and there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. We've written a personal guide that offers advice not just on where to go and what to expect, but also on where not to go (many of the restaurants recommended by the standard tourist guidebooks!). You'll be assured of an excellent meal, with excellent Portuguese wine (one of the world's best kept secrets), and a warm welcome, and following our guide means you could eat somewhere different every day and never be disappointed. In fact, our "week of gastronomic delights" will take you 10 days (it was too difficult to reduce the top recommendations to just 7!).

                                                                      nice place, not as quiet as hoped

                                                                      Trevor P.

                                                                      Good accommodation, amenities and location. Not as quiet as we hoped because of neighbour's dogs and almost constant chain sawing of trees.

                                                                      Rural idyll in the Minho Region.

                                                                      Belinda T.

                                                                      We had a relaxing and reinvigorating time in the Dacha. It is in a very beautiful and private setting. Particular highpoints were the amazing large pool (which the owners allowed us to use very privately whist they stayed in Porto for most of the week, their farmhouse property being in very close proximity to the Dacha), and the amazing mature and beautiful garden with lots of cool spots to escape the hot sun but also lots of sun traps to enjoy the heat too! The accommodation seemed secondary to the wonderful outdoor life the location afforded us (this might have been different if it had rained all week!). The Dacha itself is relaxed and simple, well equipped and straight forward. However, one recommendation that I would make is perhaps some sort of ventilation for the toilet (it can get very damp and humid) and some artwork on the walls to give a sense of place and character (the bedroom was particularly stark) and an iPod dock which would help guests create more of an ambience. Additionally, we found the outdoor lighting to be in need of upgrading. Coming back from the excellent local restaurants in Viana or Ponte de Lima in the dark was slightly daunting and we had to use our phone torches to walk through the undergrowth to the property. It would also be nice to sit outside the property at night without the aid of all the internal lights. However these minor quibbles are far outweighed by the tranquil and lush garden setting with the amazing sounds of church bells, farm animals and trees rustling. This was our everlasting memory of a lovely week spent at the Dacha!

                                                                      Very lovely stay except for bugs and humidity

                                                                      Tamara D.

                                                                      The Dacha is a truly quiet and peaceful place to stay once you get used to the barking village dogs.

                                                                      It is situated within easy driving distance of many sites and beautiful villages and cities with lots of activities for everyone to enjoy. A car is essential to explore the area.

                                                                      The beautiful setting in nature has its drawbacks in our experience. Do take precautions if you are sensitive to stinging insects. We found the house itself humid, this may have been enhanced by the seven rainy days of our ten-day stay in September.

                                                                      We enjoyed a very nice welcome from the owner with fruit and bread amongst other items to get us started when we arrived in the evening. We also loved the beautiful clean pool with potted plants to keep the bugs away and several other lovely plants and fruit trees in the garden.

                                                                      The lights in the terrace will guide your way when you get back in the evening to the Dacha when its dark.

                                                                      Do try several restaurants which the owners mention. We had the second best dining experience in our lives at Azeite e Alho in Apúlia. Wonderful tasty food, delicious wine and excellent service.

                                                                      The owners are at your service if you need anything and are very friendly as well are the Portugese people whom you will meet.

                                                                      All and all a very lovely stay if you don’t mind the bugs and the humidity.


                                                                      Richard M.

                                                                      We had a fantastic week in the Dacha. The Minho region in Northern Portugal is delightful. The setting of the Dacha is like being in a Japanese garden with fruiting fig tree and sweet chestnut. Enjoyed our bbq's on the patio but equally eating out especially Tasquinha da Linda in Viana. The Serra D'Arga area is a discoverable wonder with mountain steams, cascades and waterfalls. Portuguese wines are fantastic especially Alvarinho.

                                                                      Our only criticism was the damp, which affected the bed linen, towels and cupboards, which the owners need to address. Otherwise recommend this place to anyone!

                                                                      Owner's Response:

                                                                      Very glad these visitors enjoyed their week, but there's so much more to see and experience, so we hope they'll come again. We appreciated their honesty about the damp problem - it exists in so many houses in this region, perhaps due to the methods of construction and the tendency to have wet winters. It was also unfortunate that there had been some heavy rain immediately before their arrival. We would point out that on being alerted to the problem, we immediately took action to at least provide fresh bed linen. Perhaps that and the ensuing sunshine solved the problem....

                                                                      The Dacha

                                                                      Wieke J.

                                                                      The roadtrip to the Dacha house was beautiful, as well as the surroundings and the location of the little house.

                                                                      Everything you need in a house is there; from kitchenequipment, to a detailed advice map of the owners for daytrips and restaurants, to enough towels and linnen.

                                                                      Unfortunately we had a lot of rain during our stay (except for our last day which we spend by the pool), but we had a good time playing games, reading books and making daytrips to Viana do Castelo, Braga and other cities.

                                                                      The garden is amazing, with fruits and flowers. And, of course, insects; which you don't have to mind too much; that's all part of the deal when you are staying in nature. It is quiet (some dogs barking, but you get used to it) and the air outside is fresh and clean. We enjoyed our stay a lot.


                                                                      Viana do Castelo, Portugal

                                                                      The cottage is strategically placed for access to the beaches of the Costa Verde as well as the wild hills of the National Park and the historic towns and villages that are part of the Minho landscape. The Spanish border is close by, and there's also easy access to World Heritage Porto. The village is near to Viana do Castelo (the main historic port of the region), Ponte de Lima (the distinctive centre of Minho tourism) and Vila Praia de Âncora (a pleasant fishing village and family seaside resort), which are all about 15km away and easily reached either by winding country lanes or by motorway. It's an attractive, scattered hillside place of about 300 people, in a heavily wooded zone (pine and eucalyptus) on the way up to Serra d'Arga (784m). There are a couple of cafés, and a “mini-mercado” that sells everything from spaghetti to farm equipment. (It’s 15km to the nearest “hypermarket”.) Other Activities: Karting, bowling, canoeing

                                                                      Rates & Availability

                                                                      Additional information about rental rates

                                                                      Rates include bed linen, towels, pool/beach towels, bath robes and sunshades, and weekly cleaning..

                                                                      18 Reviews
                                                                      Excellent 4.3/5
                                                                      Enter dates for accurate pricing
                                                                      For booking assistance, call 888-829-7076

                                                                      Property # 62236