Casa Elena is a sumptuous modern villa which looks onto the Obidos Lagoon Nature Reserve, itself a short hop from spectacular blue flag Foz do Arelho beach. This spacious house has 5 bedrooms, including one in its basement apartment which also has its own sitting room, bathroom, TV and cooking facilities. On the ground floor, the villa has a large dining-room/sitting room which opens directly onto the pool area with its lovely lagoon views, a fully equipped kitchen, a TV room and a laundry room. There are four bright bedrooms on the top floor, of which the master bedroom has an en-suite. There are a further two shower rooms. The upstairs balcony is a great spot from which to watch the sun go down!
Near the pool there is a barbecue area which also has a pizza oven and a covered area for those who want some shade – you can also roll down the awnings in front of the sitting-room.
You can park your car away from the summer sun in the underground garage where you will also find four bikes for your use. While you are inside there are plenty of family DVDs and games. You are welcome to take the bikes for a ride along the shore.
Casa Elena is a two-minute walk from the shore of the lagoon where you can swim, or wade with the locals looking for shellfish, or join the flamingos for a stroll in the shallows (it might be a bit chilly if you are used to the Med)! A ten-minute walk will take you to the centre of this friendly village where there are grocers, bakers, an excellent butcher, a pharmacy etc. A stone’s throw further lies the Atlantic coast where you can eat delicious fresh fish in any of several reasonably priced local restaurants. The views from these onto the cliffs across the lagoon are glorious, particularly at sunset.
The town of Caldas da Rainha has hypermarkets, a shopping centre, a cinema showing films in English, a lovely park where you can hire a rowing-boat and a fish and a fruit market, both bursting with cheap, fresh local produce. It's only a fifteen-minute drive away.
Foz is a great place for all sorts of sorts of water sports and you can sample many of them at the local sailing school. But pride of place on the Silver Coast must go to surfing, and there is a friendly local surf school which can arrange a great experience for all the family. It’s not as hard as it looks!
Further afield, a short drive will take you to the charm of the walled town of Obidos (one of UNESCO's first world heritage sites) and its summer festival celebrating its medieval heritage, or to several top-class golf courses. Just up the coast is the town of Sao Martinho with its glorious, almost circular beach where you can enjoy a calm sea without the Atlantic surf. Beyond is the old fishing town of Nazaré, famed for its monstrous winter waves. To the north and the south stretches a beautiful coast where in many places you can walk for miles along quiet, sandy, cliff-lined beaches.
And only an hour away you can visit cosmopolitan Lisbon with its fabulous old town and pastelarias where you can eat delicious cakes.
NB Casa Elena has plenty of outdoor furniture. Most of it doesn't appear in these photos because they were taken in late autumn when the furniture had been taken into the garage for the winter.