This is an area for individualists. If you cannot bear to be more than two metres from another tourist, if you enjoy lager louts, noisy bars, tacky shops, rip-off restaurants, burger gases, traffic jams and impossible parking, then this is not for you.
But why be stampeded into an overcrowded, overpriced tourist ghetto? Instead, treat yourself to a dreamy slice of a watery Eden, Europe's 'forgotten' paradise. Look around you and you might find it hard to believe you are in Europe, never mind just a two-hour flight from grey skies and rain-soaked streets. Try wild swimming in the tree-lined river. We have a 200-mtr stretch of calm water, about 1.2 mtrs deep, not as warm as the pool but still very pleasant, and full of little fish. If you stay still they will come and nibble at your skin – a recognised spa therapy! You might spot a kingfisher while swimming downstream to the river bar (open May – Oct), which as well as serving great coffees offers snacks and a diving platform; or you could paddle down in the rowing boat or kayak; or just walk - it takes only 6 mins.
Once a watermill, the villa has been stylishly restored without cutting corners, to make a roomy home of uncommon charm and elegance.
On the ground floor are a walk-in shower room; big sitting room with two-sided wood-burning stove, satellite plasma TV, and a door to the walled courtyard (with pool and sundeck); a large, modern fitted kitchen and dining area, with door to the riverside kitchen garden.
From the entrance hall, steps lead up to the first floor, where there are three spacious bedrooms. Two of them share a good-size shower room with two-person walk-in shower. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and large covered veranda (with outside steps down to walled courtyard with pool). Take a lazy breakfast here, or just lounge with a good book and barely a sound, except, perhaps, for the sighing trees and the children’s shrieks of laughter from the river below.
In the private walled courtyard is an exceptionally pretty swimming pool with lounge shelf and sundeck. Under the large sundeck is the pump house, with washing machine.
Oil-fired central heating and double glazing throughout.
A short walk/drive, row or swim takes you to the river bar, which serves simple snacks, has a diving board and children's paddling pool.
The town of Lousã, which has several supermarkets, restaurants and one of Portugal's best beauty spots (at Arouce Castle), is about 8 mins by car, in the Serra da Lousã. The medieval university city of Coimbra is barely half an hour. Also within easy reach are the vast golden beaches of the Silver Coast, gorgeous mountain scenery, warm rivers and lakes (far warmer and safer than the ocean).
British / Belgian owners
OTHER THINGS TO DO
*Kayak/boat on the river;
*Lovely walks and drives through the hills and the 'lost' mountain villages;
*'Portugal Pequinitos' - a fantasy model village with Portugal's great buildings in miniature, but still large enough to walk through, plus humbler houses accessible only to children;
*Conimbriga - the ancient Roman capital with some of the best mosaics in Europe;
* World Heritage Tomar, a lovely old town with Knights Templar castle and convent;
*Open-air zoo plus farm zoo;
*Gondola rides on the canals of Aveiro;
*The Holy Shrine at Fatima and nearby beautifully lit caves;
*The medieval university city of Coimbra with its big shopping malls.
The infrastructure is excellent, English widely spoken and restaurants amazingly cheap. This is the real Portugal, not a tourist ghetto rip-off.
NOTE THAT DESPITE THE WATERY LOCATION, MOSQUITOS ARE NOT A SPECIAL PROBLEM. IN FACT THE ISLAND SEEMS TO BE LESS TROUBLED BY FLYING INSECTS THAN PROPERTIES WELL AWAY FROM WATER.
Escape the northern winter with a low-priced long term break, November - March.
Tourism licence nº 63970/AL