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River Island, Luxury Waterfront Villa, Private pool. Boat, kayaks, free wi-fi

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,142 sq. ft.
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 4 - 30 nights


About the property

Waterfront Villa with private pool, sundeck, boat, kayaks, in Serra da Lousã, Silver Coast, Portugal - On An Island In Warm, Clear River, 6 Mins Walk To River Bar, 8 Mins Drive To Town

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. 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 wooden 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 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, is about 8 mins by car. 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).


*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.


Escape the northern winter with a low-priced long term break, November - March.

More Details

Member since: 2006
Speaks: english, french, portuguese, dutch
Calendar last updated:
January 21, 2018

Why James chose Municipality of Lousã

It is very, very rare to find good properties next to a river - there is a total embargo on building - and this happens to be the best stretch of swimming river in the region.

What makes this villa unique

.The adventure of swimming in a warm river, right from your door.

Guestbook comments from the owner

What a week! What a property! Fantastic facilities and welcome. Lousã area is great, the river swimming a must. The owners have excelled in creating such a relaxing atmosphere. We recommend a row down to the river bar, Burgo Restaurant at Lousã Castle is a must. We will be back!"

Kevin and Janet, Cambridge, UK.

"We had a wonderful time on River Island. The house was lovely and well decorated. The kids liked to go to the river bar by boat or dive from the platform. The interior of Portugal is extremely beautiful and the people friendly. We surely recommend this place!"

Achien and Guy, Netherlands.

"Do we have to leave? Once again the sun is shining, the pool is calling. We had a fantastic, relaxing holiday. Everything we could possibly wish for and more."

Simon and Karin, Surrey, England

"We enjoyed our week here very much. The villa is gorgeous, both in decoration and location. We also enjoyed the pool, and the Blue Book was invaluable in guiding us to places to visit. We particularly recommend the Roman ruins at Conimbriga."

Deborah and Jamie, England

"What can we say? We have absolutely loved staying here. It's been the perfect end to our trip. We're just sorry we could not stay for longer. It is a beautiful villa, so beautifully designed. We visited the Arouce Castle in Lousã and it's just amazing. We will definitely be back!"

Amy and Anthony, England
Jan 2013
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Municipality of Lousã Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2142 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible / Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • River
  • Rural
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Free Wifi
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , bidet , En-suite to master bedroom
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Hand-held shower in toilet serves as bidet
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Hand-held shower in toilet serves as bidet. Grnd floor
  • The en-suite bathroom has a bath, toilet, bidet, washbasin in vanity unit. The shower room has a walk-in shower, toilet with hand-held shower, wash basin. There is a further shower room on the ground floor, near the pool. Toilet also has hand-held shower to serve as bidet.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 double
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib , En-suite bathroom, large veranda
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Master bedroom has en-suite bath, large veranda. Second (even larger) bedroom has double bed. Third bedroom has twin beds, and shares shower room (with one access door from corridor) with second bedroom.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Bicycles
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Tennis ...
  • 2 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes on accommodation: The house is roomy and airy, with a special atmosphere of calm and elegance. The meter-thick walls make for coolness in summer, cosiness in winter - much better than noisy air conditioning!. Furnishing is in most cases brand new and of good quality. Outside: Dreamy location on an island, between an enchanting canal and tree-lined river. Large lawned garden with pond; riverside kitchen garden with barbecue and dining table; walled courtyard with pool and sun deck. Utility Room: Washing machine - free use. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: All linen and towels included. The house is cleaned weekly and after each visit. Other: Dining room open plan with kitchen.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

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River Island, Luxury Waterfront Villa, Private pool. Boat, kayaks, free wi-fi
average rating of 4.928571 based on 15 reviews

Fantastic family holiday villa

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic property. The pool was perfect. The river and boats just the best fun and the setting is idyllic. We were a family of 6 ranging fro 7 years to 48 and we all had a great time.

The outdoor areas are fantastic and barbecue is well appointed. There is aherb garden to help yourself to.

We ate breakfast outside every morning and watched the swarms of butterflies in the beautiful garden.

James and Heidi were great ..there but not there.

A first class family holiday.

  • Submitted: Oct 16, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A nice clean hideaway, quiet & tranquil

  • 4 of 5

A beautifully maintained villa, in quiet & peaceful surroundings, with everything you need to be self contained.

Heidi & James are first class hosts

  • Submitted: Oct 7, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, R and E. I hope you left here rested in spirit and in improved health.
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Heaven is a place on earth

  • 5 of 5

For years we have been vacationing all over Europe with our 3 children, renting holiday villas. However, in all honesty, never did we stay in such a wonderful place as River Island!

Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the owners, who even had stocked the fridge with some freshly prepared snacks and refreshments.

We immediately felt at home at the spacious villa, that looked even better than the photos on internet. All the rooms are nicely furnished, creating a cosy feeling, and this unlike many other rental properties (that have this typical unpersonal, soulless style). The kitchen is well equipped, the bathrooms are tidy and of a very good quality. Sufficient kitchen, bed and bath linnen was provided. The house, terrace, pool and garden are clean and very well-maintained.

The pool is great for a refreshing dip after a day of exploring the region. The kayaks and the river next to the house are a wonderful extra. The terrace provides shade at every time of the day, and there are numerous parasols e.g. near the pool.

There are countless possibilities for excursions (both cultural and sportive) and walks nearby. You need a car in this region but nothing is far away, such as the shops or restaurants, but (unlike our other holidays) we didn't go out for dinner as we liked staying at the house too much... The owners live nextdoors and were available for any inquiries, without being intrusive (our privacy was respected very well, at all times).

Our only regret is that we had only booked this house for one week, because this is a place where you can easily spent two or more.

Heidi, James and little Polly, thank you again for such a great holiday. Your warmth and hospitality were the icing on the cake of on an already wonderful holiday!

  • Submitted: Oct 6, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, L and B, for taking the trouble to write your kind review. We are very pleased that you so enjoyed your stay. You were all wonderful guests and we would love to entertain you again.
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Lovely house in a beautiful setting

  • 5 of 5

We had a fabulous family holiday at River Island. James & Heidi were so welcoming and friendly. They were really helpful with everything we needed. The house is really well equipped with a gorgeous pool, which our kids loved. We also loved taking the kayaks down the river and relaxing in the lovely garden. There is loads to do if you feel like venturing out. Our favourite was swimming in the nearby gorge. We can't wait to go back!

  • Submitted: May 15, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Lorna, for taking the time to leave a review. We much enjoyed having you and your family as guests and look forward to seeing you again before too long. Always welcome!
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Surpassed all expectations!

  • 5 of 5

Dreamy is the word. It was a joy to wake up every morning to the sound of birdsong, look out of my bedroom window and watch the clear waters of the river drift slowly by. I was tempted to jump in, but it was still a bit cold for that! Must be idyllic in summer.

We immediately felt at home in the villa, which was modern, roomy and very comfortable, with a calm atmosphere and some nice touches, like the exposed stonework from the original house. The weather was a bit up and down, but the central heating and log fire kept us snug in the evenings..

The biggest surprise was the beauty of this gorgeous area, so unspoiled. We had some wonderful walks up in the hills, with breathtaking views and exhilarating fresh air. We both loved Coimbra, which is such an easy, laid-back city. The Roman ruins at Conimbriga were amazing and should be much better known. The local people were so friendly (many of them speak English and liked to show this off) and not out to rip us off. We kept thinking they must have made a mistake with the bill in the restaurants. Fantastically cheap and huge portions! They had English menus, too.

I was so delighted with my short break that I have already booked to go back with friends and family.

  • Submitted: Mar 28, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Carla. I'm so glad you felt at home. We're glad to welcome you back. You are almost family!
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Fantastic holiday in an amazing location

  • 5 of 5

From the moment we arrived it was brilliant, amazing accommodation, everything you need, wonderful hosts, kind, friendly and welcoming. The location was by far one of the best we've ever stayed in, enjoyed walks, kayaking on the river and we were very amazed to see the family of otters that reside on the river bank only 200 yards from our accommodation. There are plenty of places to visit in this wonderful part of portugal and the coast is lovely and not too far away. We very much hope to return very soon and will recommend this place to everyone.

  • Submitted: Nov 18, 2016
  • Stayed: October 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you to you both for your kind review. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay in such gorgeous autumnal weather, and had the privilege of seeing our resident otters from the kayaks. Hope to see you back for a longer stay next time. James
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Nearest Barpub
0.3 Kilometres
River Bar
Nearest Golf
65 Kilometres
Montebelo, Viseu
Nearest Motorway
20 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
5 Kilometres
Burgo, Lousã
Nearest Beach
0.3 Kilometres
River Beach
Car: necessary

This is an area noted for its clear rivers and lakes (the best stretch of swimming river runs right past the villa), almost tropically warm in summer - far warmer (and safer) than the open ocean. Some have beaches with cafe/restaurant; others you might have all to yourself, even in summer. It is a pure delight to swim in these warm waters, surrounded by nature.

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; horse-riding; open-air zoo plus farm zoo; gondola rides on the canals of Aveiro;


Porto is about 1hr 45mins, Lisbon about 2hrs, and it's motorway most of the way. There are inexpensive flights from several UK airports and Dublin, and from other northern European countries.


The nearest shops/restaurants are c. 8 mins by car. The medieval university city of Coimbra, regional capital and Portugal's third city, is c. 25 mins. World Heritage Tomar is also c. 45 mins. The Roman ruins at Conimbriga (with some of the best preserved mosaics in Europe) are c. 30 mins. Riding stables, a zoo and big lido are all about 15 mins by car. Lousã Castle, in one of Portugal's leading beauty spots, is about 10 minutes.

Gorgeous green countryside is right on your doorstep.

Further Details:

Restaurants are amazingly inexpensive and serve huge portions. The better ones have menus in English. Wine is absurdly cheap and very drinkable. English and French are widely spoken.

Locals are genuinely friendly, the roads empty. This is the REAL Portugal, not a rip-off tourist ghetto! You'll return home wondering why this paradise isn't better known, but very glad it isn't!

English, French, Dutch and Portuguese spoken.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
30% non-refundable deposit requested with booking, the balance 30 days before arrival, please. Payment may be in sterling or euros.

Ask about our special rates for long term stays, November - April. Escape the northern winter!

Changeover Day:
Flexible. Departure by 10:00am, arrival after 3:00pm - but we try to be flexible about this too.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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