Alvoco das Várzeas, Portugal
Agent: Cliff Jacobs - Managing Principal Estate Agent
Agent Cellphone: +27 (0) 84 413 1071 / +27 (0) 61 716 6951
Agent Office Number: +27 (0) 21 554 0283
Agent Email Address: email@example.com
Type: Self-catering / Guest House
Yield: Not Disclosed
Alvoco das Várzeas
Alvoco das Várzeas is a civil parish in the municipality of Oliveira do Hospital, Portugal, with 10.73 km2 and 320 inhabitants (2011). Density: 29.8 inhabitants/km2
It is believed that Alvôco Várzeas is a very old village. The appearance of the millstones and mills and the legacy of anthroponyms that still exist today in Alvôco prove that this settlement was occupied by the Romans due, perhaps, to the vicinity of mineral holdings in meadows of Alvôco River.
In this locality can visit the parish church that has as its patron saint Stº. Andrew, being a masterpiece of architecture in continuation of the regional tradition from the 19th century
As a cause of greater interest in the parish, and obligatory visit, is its Medieval Bridge, although known by popular tradition as "Roman Bridge". National Monument. It is thought to have been built in the 14th century. It is a good masonry construction, very singulada, of two arcs. The main arc is a curve broken, gothic quarter, and of great openness; the other, smaller, trace is an irregular but semicircular canal. It is of two waters, being the branch of the right margin more extensive and very steep slope. Measure about seventy meters in length.
Along the bridge, there is a fluvial beach and a picnic park, in the riverside area of Rio Alvôco (perhaps the least polluted water-course of Europe).
We invite you to enjoy the pleasures of our small holiday resort.
Our guest house has many extra services to offer, exclusively for guests. The spacious patio with an extra outside kitchen with a barbecue is unique. The large lightly salted swimming pool has an almost therapeutic effect.
The big (13x7m) and deep (2,25m) swimming pool adds a lot to a totally relaxed body and soul. The lightly salted water has a softening effect on the skin and doesn't irritate the eyes. You don't taste it, you don't smell it and it is more environmentally friendly than chlorine.
We do everything we can to create a safe environment for you and your children. An elegant fence separates the patio from the pool, so that children don't walk into the water without being noticed. A gate closes the entrance to the small alley along the quinta. Safety first!
The adjacent river Alvoco is a real bonus. Here children can play for hours on end with the water, sand and pebbles. They can swim and fish in the crystal clear water. The river beach is an excellent spot from which to take in the beautiful surroundings.
The outdoor kitchen with barbecue and oven offers all the comfort that you need. A large covered shady pergola by the pool attracts a cool breeze on the many warm sunny afternoons where you can sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful views. A patio is available for those evenings when you want to relax by candlelight around the pool. The starry night skies are so near you can almost touch them. The pool and barbecue area are for guests' use only.
We have a big communal lounge at your disposal, with a cosy corner to sit at the fireplace and large tables to read a book, or look at our leaflets.
Every morning (except on Sundays) the bakery from the village delivers fresh bread.
Relax on one of our comfortable loungers and listen to the laughter of the youngsters from Alvoco das Várzeas who enjoy the river beach. The purity of the Portuguese countryside takes you back in time. You don't have to bring pool towels as we have them for hire.
You may want to keep in touch with the outside world through the internet. We have wireless internet available.
Wellness & Sauna
In the spring of 2013, our guest house extended her guest services with the addition of a sauna.
Carved into the base of mountain slate you will find our new wellness area where you can relax and warm your muscles after a hiking tour or just leave the day behind you.
The wellness area is a self-contained area with direct access to the stimulating salt-water swimming pool and sun terrace. All overlooking the natural beauty of the river Alvoco as it winds along its way. The tranquil atmosphere includes your own private bathroom with shower and of course a pitcher of fresh iced lemon water to replenish you. We have arranged the wellness area so that you have exclusive and private use of the sauna during your booked period. Therefore giving you plenty of time to unwind and spend time with your loved one or family and friends.
The intimacy of the estate is also ideal for family get-togethers and business meetings. Our guest house offers 22 sleeping-places. Parking space is no problem.
Our watermill estate lies near the village of Alvoco das Várzeas on the bank of the clear river Alvoco, between the lofty Estrela and Açor mountains. In this valley, where pine trees and pasturelands provide a verdant landscape, man has always lived in close harmony with nature.
The river Alvoco rises almost 2000 meters up in the Estrela range and its crystal clear waters cascade and flow down to the village of Alvôco das Várzeas, 300 meters above sea level, which boasts a picturesque Romanesque bridge. In the fast-running waters, anglers may catch trout, barbell, chub and eels of excellent quality. This unspoiled environment is great for all who enjoy fishing, rambling and resting.
Serra da Estrela
The local people are down to earth, sincere and proud of their land. The curious tourist may also discover a host of other charming villages in the area, such as Vide, Avô, Loriga and Piódão, either by bike or by car. The more adventurous will want to visit the Serra da Estrela mountain range (some 45 km from Alvoco) with its plateau at nearly 2000 meters as well as lakes, sheer drops and breathtaking views. In the winter you can ski on Torre, the highest mountain of mainland Portugal, while for other seasons the beach is only 1.5 hours away.
One of Europe's oldest university towns, Coimbra has kept its secular academic traditions, as seen in the black-caped students, in the soulful tones of the fado and in the Burning of the Ribbons (Queima das Fitas). Overlooking the city is the University, with its famous tower and a sumptuous Baroque library. In the adjacent quarters you will find the Old Cathedral (Romanesque) and the Machado de Castro Museum, with its Roman cryptoportico. In the ancient streets, with their medieval walls, arches and stairways, are the Santa Cruz Monastery (founded in 1131), the Church of Santiago and the Monastery of Celas (13th century). On the other bank of the Mondego stands the Santa Clara-a-Nova Convent (Baroque, 17th century).
The village of Piódão lies on a curve in the road, like a little crib nestling at the foot of a hill. The delightful, orderly appearance of the houses and streets, all built of schist, is interrupted by the deep blue of the windows and doors of some of the houses. This use of colour is said to originate from the fact that the one shop in the village stocked only blue paint, and due to the isolation it was not easy to travel elsewhere. It was also the isolation that preserved the historic characteristics of Piódão as we see them today.
Luso and Curia
Visit the Spa town of Luso or Curia where the radioactive properties of the waters are used in the treatment of kidney complaints. The mineral water from Luso is one of the most popular in Portugal and people gather round the spring to collect it in water bottles. Significant Roman ruins at Conimbriga and the spiritual site of Fatima are also within easy travelling distance.
In the villages and local towns there is so much to see that a week is almost too short. Almost every town has a weekly market but you have to get there early as they finish by noon! Arganil has a market on Thursday and Seia has one every Wednesday, both half an hour by car. There is also a very large market once a month in Oliveira do Hospital. The Portuguese markets are full of atmosphere and are a special experience for those who visit them for the first time. There are all sorts of things for sale - homegrown fruit and vegetables, homemade sheep or goats cheese and bread, fish, meat as well as tools and clothes.
Our guest house lies between the lofty Estrela and Açor mountains. This unspoiled environment with remains of Roman presence is great for all who enjoy walking.
Alvoco das Várzeas: authentic village with Roman bridge
Already a short walk to 'our' village Alvoco das Várzeas is an adventure in itself. Follow the river Alvoco through the meadows and along the vegetable gardens into the village. Cross the Roman bridge and turn left. After a few hundred metres go left and follow a track through the meadows. You smell nature at its best! You see hard-working people who live from what the earth gives them. You will be greeted by friendly farmers who will ask where you are from. Along the 'levada's' (irrigation canals) you walk back into the village where you enjoy a cup of good Portuguese coffee. Then return to your apartment through the fields or alongside the road.
Recently, five new walking trails were inaugurated. We are happy to supply you with information about other walking possibilities.
In Açor, a domain of schist, the cracks and bends make for a characteristical relief, vigorous, but with softened edges, carved by valleys and cliffs, water lines fitted in and where one can sometimes find curious geological formations, such as the Fraga da Pena waterfalls. The website of Aldeias do Xisto (Villages of schist) offers several beautiful trails, unfortunately not (yet) in English.
Serra da Estraela
The Serra da Estraela boasts a network of marked routes, which cover the whole of the Natural Park. Some of these trails take some hours; others take between three to four days to complete; they are considered overall to be moderately difficult to difficult walking, as there are some steep climbs involved and long distances. We have maps available.
We have some guides, like Walking in Portugal, by the Pili Pala Press which offers more detailed information.