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At this splendid 18th Century Manor House situated in over 3 hectares of grounds, with fruit trees, a lovely romantic garden and a pool, you will be warmly welcomed into a pleasant family atmosphere by the owner.
The décor throughout is exquisite, particularly in the bedrooms, each of which is decorated according to a different colour scheme and style, and where you’ll maybe find a four-poster bed, perhaps a modern room or one furnished with antiques.
If you prefer to be more self-contained, rent the Gîte by the pool, where you can enjoy all the facilities of the Estate and have the privacy of your own space.
Touring: Minho is Portugal’s second most popular holiday region after the Algarve. Unlike the Algarve, however, there are no British pubs or Fish ’n’ Chip shops, no amusement arcades or theme parks. It’s all rather more discreet, more natural (unspoilt, you might say). People come here to relax in a quiet rural setting. A lot of visitors tour around, seeing the historic sites, the small market towns and villages, the rugged landscapes and the quiet empty beaches. Others come to lose themselves in a terrain that is still largely unaffected by modern European development, and amongst a people who still live a simple life. Most are subsistence farmers, and while there are few women who still wash the clothes in the stream, they do still go every day to collect the milk from the communal cow, in churns balanced on their heads. Inland, traffic jams, more often than not, are caused by an ox drawn cart.
Folklore, wildlife and cuisine: There’s a thriving regional folklore tradition – singing and dancing and various rustic handicrafts, and the region is famous for its “Romarias”, local village feast days involving religious processions, markets, fairs and evening feasts and folkloric entertainment. They’re a bit like British Village Fêtes, but as they might have been hundreds of years ago! At night there are wild boar in the hills and owls hunting, and during the day plenty of black squirrels, jays, red kites, water birds on the river below, and, of course, harmless lizards. The regional cuisine of Minho is famous all over Portugal, and there are some great restaurants in the area - including the Solar - and some great wines. Minho is where Vinho Verde comes from, and is next door to the Douro valley, the home of Port Wine; Portugal’s table wines generally are one of the world’s best-kept secrets and they’re all available locally.
Golf: Estela (30km), built on a 3km stretch of sand dunes on the beautiful Costa Verde, this is one of the Portuguese golf links that secured a high reputation for itself when it hosted two events in the European Professionals' Circuit. Par 72, 6129m. Ponte de Lima (40km), part of “a bucolic scenery of mountains, vineyards and fruit gardens”, is a course typical of the Minho region. Par 71, 6005m, including Portugal's longest hole at 622m (par 5). Quinta da Barca golf resort (25km), an excellent 9-hole course with stunning views over the Cavado River. Par 31, 2012m.
Solar da Natureza e do Bem Estar: Viana Do Castelo Vacation Rental by Owner Listing 57358ha
The Manor House has 9 rooms, a mixture of singles, doubles and suites (including one with a four-poster bed), and all with en suite bathrooms, TV and central heating. There are two lounges and a dining room, a games room and a home cinema with bar. Guests have access to a large professional kitchen, and to the main dining room. There are extensive gardens, a large swimming pool and a tennis court, as well as a snooker table, ping pong and pétanque (boules).
If you have a large family or are taking a holiday with friends, you may like to rent the whole house (sleeping up to 17 people), or the house and the gîte (to sleep up to 21 people). The Solar is also suitable for business gatherings, for which a conference room people can be specially prepared.
Rates are the Solar and the Stone Suite, comprising 8 double rooms and 1 single, for a total standard occupancy of 17 people.
Additional children in Yellow, Red and White Rooms and Stone Suite (maximum 5 - €10 each per night.
Reductions are possible for up to 8 people; and up to 13 people, using only part of the accommodation (4 rooms or 7 rooms).
Shared kitchen facilities are available in the main house, and the Stone Suite has a small kitchenette.
There is also a self-catering cottage in the garden, the "Gîte", which accommodates an additional 4 people for an extra 690 euros per week, plus cleaning.
The minimum stay is 7 nights. Additional nights are charged pro rata.
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Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo
The Solar is in Vila Franca, 6km south of Viana do Castelo, the major fishing port in the region, and a thriving market town steeped in history. The Peneda Gerês National Park is only 50km away, where you can spend days driving or walking around a part of Portugal that remains totally unspoilt. It’s rugged and mountainous terrain is wild and full of rare plants and animals, as well as the occasional village seemingly left over from centuries ago. Viana do Castelo is midway on the 100km “Costa Verde”, with a different beach every few kilometres, most of them wide and sandy, uncrowded and safe. There are also more sheltered river beaches on the banks of the Lima river – one of them just 1km from the Solar. There’s something to suit every taste – sandy or rocky, surf beaches, family beaches, quiet and romantic or beaches full of activities. Or, of course, you can simply relax by the pool, with a good book! Or there are 3 golf courses within 40km.