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The Dacha is a simple yet well-appointed and surprisingly spacious cottage set amongst the trees and terraced gardens of the owners’ house, on the outskirts of a hill village a few kilometres inland from the beaches of Portugal’s Costa Verde. There's one large double bedroom looking out towards the pool, bathroom and an open plan living room with kitchenette and dining area, opening on to a terrace and barbecue area adjacent to the gardens, swimming pool and lily pond. The cottage was new in 2006, and has been tastefully furnished and equipped with painstaking care, with lots of little extras designed to make your holiday more comfortable. Visitors can enjoy the various lower terraces of the property, with their variety of woodland and orchard areas, shrubberies and flowering borders.
Beaches and Golf: The family seaside resort of Vila Praia de Âncora is about 15km away, and either side of it, along a 50km stretch, are the many safe, clean beaches of the Costa Verde - surf beaches, sandy, rocky, wide, discreet, family, romantic beaches - you can go to a different one each day to suit your mood. At Afife there's a surfing beach (and surf/body boarding lessons); at Caminha there's a beach with one side on the Atlantic, the other on the River Minho; or you can hire a ferryman to take you out to a deserted island; on Serra de Arga there are fresh mountain pools and waterfalls; and there are also warm, sheltered river beaches on the Rivers Lima and Minho, within 8km.
For golfers, the excellent Ponte de Lima course is 20km away. Part of “a bucolic scenery of mountains, vineyards and fruit gardens”, it's a course typical of the Minho region. Par 71, 6005m, including Portugal's longest hole at 622m (par 5).
Touring, tourism: For those who enjoy rural sightseeing, just touring around, or taking some long walks, there's the rugged, wild countryside of Peneda-Gerês National Park, and further away the Douro Valley provides plenty of opportunity. The villages and country lanes of Alto Minho offer a landscape from an earlier era; and Serra d’Arga (784m) provides great views in all directions. For more sophisticated entertainment, there's the Casino in Póvoa, and plenty of history, culture and night-life in a dozen towns within a short drive. There's karting, canoeing, surfing and fishing, and the World Heritage City of Porto. The traditional Romarias, folklore, singing, dancing and decorative crafts and costumes provide an unusual taste of the local culture. And the famed cuisine of the Minho region can be found in restaurants galore, accompanied by Portuguese wine - one of the world's best kept secrets!
The bedroom is spacious, with plenty of wardrobe space, heater/fan (depending on season) and large window with mosquito net looking out to the gardens and pool. We provide bath robes, and also offer as a gift Burel travel bedroom slippers, hand made in Portugal's highest mountains. Original art on the wall, quality bed linen and an extensive library of novels (you can take the novels you're reading home with you as long as you leave books you've read behind)....moreless
Hair dryer is provided.
Towels are provided.
Soap and toilet paper are provided....moreless
Outside, the gardens are full of discreet corners and terraces where you can sit and get away from it all - a pond, a shrubbery, by the 11m x 5m pool, amongst the vines and fruit trees, in the potted plant garden. A good range of garden furniture is provided.
The garden is surrounded by trees, so while you can always find somewhere to lie by the pool in the full sun, there's also plenty of shade, and the cottage itself is pleasantly cool all day long, offering a welcome respite from the summer sun. The pool is shared with the owners, though they tend not to use it when there are visitors in the Dacha.
Visitors have access to the village sports facilities (tennis, etc).
Massage is available in the Dacha, in the gardens or by the pool.
All bed linen and towels (including pool towels) are provided.
For days at the beach, sunshades, wind breaks and beach towels are also provided....moreless
Good library of novels and other books, mostly in English, but also other languages. Take them with you if you haven't finished, but leave yours that you finished with....moreless
Traditional 'italiano' stove-top coffee maker....moreless
Dishes & Utensils
Small, part of the open plan living area, but well equipped with oven, gas hob, fridge, kettle, toaster, coffee machine, juice maker, sink, and a good range of utensils, crockery and cutlery....moreless
Spices and condiments, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and paper kitchen towels always provided, as well as any food left from previous guests still in good condition....moreless
Lawn / Garden:
Extensive steeply terraced mature gardens, with woodland, lawns and areas of flowers and shrubs....moreless
Available free of charge in the village, on request (you need your own racquets and balls....moreless
Pool / Spa
Pool 11 metres by 5 metres (at the widest point), from 1.4 metres to 2 metres deep. In theory, shared with the owners, but they never use it while guests are there....moreless
Spring breaks Mar 28 - May 29, 2015 5 night min stay
Early summer special May 30 - Jun 26, 2015 7 night min stay
High season Jun 27 - Sep 4, 2015 7 night min stay
Autumn breaks Sep 5 - Oct 30, 2015 5 night min stay
Low season Oct 31 - Dec 23, 2015 5 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
No additional mandatory fees
Rates include bed linen, towels, pool/beach towels, bath robes and sunshades, and weekly cleaning.
Complimentary Burel travel slippers are provided, and a welcome pack.
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The cottage is strategically placed for access to the beaches of the Costa Verde as well as the wild hills of the National Park and the historic towns and villages that are part of the Minho landscape. The Spanish border is close by, and there's also easy access to World Heritage Porto. The village is near to Viana do Castelo (the main historic port of the region), Ponte de Lima (the distinctive centre of Minho tourism) and Vila Praia de Âncora (a pleasant fishing village and family seaside resort), which are all about 15km away and easily reached either by winding country lanes or by motorway. It's an attractive, scattered hillside place of about 300 people, in a heavily wooded zone (pine and eucalyptus) on the way up to Serra d'Arga (784m). There are a couple of cafés, and a “mini-mercado” that sells everything from spaghetti to farm equipment. (It’s 15km to the nearest “hypermarket”.)