Carvalhal, Barcelos, Costa Verde, Portugal - Quiet And Secluded
- english, french, spanish, portuguese
About Piers Gallie
My father bought this old monastery in 1965 when I was 11 and its been home for me ever since, except for 6 years spent cattle ranching in the Argentine. In 1979 I returned to Portugal to take over the running of the quinta, restoration of the house and planting a vineyard. I met my wife Kate in Porto where she was working as a clothing designer in the textile business. In 1988, 2 years after the birth of our first child, Sophie we thought it would be fun to rent out accommodation under the Manor House Tourism scheme, a totally new concept in Portugal, to help owners of historical properties like ours with the costs of maintenance. Many of our guests have become firm friends and return every year, its really gratifying to know that other people appreciate this place as much as we do.
Piers Gallie purchased this Apartment in 1965
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
So comfortable and relaxing.
So relaxing. Excellent hosts.
Nowhere I would rather be in the North of Portugal.
We felt really at home here, Piers and his wife made us feel very welcome and so did their friendly boxer dog Polly.
The nearest town, Barcelos feels like the real Portugal, after our sleepless and expensive 4 nights in Porto.
The apartment was extremely clean and well thought out and deliciously cool in the 35C temperature outside.
We made good use of the enormous swimming pool, it really was the best place to be in the hot afternoons.
We will return!
Peaceful holiday in Northern Portugal
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the cloister apartment of this beautiful converted monastery - it was a marvellous experience. The flat is spacious and very tastefully decorated with lovely Portuguese tiles and artefacts. It was spotlessly clean, and very comfortable. The flat leads out into a large enclosed courtyard where we could eat meals and have an evening drink - here there are fountains playing and a formal garden with flowers. Then there is the walk up through orchards to the swimming pool, a delightful place where we spent much time swimming and reading (the pool is crystal clear springwater)surrounded by cypress and magnolia trees, with stunning views of the valley beyond the house.
The owners Piers and Kate were extremely helpful when it came to information about local visits, markets, beaches etc. This is as enchanting place, peaceful and relaxing and also full of character. We would recommend it as an out-of-the-ordinary holiday, and plan to visit again soon.
Wonderful spot in northern Portugal.
This was a wonderful place to spend a week in the Barcelos - Braga area. Piers and Kate were wonderful hosts, very friendly and informative. They gave us lots of tips on the local scene from restaurants to shopping and local places to visit and things to do. We stayed in the Cloister flat which suited us well. Nice amenities and fine for self catering too. The place itself is beautiful. It's like living in Portugal and much better than staying at a hotel. The cloister grounds are very nice and we had dinner outside there several times and used the pool every day (it was hot). It is clean and attractive.
We also enjoyed meeting and socializing with some of the other guests at the Monastery. They were a diverse and interesting group of people. The location is good too. It's private but close to a town with all the necessaries (banks, restaurants, post, tourist info, supermarket, highway connections, etc...). I would definitely recommend this place as a spot to stay to friends and relations and would stay there again myself if planning to return to the area.
Thoroughly enjoyed our time here and the people were great.
We have loved every minute of our stay at 'Do Convento Da Franqueira' - all the rooms and apartments are beautiful, the whole ambience is just wonderful, relaxing and restful. The grounds are fantastic and we spent many hours just lazing by the spring fed pool.
Kate and Piers made us feel very welcome and suggested some superb places to visit and eat in. We will go back. !!
Very many thanks to you both - Jan & Ray Sayer
Hard to fault
It's difficult to fault this place. Even my wife, who can find faults even in a perfect husband like me, agrees with me, and that's a first in 35 years of marriage.
Quinta Do Convento Da Franqueira is a former Franciscan monastery partially converted into a gorgeous guest house. The two-feet thick granite walls of the building surround an idyllic cloistered quadrangle with fountain, water features and shady alcoves that offer the perfect refuge from hot summer evenings. Wander up paths shaded by wisteria to swim in the large swimming pool fed by the spring that encouraged the monks to build here in the first place.
For the more adventurous you can walk through oak and eucalyptus woods to the ruin of the old castle, or jog up the 352 steps (yes I counted them) for amazing views from the church at the top of the hill.
Piers and Kate are wonderful hosts and very approachable, offering advice on the surrounding attractions and restaurants. We had fresh cherries and wine waiting for us in the fridge, and there is an extensive library to suit all tastes.
Nothing's perfect. Some caveats.
You need a car. Its charm is that it is isolated. Taxis can ferry you from Barcelos, but unless you are hiding here to finish your next novel (Buy one of mine, they're very good and dirt cheap on Amazon) you'll need a car to get places.
We rented the flat, because I have a fussy diet. The kitchen has two hobs and a microwave, which is adequate unless you're Jamie Oliver entertaining the Roux brothers.
There's no air con, but the thick granite walls mean you don't really need it. In the mid 30's C today and the room is still nice and cool.
We stayed here in June. In June the frogs are noisy. I think they add to the charm, but others may disagree.
The pros:- Everything else. Decent wifi, the location, the buildings, the gardens and cloisters, and especially the hosts. If you want a charming base from which to explore the north of Portugal or a get-away-from-it-all break in lovely surroundings, I can't recommend it enough.
The long sandy beaches of Apulia and Ofir are 20 minutes by car. Further north the beaches of Afife and Moledo, popular with surfers are a 40 minute drive.
Porto-Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro is 40 minutes drive. Vigo in Spain is 1 hour and 15 minutes. GPS coordinates - N 41º 29´56" W 08º 38´40"
A car is useful but not essential as Barcelos is on the international Porto- Vigo rail route which connects to Lisbon and Madrid.
The regular service to Porto-Campanha takes approximately 1hour 15 minutes, and there is a metro connection to Porto airport from Campanha.
Barcelos 6km. Braga (the Rome of Portugal) 20km. Guimaraes, a World Heritage city 35km. Porto, home of Port wine 50km. The National Park of Peneda/Geres 65km.
Barcelos, the nearest town has many restaurants, cafes, shops, banks and supermarkets. The famous weekly market is on Thursdays. The nearest grocery shop to us is a 1,5km. walk, in the village Carvalhal which also has a chemist and a medical clinic.