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Directions to River Island were very accurate, which without them, one would have some reservations about driving down through a forest for 2km on man made tracks. Owners, Heidi & James, who live next door were exceptional hosts, and very genuine, making us feel very relaxed. An excellent welcome of tapas and wine greeted us along with our hosts who showed us round. The property was immaculate, homely and very well furnished to a high standard. A fully equipped kitchen with a full pantry of food, wine, pasta, frozen food, tea, coffee milk etc was available for our use, with just an honesty box if we used what they had provided. The downstairs kitchen/diner, sitting room, entrance hall was very well laid out giving us plenty of room. Upstairs the three double bedrooms were spacious and cool. The beds were very comfortable, however the pillows could be improved. Towels for the poolside supplied plus large fluffy towels for the two lovely large bathrooms. Both were stocked with toiletries, and hairdryer, for guests to use. The double room with veranda was ensuite but only had a bath, with no shower head, however the main bathroom had a large shower area, and had plenty of hot water, so this was not a major issue. Outside, the pool was compact but perfect and had a lovely wide shallow shelf which made access very safe, and suitable for small children. Outdoor seating areas were plentiful with comfortable cushions and well positioned around a very well maintained garden with lots of nooks to sit in the shade. The river was great fun - and although brown - it was gentle and safe. A rowing boat plus 2 kayaks were moored at the bottom of the garden for our use, with life jackets supplied. Messing about on the river, and rowing downstream to the café/pub was a real treat - and as a party four adults, we instantly reverted back to our childhood. The 'blue book' with local activities, attractions and restaurants were honest and appropriate selections for guests. Our week went by so quickly we would have definitely like to stay for our second week if it had been available. Definitely worth renting if you are looking to relax by a pool, mess about on boats on the river, go kayaking for bigger river adventures, or take in the local restaurants and towns. A very green region with spectacular views. A stay here is definitely a must!
Martine and Dirk kindly waited for our delayed arrival, and welcomed us warmly with a lit fire and plenty of very much needed food and drink after a long journey. The house was exceptionally clean and well stocked with shampoo, Dove bars and loo roll. Also, plenty of towels and great kitchen equipment. We really enjoyed use of the bikes and proximity to lovely countryside and found umbrellas handy too! Although we had mixed weather, some of us braved the pool - and the BBQ was fun. We enjoyed the doors opening onto the exterior on both levels, and the garden's lawns and some lovely irises in flower in the raised beds and a young fig tree by the gate. Please plant an orange and lemon tree for the benefit of future visitors! We found this part of Portugal to be really interesting and varied - and very friendly. Many thanks.