The House is a high standard, stylish, and spacious architect designed house. Its furniture and equipment are state-of-the-art, offering a high standard of comfort and aesthetics around 290 quare meters, including 3 bedrooms ensuite, 1 office, a fully equipped kitchen (I love cooking) etc...
Nestled on top of a small hill in a picturesque and idyllic environment, the House overlooks the charming village of Penela, including its medieval castle to the east; and small farms of grape vines and olive trees, old dirt roads and the village of São Sebastião to the west. To the north you can enjoy a view of several mountains behind a few small farms, and to the south you see small hills with several dirt paths. No matter where you look, you will be treated to a panoramic view of scenic beauty.
You will appreciate the sheer tranquility of the place. Yes, this tranquility can be interrupted by the postman on his scooter to deliver mail, a bread deliverer (yes they still exist here), or a herd of sheep being led by a local shepherd on the road. But I often welcome these “interruptions.”
It’s 50 meters from the abandoned village of Senhora Do Outeiro and its 17th century church, and the number of paths to hike on there are almost endless since the area was much more populated 200 years ago. Sometimes you can run into locals using these paths to go about their business. But the one thing you are practically guaranteed to never see are tourists.
In spite of this tranquility, you are only a charming 35 minute stroll (through luxuriant vegetation, abandoned stone houses, and olive farms), or a 5 minute drive, from the beautiful village of Penela. There you can get practically everything you need (with the exception of any fast food places, Chinese restaurants, pizza joints, chain stores etc…), just like you could in most villages in Western Europe 60 years ago.
There are a surprising number of activities, amenities, and attractions within a 10 minute walk such as horseback riding (no walking needed because the horse comes right to the house), trails, Penela and it's medieval castle, village festivals ... Within a twenty-five-minute drive: there is much more, anywhere from caves to roman and medieval ruins to caves to a zoo with local wildlife to historic trails with ruins, waterfalls and natural swimming pools (which you can easily have all to yourself even in August) …
For example, there are the Conimbriga ruins which are rated as one of the 10 best Roman ruins in the world outside of Rome ; and the historical city of Coimbra with its University which is classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Paradoxically, this area has remained practically untouched by tourism and it is difficult to not feel like you are living in a past era. Unfortunately, this hidden gem may soon disappear, which is why I encourage guests to come and enjoy it now.
In a nutshell, the experience here can be a cozy and stress-free retreat from everyday life, an intense cultural experience in an area, rich with historical sites, a travel back in time to around 50 years ago, or a combination of all the above. Take your pick!