Casa da Fonte got its name from the spring beside it, where the local women still wash their clothes. This cosy and comfortable cottage has an area of 60m2 divided into three floors. It has two bedrooms with a total of 4 single beds and 3 extra beds (2mx65cm). The kitchen is modern, stylish and well equipped. The bathroom has a heated towel rack and an excellent shower. The cosy living room has a pellet run fireplace connected to radiators which keep the house warm and dry in the winter. There is a spacious terrace with barbecue and eating area, where you can have your evening meal, watching the surrounding fields and houses, and the shepherds bringing their sheep back home for the night. The bells of the cattle compete with the church bells that ring to the tune of 'Ave Maria'. Here you can find the soul of Portugal.
Food and Restaurants: The village of Mazes has no grocery store of its own, but you can find one in neighbouring Lalim, which is 15 min away by car. There you can also buy the delicious ham from the local smokery, and excellent cheeses from the area. Another 10 min by car and you can visit the 'Caves da Morganheira' one of Portugal's leading producers of sparkling wine, or,in another direction, Lamego, which has a lot of restaurants with excellent local dishes, such as wild boar, black pork and of course 'bacalhau' (dried cod). Lamego is of great historical interest, starting with a 7th century chapel, built with the remains of a Roman temple, going through its Arabic fortress, narrow medieval streets, and famous huge staircase leading up to the beautiful church of 'Nossa Senhora dos Remédios'.
Places of interest: If you walk up the mountain from Mazes (or drive 3 min) you get to Anta, a fascinating abandoned village, which takes you back a 1000 or perhaps even 2000 years. Many houses are in ruins, but you can still see how people lived. You can walk around in this stunning panoramic landscape and make your own discoveries of anthropomorphic graves and megalithic altars. Don't walk alone up here after dark, however, since there are wolves and plenty of wild boar.
Other places of historic interest are the medieval villages of Ucanha and Salzedas (half an hour from Mazes), the archaeological site of the monastery of São João de Tarouca - among many other places. You will enjoy a boat trip up or down the river Douro from the nearby town of peso da Régua, or a day tour which takes you round the main sites of the Cistercian order and the Templarians, which dominated politics in Portugal for hundreds of years.
Sports activities: The whole area is excellent for hiking and mountain biking. In the Serra de Santa Helena (municipality of Tarouca, 30 min away) you will find facilities for practising paragliding, mountain climbing, canoeing, shooting and fishing (on the river Varosa). At a bigger distance (1,5 hours by car) you have one of Portugal's main sites for paragliding, namely in Linhares da Beira.