Messing About on the River...
Enjoy one of several spots on the River Ancora only a short walk away where crystal clear water tumbles into rock pools, ideal for safe swimming and messing about on the river - fun for all the family!
Take a Walk
A variety of relaxed circular walks can be taken from your doorstep. Perhaps through the village, where the traditional farming way of life continues all around and is fascinating to witness, or continue on into the wooded hills, maybe returning along the riverside. All is very tranquil and calm, allowing you to ease away from the pressures of modern life.
Serra de Arga
Found behind Orbaçem is the huge elephant-like hump of the Serra de Arga rising to a height of nearly 900m. For the more energetic, there are a number of way-marked trails, taking walkers through majestic scenery, some starting from S. Lourenco de Montaria (only 5 minutes' drive away). Reward your exertion with a simple meal in a local café.
Talk to the Locals!
The British owners, who have homes nearby and have lived here for many years, have a fund of local knowledge and are always willing to help. They can point out nearby places to eat or visit which are within easy reach but are untouched by tourism. They may even be persuaded to lead an orientating walk or reveal the best swimming spots on the river.
Stay by the poolside soaking up the tranquillity of the landscape that spreads out before you.
Have dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Vila Praia de Ancora
and watch the surfboarders with the rosy sun setting on the horizon behind them.
On 20 August
go down to the harbour at Praia de Ancora and witness the fishermen take their Saint 'Senhora da Agonia' out to sea asking for her blessing upon their fishing nets and their boats for their sons who earn a living at the sea.
Spend a day lazing on the sands
on the beach of the chic coastal village of Moledo. When you feel the need for some refreshment, a number a smart snack bars lie just behind the beach and form the ideal setting for having a drink whilst looking out to sea and watching the world go by.
at the beach of Afife and spend a day in the water on this lovely unspoilt coastline, a much sought after spot for keen surfers
Take the ferry from nearby Caminha to the Spanish town of la Guardia
Crossings are every hour and this short journey across the water is a fun way to cross the border into Spain and discover some of Galicia's superb sandy beaches and renowned seafood restaurants.
Browse the stalls on market day in Barcelos
This is the largest market in Portugal, and is held every Thursday. The town is the birthplace of the 'Galo de Barcelos', the small cockerel, which is widely represented in traditional ceramic throughout the country and will no doubt be found on one of the stalls.
Explore the charming fortress town of Valenca
on the border and only a short drive north of the house. Drive through the ancient archway that leads the way through impressive town walls to discover cobbled streets and a delightful range of shops selling the beautifully embroidered towels and linen for which the town is famous
Visit Ponte de Lima, one of Portugal's oldest towns
Spreading lazily along the tree-line banks of the river Lima, this is a beautiful town, with fine buildings and pretty cobbled squares. Visit on a Monday morning and you may be fortunate enough to witness the local market, which is held on the sandy river beach every other week.
In July, visit Ponte de Lima's festival of opera and classical music
......fast becoming one of Europe's top cultural events. Performances take place in several venues including historic manor houses, local churches and the Teatro Diogo Bernardes, a 19th century theatre in Ponte de Lima.
at the challenging 18 hole course in Ponte de Lima, a 30 minute drive from the house
Visit the port wine lodges
at Vila Nova de Gaia, just the other side of the Douro river from Porto. There are numerous lodges here, including Taylors, Sandeman's and Grahams.
For peace and tranquility amid beautiful surroundings try to visit the Peneda-Geres National park, the first protected area to be founded in Portugal and the only National Park in the country. Having once been the home of the brown bear and the mountain goat, Peneda-Geres is today one of the last refuges of the great predators, such as the royal eagle.
Set aside a day to visit the UNESCO World Heritage City of Oporto. Will a day be enough time to fit in visits to the Planetarium to plot some of those stars you have been watching, to walk down the steep higgledy piggledy tiny streets that tumble down to the River Douro, to walk across the iron bridge built by Monsieur Gustav Eiffel or to visit the port caves and try that famous drink? Rest your feet and take the Open Top Tour bus for a fabulous view of all the best landmarks.
Have you visited Casa da Fontainha?
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