Casa de Gondarem

Minho Valley

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Web Ref: 343
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Accommodation

  • Upper floor: Entrance hall. Living/dining room (A/C,TV, DVD, CD, WiFi, wood burning stove) with patio doors to terraces on two sides. Kitchen (dishwasher, oven, microwave). Central heating throughout the house.
  • Middle floor: Landing. Shower room. Single bedroom. Twin bedroom with door to terrace. Double bedroom with door to terrace. Principal double bedroom with door to terrace, en suite bathroom and dressing room.
  • Lower floor (accessed from the garden): Games room (pool table, table football, Grand piano).
  • Outside: Tiered garden of lawns and flowerbeds. Open and covered terraces. Washing machine. In-built barbecue.  
  • Private gated swimming pool (11m x 5m) with corner Roman steps and surrounded by lawns.

From the picturesque River Minho that runs along Portugal’s border with Spain, cobbled lanes wind their way through a scenic landscape of gently sloping countryside and quaint stone villages. Here, nestling amidst the local houses and smallholdings of Gondarem, this beautifully presented home sits within a mature garden of lawns, flowers, lush trees and shrubs and provides the most comfortable of bases from which to soak up the local ambience of this charming unspoilt corner of Portugal.

In typical Minho style, the stone-clad properties of Gondarem are interspersed with pockets of local vineyards, orchards and fields occasionally used for grazing sheep, with local village life proceeding in an unhurried, traditional way that seems to have changed little over the years.

Just 800m from the house, the country estate of Quinta da Boega houses an elegant restaurant within its stately rooms with wonderful views across the River Minho. A short walk in the other direction is a local café/bar, 1.5km away is the nearest of a number of sandy river beaches, whilst all amenities and a good selection of restaurants can be found in riverside Vilanova de Cerveira (3km).

Entered via a traditional façade of rustic stone walls, Casa de Gondarem’s multi-level grounds of lawns and patios encircle a family home that has been stylishly restored with a clear talent for interior design. A chic décor of warm coloured paintwork, rich fabrics and classical furniture creates a striking sense of style and flair; on a lower level the one-time stable is now home to a charming games room, made warm and inviting by the deep red hues that decorate its walls.

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Location of Casa de Gondarem

Locality

Great Things to Do Near Casa de Gondarem

Browse the market stalls

at the colourful Saturday market that takes place in the pretty riverside town of Vila Nova de Cerveira, a short drive from the house.

Explore the charming fortress town of Valenca.

A short drive north of the house, this delightful border town is steeped in history. Drive through the ancient archway that leads the way through the impressive walls that encircle the old quarter to discover cobbled streets and a delightful range of shops selling the beautifully embroidered towels and linen for which the town is famous

Take a boat ride with the local fishermen

from Foz do Minho (Mouth of the Minho) which lies just 5 km south-west of Caminha. Local fishermen are on hand to take tourists to the ruined island fortress of Ínsua Fort, which houses a former Franciscan convent and church.

Visit the Aqua Museum in Vila Nova de Cerveira

where in large tanks you can see simulations of the River Minho, from its source near Lugo in Galicia to its mouth at Caminha, and get to know the various species of fish and animals which inhabit the river. .

Take the local train down the coast to Viana do Castelo or Oporto

The single track local service plods down the coast between Gondarem and Porto 5 times daily in the summer months calling at all 29 villages enroute to Porto.A relaxing way to admire the superb scenic views.

Hire surfboards

at the beach of Afife and spend a day in the water on this fantastic stretch of unspoilt coastline, a much sought after spot for keen surfers.

One of the best beaches....

The beach at nearby Caminha, Foz do Minho, sits at the mouth of the Minho River and is sheltered from the offshore breezes by pine woods. The beach has views over the Celtic hill fort of Santa Tecla on the other side of the river in Spain. If you get peckish the restaurant on the beach serves up hearty Portuguese fare and the pine trees provide shade for an after lunch doze!

Picnic by the river

The winding River Coura meanders from Caminha passing close to Gondarem and offers many delightful spots for picnicking. In Paredes da Coura there are areas to dive and safe pools for children.

Hop over to Spain

From Caminha, board the car ferry which makes frequent trips across the small stretch of water that separates the north of Portugal from Galicia. This is a fun way to reach this beautiful corner of Spain, which boasts some superb beaches and is renowned for the quality of its seafood, especially in the town of A Guarda, just over the river.

If you enjoy country walks..

Explore the Serra de Arga hills just to the south of Casa de Gondarem which are criss-crossed by a variety of paths some of which stretch right down to Esposende on the coast. You'll see lots of wild horse here, but not many people!

Souvenir hunting....

The people of the Alto Minho still continue with many ancients handicrafts passed down through generations. Viana do Castelo is renowned for its colourfully embroidered festival dresses and other hand embroidered items, and Barcelos for its pottery. But almost everywhere you can visit small artesanal workshops where weaving, basketwork, lacework, wood carving and toys are still made using traditional methods.

Take the scenic route to Paredes de Coura.

Departing from Caminha, the road twists its way through the Serra de Arga hills following the course of the River Coura. Paredes de Coura claims to be the oldest village in Portugal.

Spend a day in 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.

Spend an evening on Moledo beach

and watch the beautiful sunsets, either from its pristine sands or from a terrace of one of the smart coffee bars that lie just behind the waterfront.

Enjoy a relaxing spa in Monção

The Spa is set in the midst of a leafy park by the side of the Minho river, 700 metres from the town of Monção in a setting of great natural beauty and is equipped with some of the most modern facilities in the country. Afterwards, take a stroll amongst the centuries-old trees that are to be found there.

For Art Lovers everywhere...

Every other year (odd numbered) between mid August and mid September, the Vila Nova Cerveira International Arts Biennial transforms the tranquil town into an important centre for contemporary art covering a wide array of areas including the digital arts, engraving, ceramics, painting and sculpture. There is also an opportunity to buy some pieces too.

Peneda-Geres Park

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.

For fantastic views over the historic port of Viana do Castelo

take the funicular railway to the church of Santa Luzia. If you do not suffer from vertigo, climb the dome and look out from the very very top. Then head into the town and wander around the fascinating embroidery shops for which the town is famous.

Follow the Vinho Verde wine trail

along the banks of the Minho Valley which passes between undulating hills covered with the vines which produce the lightly sparkling and very tasty wine of the region.

Nearby

Towns

Vila Nova de Cerveira 5 mins
Caminha 13 mins
Vila Praia de Âncora 20 mins
Viana do Castelo 25 mins
Valença 25 mins
Ponte de Lima 37 mins

Beaches

Foz do Minho 20 mins
Moledo 20 mins
Praia da Âncora 22 mins
Afife 25 mins

Airports

Vigo 40 mins
Porto 60 mins
Santiago de Compostela 100 mins
Coruna 140 mins
Times are approximate

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