Come and stay on our beautiful, organic, off-grid farm in the Goshawk mountains of Serra do Açor. We offer an unrivalled view of the Mata de Magaraca, the last remaining piece of ancient woodland in the whole area. You will have your own cottage and private garden on our south-facing farm right in the heart of nature. Waterfalls, olive trees, plunge pools, sunbathing, birdsong, river beaches, grape-vines, amazing walks and spectacular views await you.
Ideal for walkers, nature lovers and anyone seeking peace or solitude Quinta de Paz is a small organic farm nestling in a protected and unspoilt valley in the Serra do Açor, just west of the Serra da Estrela in central Portugal. The valley is overlooked by the Mata de Magaraça, the last remaining original woodland, which would have covered the entire mountain region in days gone by.
Your stone cottage is in a National Park area gazing out to the stunning views of the Mata. The cottage sleeps two in a double bed, (but it could fit an extra person at further request in the living room). You are in a truly peaceful location, off the beaten track. It is secluded but not isolated, as amenities are within walking distance.
Quinta de Paz has 180 olive trees and 200 grape vines of different varieties on terraces leading down to the river where there is a small waterfall and lagoon for bathing when the weather gets too hot. It is ideally situated for people who enjoy walking, being very close to the Benfeita Schist Trail, the Mata de Magaraça and the delightful Fraga Da Pena, a 20 meter waterfall with deep clear bathing lagoons and ruins of old mills to investigate, which in the past would have been busy grinding corn into flour for the local people.
The quinta is entirely off-grid, low impact and eco-friendly, generating its own power supply from the sun. The toilets are composting ensuring no harmful human waste enters the rivers and the showers are solar-powered or wood-fired. The land itself has been pesticide and herbicide free for at least 10 years, probably much longer in fact, so could be classed as organic. Certainly, all our vegetables are grown organically. In September and November there will be seasonal opportunities for harvesting the grapes and the olives. Seasonal organic vegetables are sometimes available from the garden or can be fairly easily obtained otherwise. If you would like a veg box on your arrival give us some notice and we may be able to arrange it depending on what's growing at the time...
Your accommodation is a self-catering, schist stone cottage built from rock quarried directly from the mountain side. There is a very comfortable double bed (with a good soft mattress topper on it) in the bedroom, a sitting room with a wood burner that heats the water, a fully-stocked kitchen with gas cooker and a bathroom with a wood-fired hot shower and a wooden bathtub.
In the summer months, when you won't want to fire up the woodburner, there is also a solar shower you can use in our outdoor bathroom. All the toilets on the farm are composting. Please be aware this a rustic, eco, off-grid farm so the facilities, whilst adequate, are basic and unrefined. This is mountain living so will be about as close to the natural world as you can get. If sitting in the dark gazing at the night sky and listening to giant owls hoot to one another is your kind of thing you will love it....but it is not for those seeking 5 star modern luxury.
Quality fresh linen and towels are provided for you. All our washing is done by hand outside and air-dried and we use only natural washing products. We have no access to tumble driers or irons, so whilst your washing may not look impeccable pressed, we promise it will be clean and fresh.
The garden area is quite private so you won't be overlooked or disturbed. And the views are simply out of this world.
Wifi and Charging
There is now a wifi signal at the quinta, and also a mobile signal with 3G so most people are able to get online. The signal is in the main house, however, so you may need to walk closer to it in order to connect. We don't leave the wifi on all the time so if you need to use it let us know and we'll turn it on for you. A wifi connection is also available at Pardieiros cafe, a 15 minute walk away, where you can also charge your phones and laptops.
In your cottage you can charge small electrical appliances, such as mobiles phones, through a USB connection. Remember, though, that the other sockets are 12 volt only, so your 240 volt appliances will not work directly and may get damaged if you plug them in. Should you need to charge larger items you may be able to plug them into our house ( we're just a minute from you).
Eco products only on the land
Because of our commitment to our organic status and our responsibility to people who live downstream from us, we have strict rules concerning the use of chemical soaps and shampoos. Please don't use them when staying with us - bring only natural products with you. If you forget don't worry - there is usually castille soap or olive oil soap available for use in the bathrooms. You can use this on hair and body. There is also usually some olive oil soap for sale - made from the olives of the farm. Often there is also our homemade organic wine for sale too.
We have two large dogs on the farm. A German Shepherd (who may bark at you at first but soon settles down once she knows you're invited) and a Newfoundland, a huge, cuddly friendly bear of a dog. There are also two small kittens who we rescued at a few weeks old. We are letting you know because, although they are not allowed in your cottage or private garden, they will be around and in close quarters so if you are afraid of large dogs, for instance, you may want to take this into consideration...
As the cottage is self-catering and we are quite remote, if you do not have a car we'd recommend arriving with enough food for your stay, for your sake of ease.
Should you have a 4WD vehicle you are welcome to use our track and park in the car park. Most people, however, in normal vehicles, tend to park the other side of the mountain in Pardieiros, a short walk away. We can meet you at the cafe there and show you the way through the forest ( a 15 minute walk ). If you have a lot of luggage we can drive it to the farm for you in our 4WD.
Children and Safety
Due to the steep unprotected terraces we would caution parents that for young children this perhaps would not be a suitable place to stay. Babes-in-arms or older children, who can safely navigate steep stone staircases, are more than welcome. Since responsibility for safety rests very much with the parents, we leave it to your discretion to decide. Be aware, however, that the terraces are all hand made, and sometimes stones can give way through wear and tear so please take caution as to your safety at all times. We cannot accept responsibility for any accidents or injuries caused on the mountain as it is such an elemental environment.
As the quinta is fairly remote and taxi prices rather expensive, we also offer a collection service for people arriving by public transport. To arrange this please contact us directly in advance.
There are a few daily train services from Lisboa Oriente direct to Santa Comba Dao, our nearest train station. These direct trains take 2h 42 and we are an hour's drive from there. We can pick you up for €35 (it's a 2 hr round trip for us). Should you also need us to take you to a supermarket to stock up on food we would charge a little extra.
There are also train services from Porto, usually changing at Coimbra. (Tip: we wouldn't recommend the route changing at Pampilhosa, as you only have 5 mins to make the connection and often the trains are late). If you need help working out your route, just ask.
The nearest bus stop is usually Catraia do Mouronho and we can collect you from here for a €20 fee. It is a 30 min drive from the quinta. There are direct services from Lisboa Sete Rios, Porto and Coimbra.
Other trips out can be arranged with us to local towns and villages, river beaches etc. - just ask :)
We look forward to welcoming you to our quinta soon!
Francesca, Joe and Rufus
You will have access to your cottage and private garden and 3.5 hectares of farm, forest and mountains. There is a waterfall and bathing pool on the valley floor that you can also use when the water is flowing. Just be aware that we are engaged with an organic ongoing process on the farm and, as we are trying to regenerate it, there may be clearing, cultivating and landscaping going on depending on when you visit us so some parts may not be accessible.
From the quinta you can walk straight onto the local schist trails and out into the Serra do Açor so you have the mountains and all they can offer right on your doorstep. An unfettered access to nature.
Kontakt z gośćmi
We are usually on hand to help out with anything you might need. We live on the farm in a little cottage close to yours so we are usually around but if not you can always call us on our mobiles. We will make sure you receive our numbers when you book so you can always reach us easily. We are very friendly but we want to also give you your space to relax so unless you come to us we probably won't disturb you!
Inne ważne rzeczy
You will be living literally on the side of a mountain so get ready for a change of environment. The paths through the forest and up an down the terraces can be steep and irregular so a certain level of fitness and willingness to be close to nature really helps :)
- No smoking inside the cottage
- No open fires May - October due to local laws meant to protect us all from forest fires
- Please be careful with cigarette butts etc as the risk of fire is high
- No shoes in the house please
- No chemical or synthetic products to be used on the land. Please bring natural alternatives or if you are unsure of what to bring, you may buy natural products from us
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