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Our watermill estate lies near the village of Alvoco das Várzeas on the bank of the clear river Alvoco, between the lofty Estrela and Açor mountains . In this valley, where pine trees and pasturelands provide a verdant landscape, man has always lived in close harmony with nature.

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Romanesque bridge

The river Alvoco rises almost 2000 meters up in the Estrela range and its crystal clear waters cascade and flow down to the village of Alvôco das Várzeas, 300 meters above sea level, which boasts a picturesque Romanesque bridge. In the fast-running waters, anglers may catch trout, barbell, chub and eels of excellent quality. This unspoiled environment is great for all who enjoy fishing, rambling and resting.


Serra da Estrela

The local people are down to earth, sincere and proud of their land. The curious tourist may also discover a host of other charming villages in the area, such as Vide, Avô, Loriga and Piódão, either by bike or by car. The more adventurous will want to visit the Serra da Estrela mountain range (some 45 km from Alvoco) with its plateau at nearly 2000 meters as well as lakes, sheer drops and breathtaking views. In the winter you can ski on Torre, the highest mountain of mainland Portugal, while for other seasons the beach is only 1. 5 hours away.

Serra da Estrela


One of Europe's oldest university towns, Coimbra has kept its secular academic traditions, as seen in the black caped students, in the soulful tones of the fado and in the Burning of the Ribbons (Queima das Fitas). Overlooking the city is the University, with its famous tower and a sumptuous Baroque library. In the adjacent quarters you will find the Old Cathedral (Romanesque) and the Machado de Castro Museum, with its Roman cryptoportico. In the ancient streets, with their medieval walls, arches and stairways, are the Santa Cruz Monastery (founded in 1131), the Church of Santiago and the Monastery of Celas (13th century). On the other bank of the Mondego stands the Santa Clara-a-Nova Convent (Baroque, 17th century).



The village of Piódão lies on a curve in the road, like a little crib nestling at the foot of a hill. The delightful, orderly appearance of the houses and streets, all built of schist, is interrupted by the deep blue of the windows and doors of some of the houses. This use of colour is said to originate from the fact that the one shop in the village stocked only blue paint, and due to the isolation it was not easy to travel elsewhere. It was also the isolation that preserved the historic characteristics of Piódão as we see them today.


Luso and Curia

Visit the Spa town of Luso or Curia where the radioactive properties of the waters are used in the treatment of kidney complaints. The mineral water from Luso is one of the most popular in Portugal and people gather round the spring to collect it in water bottles. Significant Roman ruins at Conimbriga and the spiritual site of Fatima are also within easy travelling distance.



In the villages and local towns there is so much to see that a week is almost too short. Almost every town has a weekly market but you have to get there early as they finish by noon! Arganil has a market on Thursday and Seia has one every Wednesday, both half an hour by car. There is also a very large market once a month in Oliveira do Hospital. The Portuguese markets are full of atmosphere and are a special experience for those who visit them for the first time. There are all sorts of things for sale - homegrown fruit and vegetables, homemade sheep or goats cheese and bread, fish, meat as well as tools and clothes.

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