Charming B&B with two houses on the river Alvoco, Alvoco das Várzeas, Oliveira do Hospital, Coimbra, Oliveira do Hospital
What is it?
The history of this quinta goes back to the Moorish and Roman times. This used to be the center of grinding and pressing for the environment thanks to the presence of the weir in the Alvoco river. The remains of these activities can still be seen in various ways: a water mill from 1779 and the remains of a much older, probably Moorish, mill, granite trays to collect the olive oil, millstones, etc. The house served as an olive press ("Lagar") until about 1960. Since 2005 it has been an attractive B&B where people who love nature and authenticity like to stay. The quinta consists of a house, a guesthouse and various outbuildings.
The house has a living space of approximately 246 m² consisting of 2 floors (split level). On the ground floor is a spacious living / sitting room, kitchen with stainless steel work surfaces, a large utility room, a dining room and a guest toilet. The floor on the street level has a spacious bedroom, two office spaces and a bathroom. One of the office spaces has a balcony overlooking the river.
Near the house are several outbuildings, a water mill where the corn was once milled, a canopy with a bread oven and a ruin of a water mill.
The guesthouse consists of two floors with a total of 5 apartments of different sizes, each with a bedroom (4 sleeping places with sofa bed), a living room with kitchen corner and a bathroom. On the ground floor is a large living space. The total living area is 348 m². On the floor below the guesthouse is a workshop with toilet and shower.
Outside is a large patio with various seating areas and an outdoor kitchen with BBQ. The pool house has a sauna with shower and toilet. The sunbathing lawn surrounds the swimming pool.
What are the facilities like?
The houses are connected to the electricity grid. There is a drilled well of 96 m deep, but tap water is also available. Furthermore, two streams flow over the country, the so-called ´levadas´.
The quinta has TV and internet via satellite. Both buildings have central heating. Both houses are equipped with solar collectors and boilers for hot water. As a back-up there is a combi boiler on heating oil. The house (Energy label A) has double windows; roof and walls are insulated and a large wood stove (recuperador) ensures low heating costs. The guesthouse (Energy label A-B) has an insulated roof and insulating thick walls.
The property includes a plot of land of over 3.000 m² (actually larger). It is partially paved and decorated as an ornamental garden. Another part is agricultural land. The land borders the Alvoco River. From the weir various water branches cross the site (levadas).
According to the description, about 1.000 m² of land (including the buildings) belongs to the guest house, but that is actually more. This part of the plot is used as space for the guests. Here are also the swimming pool (13x7 m) with a spacious terrace and a separate terrace near the outdoor kitchen. The pool water is purified with salt hydrolysis.
This B&B is unique in its kind. The Alvoco river is known as one of the cleanest rivers in the region. The water is crystal clear; trout, otters and more are swimming here and the kingfisher can be spotted. At the back of the garden is a private beach. A little further on is a lovely river beach that is mainly used by locals and from which you have a view of a beautiful bridge from the Middle Ages. Several marked hiking tours cross the area and the Serra da Estrela (in winter with a ski slope) is a 30-minute drive away.
The quinta is sold including the contents of the guesthouse so that the operation can be seamlessly continued.
Where is it?
The B&B is located just outside the village of Alvoco das Várzeas and is easily accessible via a paved road. The village can also be reached on foot from the quinta via a hiking trail (about 700 m). This village has a cafe and in the summer a bar with a restaurant on the river beach.
Oliveira do Hospital is approximately 12 km away. In this small provincial town all important facilities are present such as shops, supermarkets, post office, banks, doctors´ practice, hospital, schools, library, restaurants and weekly market. The larger city of Coimbra is around 70 km away.