Riverside isolated but not remote house home swap

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This is a unique opportunity to swap, rent or purchase a house isolated but not remote with its own navigable (canoe) trout river, meandering through the wooded valley. The river Alva is interrupted by small rippling rapids, old mill pools and ancient stone built watermills.

Set on a plateau among evidence of centuries old gold mining, the house looks down on the mineral rich fields bordered by the clear waters of the river Alva.

Every window is a picture frame for the wooded valley with its constantly changing moods and changes of light, the sounds of the birds and constant murmur of the river dominate the near silence

Built in 2010 with a large rustic bespoke kitchen, 2 double bedrooms, lounge and bathroom. Municipal water and electric. The house has all the modern facilities with a feeling of space and simplicity, very easy to manage as a holiday home or a dream to live in permanently, as the current owners have done since construction.

The house stands about 20 meters above the river with panoramic views of the wooded valley, no other houses are in sight but only about 500meters from the village. The surrounding area is sparse mixed woodland interlaced with, oak trees wild lavender and other shrubs each taking their turn to add colour and scent.

An area know by the solitary fishermen and those interested in wildlife, a full range of species are seen including otters, wild boar, red squirrels and countless different birds.

A welcoming space to leave the shoes and coats with a tall fitted cupboard and unobtrusive shelving, leaving space for more. A half glazed solid wood door leads to the kitchen.

Kitchen with Dining corner
A spacious kitchen lined with exotic wood surfaces with individually designed bespoke shelving
Plenty of cupboard space with a large hanging herb dryer over the stove. The dining area with part built-in seating creates a divide while maintaining a sense of openness.
A large cast iron, brass trimmed Solid fuel stove heats the winter water while also sufficiently warming the house.
A modern Electric hob enables cooking in the summer months, while a solar panel provides for the summer hot water.

Enclosed storage area for firewood which also houses the 200litre water tank, sufficient for a large hot bath

2 double bedrooms with exposed wood flooring and spacious high ceilings.

One incorporates a floor to ceiling bamboo fronted series of cupboards with fitted wardrobe, shelving and draws.

The second bedroom has a fitted corner unit with large draws and wardrobe finished in solid elm.

A complete spacious bathroom with brass fittings, large bath facing a tall window overlooking the rear garden woodland. Lighted sink area with useful large cupboard. Tastefully coloured tiled floor with a high timber ceiling.

Light and airy lounge, partly fitted wall to wall rustic shelves. Facing the terrace with views down to the river and along the valley.
Picturesque cast iron stove supplements or used as an alternative to the kitchen stove for warming the house.
Fully glassed doors to the patio and large window over looking the rear woodland

The house is fully licensed, with municipal water and electric. Good internet connection is acquired via a sim card
Lifetime license for extracting water from the river.
Currently the owners use solar power to lift water to the fields and the accommodation area.

The timber house was built incorporating all modern insulating materials internal and external walls. All windows are double glazed with retractable mosquito netting.

Kitchen and lounge glazed doors allow in plenty of light and give easy access to the outside terrace

External water points to the front and rear of the property give easy access for watering needs

A Tiled pathway surrounds the house enabling easy access and maintenance.

Approximately 8500sqm of land, run organically for at least 7 years and most probably much longer.
Three fields bordering the river with substantial characteristic shist walls give each area its own microclimate, retaining the heat and reducing the effects of the wind.
A wooded slope leads to a plateau area with the house and a terraced area suitable for animal housing, external kitchen or house garden.

A whole variety of fruit and nut trees have been planted over the last 8 years to compliment the wild peaches and apples, while long rows of different grape varieties straddle the high walls and terraces.

One field has been laid out for a large vegetable garden with a semi-permanent irrigation system.

Wild flower and tree seeds have been scattered over all the uncultivated areas which are now starting to establish themselves, producing an abundance of colour at different times of the year

An old solid stone barn is situated near the fields and licence permitting could be converted to an accommodation of 2 rooms. Within a very picturesque setting among the vines and wooded slopes

A large workshop with green house and fruit drier lies behind the house, fully fitted with electric and water. The workshop area is complimented with an insulated roof and cast iron stove.

To the rear of the house an area has been excavated to accommodate either a natural pond or swimming pool. Large amounts of clay are available locally.

Private and easy access to the river, which is navigable by canoe for many kilometres, small redundant and ancient watermills exist along the river making very picturesque sites, also suitable for swimming, fishing and watching the varied wildlife.
This section of the Alva offers the explorer a constantly changing environment, partly utilised by the subsistence farmer but is mostly left wild with bamboo, reeds and mixed woodland.
The river offers a refreshing cool escape from the hottest of days but also an ambience of calm and relaxation which can be dangerously addictive. It is very easy for time to float past while submerged in the sounds and delights of this tranquil World.


From the village a good forest road of about 500 meters leads to the house, suitable for a standard car. A private road leads from the house to the lower fields

The surrounding area contains a mix of pine, cork, eucalyptus, oak and madronha (strawberry tree). Very little of the valley is farmed or utilised commercially so is predominantly left to nature.

Coimbra the 3rd city of Portugal is about 35 minutes drive, local shopping is about 10 or 15 minutes.

About the location

Rural central Portugal
Clean rivers
Wooded valleys
River beaches
Quiet roads
Walking and cycling paradise

Type of home swap

  • Home Exchange

Conditions of home exchange

  • Non smokers only
  • Pets welcome
  • Children welcome

Vila Nova Poiares (HE32174)

Coimbra,   Portugal

  • 2 bed   (sleeps 4) 1 bath

Preferred destinations

  • Open to offers

Dates available

Open to offers

Swap duration: Open to offer


Meet the member

Adults: 2     

Membership expiry date: 09 Jan 2017