You may never see another opportunity like this: on an island in a great swimming river with almost 200 mtrs of river frontage, three stylish villas, two already beautifully restored, each with a pool. One of these is a giant (17 x 8 mtrs) 'tropical lagoon' pool, made from and surrounded by white sand, and with a sloping beach - the only one of its kind in Portugal. The other is a classy courtyard pool (7 x 3.5 mtrs) with lounge shelf and sundeck.
The third villa remains to be renovated, but is dry, in sound condition and exceptionally charming. A skilled handyman could do most of this without professional help.
There are no other buildings on the island, neither will any be permitted. Access is by a kilometre-long track through the forest, so you really do have your own ‘Lost World’ here – yet only c. 8 mins from town.
The villas (Papyrus, Troia and Mulberry) are approached by two bridges, one in oriental-style red iron, the other an ancient stone arch, across a lovely old canal, which disappears intriguingly into a tunnel of trees.
This gorgeous, dreamy setting makes for easy and successful tourist rentals, as well as a wonderful place in which to live. The river shimmering in the morning sunlight is a profound delight.
The villas are constructed from solid stone over a metre thick – no air-conditioning necessary!. To take each in turn:-
PAPYRUS is the largest and has the giant pool, as well as by far the biggest river frontage. On the ground floor are: a conservatory-style dining room with glazed doors onto the beach; a big, modern fitted kitchen with island; a large pantry (bigger than many kitchens); a TV snug with glazed door to riverside garden; large study; large wet room; big entrance hall with seating and log fire; a utility room with boiler, washing machine storage cupboard and shelves; separate oil tank room with tool storage.
Upstairs is a good-size triple-aspect lounge with covered terrace overlooking pool, garden and river; bedroom 1 (double) with big en-suite bath and walk-in shower room; bedroom 2 (large double), with en-suite walk-in shower, walk-in fitted wardrobe and double aspect over river and garden; a child’s playroom (could be a single bedroom) with glazed doors out onto enormous half-covered terrace.
On the top floor is a gigantic bedroom (over 60 sq mtrs) with built-in wardrobes and cupboards and en-suite shower room – a perfect teenage den!
Quality materials throughout. Double-glazing. Oil-fired central heating. Mains water and electricity. Drainage to special ecological septic tank.
TROIA is the middle house and has been lovingly restored from an old watermill to make a very successful tourist rental. In its walled courtyard it has a brand new pool with lounge shelf and sundeck. Plumbing is there to make it a heated pool, if desired. Under the sundeck is a low-ceiling outhouse with the pump, washing machine and plenty of storage space. There is a small riverside kitchen garden to the rear (with access to the river), so little maintenance is required.
On the ground floor are: small entrance hall with wooden steps leading up (storage space underneath); large, modern fitted kitchen (with island) and separate dining area, glazed doors leading to riverside garden; good-size lounge with log fire; walk-in shower room; boiler room with storage space.
Upstairs are three double bedrooms. Two share a walk-in shower room, while the master has an en-suite bathroom and covered terrace, with steps leading down directly to the pool.
Quality materials throughout. Double glazing, Oil-fired central heating.Mains water and electricity. Drainage to special ecological septic tank.
MULBERRY is the third villa, not yet restored but everyone falls in love with it. It has something of a children’s storybook about it, with its two walled gardens a dreamy lawn going down to the river, and a curvy stone bench ‘growing’ out of the front of the house, inviting you to sit and linger by the lovely canal for a while.
With over ninety sq mtrs on each floor, there is plenty of scope to make another classic villa. The roof is still sound, as are the wooden floors (though they will need replacing), but the windows need to be completely replaced. On the ground floor, windows need to be opened out of the stone wall, which is where help may be required, but otherwise a skilled handyman could make an enjoyable and ultimately very profitable project out of this.
Mulberry already has mains electricity.
The sale includes two kayaks and a 4.2 mtr six-seater wooden rowing boat. In a few minutes these can take you downstream to the river bar (c. six minutes by foot), which serves simple snacks and has a diving platform. This is an important attraction for guests.
The town of Lousã is about eight minutes by car. It has several supermarkets, restaurants, schools, health centre, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as one of Portugal’s leading beauty spots, the incredible gorge at Arouce castle, just outside the town. Above it lies the magnificent Serra da Lousã, famous for its breathtaking views and ‘lost’ mountain villages.
This area has been described as Portugal’s Tuscany. Perhaps the British equivalent is the Lake District, except the waters are much warmer and clearer here, and wonderful for swimming. Some have beaches with café/restaurant, others you (and your guests) might have all to yourself.
Under construction is a new Metro system to link the town with the medieval university city of Coimbra, regional capital and Portugal’s third city. It has every modern facility, including fast trains and motorway to Porto and Lisbon. Once the Metro is functioning, prices can go one way only. Infrastructure is excellent, there are many expats in the area already and English is widely spoken.
The Portuguese are very welcoming to foreigners, to the extent of tax exemption for ten years on income derived anywhere within the EU. There is also free, modern health care to EU citizens. Add to that Europe’s most benign climate, Western Europe’s lowest cost of living and rate of crime, and you will see that the quality of life here is hard to beat at any time; but there is simply no better time than now to invest