Quinta T3 located in central Portugal, on the water.
A Quinta is a rural detached house on a fairly large site. T3 means 3 bedrooms.
The Quinta is located in the geographical center of Portugal right on the river Zezere. The private land is therefore adjacent to the river.
The terrain on which the Quinta is located is approximately 1.5 hectares. It is completely fenced along the plot boundary, except of course the part that lies on the water. The water is the limit there. There is a jetty in the water with a long gangway to which two boats can be moored. There is a stainless steel swimming ladder on the jetty. The river is approximately 300 meters wide at the jetty. The water in the river is very clear and serves, among other things, as a drinking water reservoir for the City of Lisbon and adjacent villages and towns. On the river, with the exception of a few fishermen with small boats, sailing is purely for pleasure. All numbers and sizes mentioned are approximate.
The terrain has a few heights
The Quinta is at the level of the public road. From that level there is an easily accessible sandy road of approximately 300 meters to the beach at the jetty. Due to the difference in height, the Quinta is 25 meters above the water level with a beautiful view of the surroundings and the river. The river is perfect and pleasant for bathing. Anglers also cast their rods on the river.
The Quinta is accessible from a main public road through a large double gate. The Quinta is located about 70 meters from the public road. Upon entering, you arrive at a large courtyard where you can drive left and right and where there is ample space for parking cars. On that site there is also a large alpendra – that is a covered area of about 35 m2 -, where cars and/or boats and/or visitors with a caravan can be parked. Close by is a wood storage for a wood stove. There is also a separate, lockable room, contaning a 6 KW diesel Generator, only needed in the event of a power failure.
Layout of the terrain
The Quinta has three slightly hilly terraces over the entire surface. One is located behind the Quinta, about 2,5 meters higher(1) on the street side. There is also a site near the Quinta (2) and one located 6 meters below (3). On terrace 2 there is a small orchard with 16 orange trees, 1 nespera, 1 fig tree, 3 lemon trees, some mandarin trees and one olive tree. On terrace 3 there are so-called pig plum bushes and 7 lemon trees. The orange trees are of different varieties so that there are always fresh oranges for a longer period of the year.
Layout of the Quinta
The Quinta itself is located on terrace 2, measuring approximately 16 meters long, 6 meters wide and 6 meters high and is in very good condition of maintainance. The livable floor surface is 170 m2. The Quinta has an entrance at “street level” and one via a brick staircase to the upper terrace. On the ground floor with a large kitchen, two bedrooms (18m2 with outdoor terrace and 15m2) as well as a shower-bathroom with toilet. On the first floor is a living room with access to the balcony, which can also be reached from the outside via the upper terrace from the ground floor. There is also a large bedroom (26 m2) and a bathroom with washbasin, bathtub, toilet and bidet. All bedrooms have a washbasin. There are two covered outdoor terraces
In the kitchen (approx. 22 m2) there are fixed cupboards with beechwood doors and a kitchen, two stainless steel sinks and a granite counter top. On the other side, under the stairs to the first floor, there are storage cupboards with beech doors.
The Quinta has walls of so called “pedras”, a granite-related freestone. As a result, there has never been a need for a separate air conditioner. If it is very hot, a fan is often sufficient. For the colder months, the entire Quinta is equipped with central heating, gas fired from a combi boiler. The Quinta has a concrete roof, covered with tiles in the typical Orange Portuguese color. The 8 windows and one of the outer doors have so-called “Louvre” doors and can be closed from the inside.
The immediate vicinity of the Quinta
At the short rear of the Quita, on terrace 1, is an “arrumação”, a lockable and indispensable storage space of approximately 10m2, equipped with shelving.
The covered outdoor terrace at the long rear is practically wind-free. The covered terrace on the head is pleasant in warm weather because the wind blows through. On this covered terrace there is an open terrace on the first floor. Very pleasant especially around coffee time.
The entrance to the Quinta is located at the rear, accessible by a large wide staircase. The side seen when entering is an almost blank wall.
At the rear along the Quinta is a strip of garden of approximately 20 meters in length.
The Quinta was built on the basis of an existing rock formation. So it is really rock solid.
Twenty years ago, almost the entire plot consisted for the most part of Eucalyptus trees and Mimosa (Acacias), Conifers (Pinheiros), and Cork oak (Sobreiro). Because Eucalyptus is in fact only suitable for sites with the aim of wood production for the paper industry, we have thoroughly cleaned the site over the years. Now there are still 25% Eucalyptus, 30% Mimosa, 20% conifers and 25% Cork oaks. The latter is a heavily protected tree in Portugal.
Forest fires also occur in Portugal, just like in the south of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The major problem with a forest fire in Portugal is often the lack of water for extinguishing. That is never the case at the Quinta with a waterline of more of hundreds of meters. That also gives a safe feeling. The site is like a peninsula in the river, so all around in the water. In addition, the subsoil is cleaned every year in the spring by a forestry team from the municipality. This means that all upright shrubs and vegetation are cleared and heated, so that maximum safety is guaranteed. Keeping the ground clean is now included as an legal obligation. As a result, the number of fires has decreased considerably and fires have become much less severe. We have not felt threatened for more than twenty years.
There is also a drilled water source with pump on the property. The water from this is used, among other things, to water the garden. Irrigation with tap water is expensive in the Portuguese system.
The river “De Zezere” rises on the highest mountain range in Portugal, the Serra d’Estrela and has been dammed for 80 years, which means that dams have been built in which hydroelectric power stations have been established. This means that there is always a current. That is the guarantee for pure and clear water. The distance between two dams is 50 km. So you can safely say that the largest, most beautiful, and maintenance-free swimming pool in Portugal is on your doorstep at the Quinta. A distance of 50 km without dams gives the opportunity for almost unlimited and unhindered water sports. One dam is about 15 km upstream and the other 35 km downstream. There are a number of small marinas on the river. Near Villa de Rei is a water sports center with boat and canoe rental. There are also water ski lessons.
A 10-minute drive north is the village (town) of Cernache do Bonjardim. Here you will find a “mercado”, a fresh market, a few small supermarkets, greengrocers, bakery, butcher, restaurants, cafes and the well-known Portuguese Pastelaria with a variety of delicious coffee and pastries, including the famous Pasteis de Natas. A 10-minute drive away is the town of Sertã with an extensive shopping list and with the hypermercado’s Intermaché and Pingo Doce and Continente. A 12 minute drive in the other direction in a southerly direction is the town of Ferreira do Zezere with an Intermarché and a few smaller supermarkets, butchers. This is also where “our” town hall, the library, the swimming pool, a sports hall, movie theater and community center are located. There is also a garage for repairing cars here. A petrol station is located diagonally opposite the Quinta plot, on the public road, in a southerly direction. (Alves Bandeira)
As Aldeia (hamlet), Vale Serrão falls under the Freguesia (literally translated parish) with the name Nossa Senhora de Pranto (Our Lady in Tears). The largest settlement is Dornes. This falls with a number of other Freguesias under the Concelho (region capital) Ferreira do Zezere. The Santuario (sanctuary) Dornes is an aldeia located 5 km from Vale Serrão, also on the river Zezere. It is a small pilgrimage site where it is always pleasantly busy on Sundays. The Tower dates from the 11th century. Several times a year there are big Marian feasts, often with a procession and then people come with their families from far and wide. In Dornes there is a small restaurant (O Rio) and a large restaurant (Fonte de Cima). In the restaurants you can eat well and very affordable. The Portuguese eat the hot meal (almoço) at lunchtime, almost never at home, but always in a restaurant. They interrupt the daily rhythm for this with at least an hour, but it can also be two hours.
As far as the Quinta is concerned, there is only one immediately adjacent neighbor, on the other side of the fence. The term “neighbors” in Portugal encompasses more than immediate residents. In fact, everyone in the immediate vicinity (say a radius of 100 meters) is your neighbor. Across the street, at the gas station, there is a catering business with pasteleria and a busy restaurant. The daily menu consisting of soup, meat/fish, potatoes, vegetables and dessert, including a glass of wine, costs between aprox € 9.00 and € 12.00. The usual prices for this type of restaurants. Especially on Sundays it is very busy and people are already queuing at noon. If you have a question or technical problem, it is not at all strange to ask one of the neighbors for advice and/or help. Portuguese are naturally friendly and very helpful.
Unlike in the Algarve where English is more or less the official language, Portuguese is generally spoken in Vale Serrão. The young people now speak a little English. But nowadays almost every smartphone already has a reasonably well-functioning translation program. The Portuguese language is not an easy language and has an extensive grammar. But if you know some phrases and words, it will be much appreciated. The pronunciation of the words is different from what you read.
The environment and places of interest
Within a radius of 70 km with the Quinta as the center are cities that have a rich history. Like the Netherlands, Portugal was a seafaring nation and many explorers discovered overseas territories. For example, Portuguese is spoken in South America’s largest country, Brazil, a former colony.
65 km north of the Quinta is the old capital of Portugal COIMBRA. One of the oldest universities in Europe is located there. It is a city with many old and beautiful buildings. In addition to a few shopping streets in the old center, it also has three large Shopping Malls. There is also a children’s park “Portugal dos pequenos”.
60 km west of the Quinta is the famous pilgrimage site of FATIMA. Ten years ago, an underground cathedral with nearly 10,000 seats was completed here. The old cathedral, three churches built on top of each other, is worth a visit too.
Closer by are towns such as Abrantes and Vila de Rei to the north-east and Torres Novas and Entroncamento to the west. To the south lies the ancient knightly town of TOMAR. From here in the 11th century the Crusaders left for the Holy Land. Here is also a large monastery and the remains of a knight’s castle. A visit to the monastery is especially recommended. Impressive is an aqueduct that is still architecturally intact.
Water is supplied by the municipality. Electricade by SU Eletric. The internet is wireless and supplied by MEO. Waste water is disposed off separately. There is a large septictank.
Travel to Portugal and to the Quinta
Seen from the location of the Quinta, Lisbon is the preferred destination to fly to. Numerous scheduled flights and charters fly to Lisbon, at still acceptable prices. A car can be rented on arrival. But if a car is parked at the Quinta, you can travel by train from Lisbon – Oriente station – to Tomar (which can be done within 1 hour 40 minutes). The last part can then be covered by taxi. Back to the airport is the reverse order. Public bus transport has still not returned to the old level after the Corona time. There is now also a bus from Lisbon to Ferreira do Zezere and vice versa. That is now only once a day. From Oriente Station in 3 stops by metro to the airport.
Parties, processions and parades
Every self-respecting village organizes its own party in the months of July to September. They have, however, disregarded the design of it. There is music, and you can eat and drink, and there are games. Mary processions are organized from churches and young and old follow devoutly. In the Netherlands we still know this from the 50s and 60s of the last century. Time has stood still here. On some holidays, parades are organized in which the hamlets spend a lot of time and effort to dress up young and old. This is a special event with music bands involved.
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