JSK49: Quinta Rio de Figueiras

Tábua, Coimbra



Current Status:SOLD

Charming Off Grid Smallholding with Wood Cabin and Caravans

Property Advertised by: Owner

Property Description

This charming smallholding of just over  one hectar is perfect for those seeking an alternative / self sufficient and off-grid lifestyle. The property features a small wood cabin with one mezzanine bedroom, a combined living and kitchen area, a large raised balcony and a small bathroom. The cabin is rustic and characterful, but well insulated for cosy living during our brief but colder winter months and contains a wood burning stove with oven for winter baking. The cabin is approximately 15 years old.

The property straddles a valley, with terraced arable land and two caravans on one side, woodland and a small granite ruin on the other, a large flat garden area in the middle and the wood cabin nestled into the top corner. The valley features many mature trees and gives a real sense of being surrounded by nature and within a historical landscape with ancient granite terrace walls.

The property is very private although not isolated. The “Quinta”, which is the Portuguese term for a smallholding is within a long valley called “Rio de Figueiras” (which translates as “River Of Fig Trees”) between three villages. There are several bars and a small shop within 10 minutes walking distance. Further down the valley there is a similar smallholding with like-minded owners. The towns of Tábua and Oliveira do Hospital are each around a 15 minute drive for supermarkets, hardware and agricultural suppliers, cafes, restaurants and all the other benefits of civilisation near by.

The cabin is surrounded by a tumble of impressive granite boulders, an external compost toilet, and a mature garden featuring a fish pond and an array of mature unusual plants such as Gunnera, Black Bamboo and New Zealand Flax. Beyond the decorative/fruit garden there is a large vegetable garden that has been cultivated for roughly 15 years and holds more than enough space for self sufficiency.

There is a stable which was previously used for horses but would be perfect for donkeys, sheep or goats. There is a fenced area that was previously used for goats, chickens and ducks.

There is a great selection of established food producing plants on the smallholding including around 40 olive trees, apple trees, fig trees, peach trees, cherry trees, pear trees, plum trees, walnut trees, sweet chestnut trees, citrus trees, an almond tree, kiwi vines, grape vines, mature raspberry, taeberry, red currant, black currant, gooseberry and blackberry plants and a very productive asparagus patch. There is also a pomegranite tree, an avocado and a banana palm although these are not currently productive. There is also an ornamental Japanese Cherry Blossom and an Indian Bean Tree.

The land features mature oak and cork oak trees and enough pine and mimosa forest for self sufficiency in fire wood. In terms of water there are several wells on the property which always contain water. During spring, autumn and winter and for the duration in wetter years a spring at the top of the land gravity feeds water to a 1000 litre tank for the house and a 5000 litre concrete pool for the garden, which is discreetly sunk into a boulder bank. During dryer summers water is pumped up from wells on the garden level.

Approximately two thirds of the property boundary is fenced or contained by a terrace wall.

Because of the granite boulders phone reception is not brilliant throughout the smallholding, but the current owner gets reasonable internet signal (good enough to stream video) in the cabin using a wifi “hotspot” through the mobile network Meo.

The cabin features a solar system with inverter for 240v output and is wired with low energy lighting. New owners may wish to upgrade this system and potentially add more panels if they would want to run appliances such as a fridge or freezer. The current owner uses a generator to top up the batteries on extended bad-weather periods and can happily advise on what might be required depending on the new owners power needs and can provide a great contact for solar installations and maintenance.

There are two caravans on the property, one older caravan and one more modern with a large wooden veranda and terracotta tiled roof. These caravans have been used for guests and volunteers over the years. This smallholding makes a great destination for volunteers through the WWOOF volunteer program (World Wide Opportunities In Organic Farming) Help-Ex program and other similar volunteer-host organisations should this be appealing.

In terms of temperatures, this area of Portugal usually has a pleasant spring and autumn, temperatures during July and August can creep well into the 40s which is when most people head to the river for swimming and picnics. Nights are normally cooler and the heat is dry in high summer. In the winter, night time temperatures can be as low as -5 here although the cabin and immediate garden are usually guarded from the frosts by the thermal mass of the rock around them. When the sun shines in the winter day time temperatures can be comfortably into the 20s.

Access to the smallholding is via two forest tracks, one that enters the property above the cabin and one that comes in to the side with the caravans. Both tracks are best suited to a 4×4 vehicle.

There is a fantastic and diverse community of foreigners in this area with great activities to get involved with such as outdoor markets and live music events. The river Mondego and River Alva are both around a 15 minute drive away with a long list of river swimming-spots for hot summer days.

The attractive historic towns of Coja, Avô and Arganil are all close by with river-side bars. The cities of Coimbra and Viseu are each around 45 minutes drive away. This is an area of particularly striking natural beauty, surrounded by the Açor, Caramulo and Estrela mountain ranges.

The Estrela Mountain range is easy to reach by car and makes a fantastic day trip – driving to the Torre, which is the highest point in Portugal at 1,993 m takes around 50 minutes. There is always snow fall in the winter and ski-season normally runs from November to April.

The beach town of Figueira da Foz is just over an hour away for trips to the sea side. The countryside in the area is perfect for outdoor sports such as hiking and mountain biking and businesses for activities such as horse riding, kayaking and climbing are all in the area.

Lastly, the smallholding currently features a pair of Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs who act as resident lawn mowers. They have lived there their whole lives so if the new owners wished for them to stay I’m sure they’d be delighted, however re-location can be arranged if that is preferable!

The owner is selling due to health issues following an injury which has left her unable to maintain the land and use the smallholding as it should be. She feels the place should be meeting its potential as a bountiful and active space! Sadly the place is becoming run down so needs new owners willing to revitalise this great smallholding. Please get in touch with any questions. Open to offers if you feel this is the place for you!

Property Location

For owner privacy, map may not show exact location of the property.

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