STEP68: Vale das Rochas

Oliveira do Hospital, Coimbra



Stone cottage, granite cave, camper van, 2 horse trailers. 2.5ha terraced land, own water supply, off-grid electricity. Access 4x4

Property Advertised by: Owner

Property Description

Warm, dry, insulated, modern accommodation consisting of small two-roomed cottage, included in the sale, which is situated a little way away from the lane; complete with wood burning stoves and ovens; with ample supply of wood from own land; kitchen area; dining area; shower; wash stand; and flushing toilet in separate sections. Upstairs is a bedroom/lounge area with scenic valley views from wide, sunny, terrace/balcony. The building can be completely secured with lockable steel shutters, for periods of absence and the rooms suffer no damp or mildew due to being lined, insulated, all doors and windows being double glazed and the rooms well vented.

It would be possible to extend and develop this cottage, as the land immediately surrounding it is not conservation land. Planning permission has been sought and given several years ago for a large three bedroomed dwelling, on the terrace immediately above the cottage. However, although this planning permission has now lapsed, my neighbours have recently obtained permission for developing disused barns on their land and erecting new buildings.

The land is very steeply terraced, each terrace being separated from the other by huge, hand built granite walls – over twenty or thirty feet in height. It is possible to access the majority of the terraces with a small tractor through a series of ramps, but currently a number of the terraces can only be reached by climbing short flights of ancient hand built granite steps.  Access to these could be improved for tractor use.

The sale comprises of around 2.5 hectares – 6 acres in old money – half of which is beautiful, fertile, traditionally farmed, steeply terraced land, planted out with eighty productive well managed olive trees, many vines, an orange orchard, two plum trees, four productive fig trees, one very productive lemon tree and many more fruiting plants and the other half is woodland situated amongst huge granite boulders and the woodland mainly consists of pines, eucalyptus and European Oaks. The land is suitable, with careful frequent irrigation from the stream, for cultivating vegetables, rearing chickens, cultivating grapes and other fruit, keeping bees and one or two donkeys.

Irrigated from own water supply; off-grid electricity – solar and water power, with generator as back up; good internet signal.

The ancient granite rocks form a spectacular pillow formation flanking one side of the valley, whilst good size fertile terraces fill up most of the other side; down the centre runs the stream complete with pools and waterfalls. To ensure a completely certain full supply of water throughout the drier months it would be advisable to sink a borehole, especially if considering taking in guests or running a washing machine on a regular basis.  Although the water is currently of drinkable quality, it is advisable to boil it prior to drinking.  However, it is possible to get pure drinking water through the sinking of a borehole, or/and the installation of a small ultra-violet filtration tank.  I have not found either necessary, as I boil the water prior to drinking and also collect pure mountain clear drinking water from a nearby font – popular with the locals.

The land also features an ancient granite cave, situated a couple of terraces below the cottage, approximately 7′ in height by 7′ in width (varies due to base rock shape) and 7′ in depth (again varies due to floor rock) and with a wooden door. The cave was traditionally used for storage of olive oil and wine and remains at a steady temperature throughout the year, being dry and well ventilated.

Included in the sale is a fitted-out secure camper van – off-road only, due to it being UK plated and therefore DVLA SORN Certified – which offers guest accommodation and runs on solar power, together with a small wood-burning stove, gas cooker, fridge, sink, shower, table and double bed, sited a few terraces below the cottage. There is also a good-sized practically new tee-pee included in the sale.  It is possible to site yurts and tee-pees on the land with no planning permission required.

Two dry, clean horse trailers, with sound floors, offer storage space, or possibly housing a small tractor, complete with ramp and storage area. There is a secure tool/generator/battery shed and a separate, secure gas shed nearby the cottage with a covered large dry convenient wood storage area adjoining it.

Please note the cottage is off a dirt lane and currently really needs a 4×4 for access to the front door, as shown in first image. The owner has managed with a ‘normal’ car for 17 years and have walked a little way down an adjoining lane. However, there are plans in-hand to make the main access road more accessible, as the Camera are going to upgrade it in 2017, and make it possible for a “normal” car to reach the cottage door.

Twenty minutes walk – 5 minutes drive – to nearest village (Ervedal da Beira) which provides all daily needs, including access to doctor, dentist, schools – both primary and secondary, and a regular bus service into the nearest town – Oliveira do Hospital.

The valley leads down into National Park Land and the Seia River, complete with a nearby weir, providing opportunities for fishing.  Further along there are pools safe for swimming and the area itself offers general nature walks along tracks and lanes.   Further down the valley, where the river gets deeper, there are plenty of bankside access areas for canoeing and more extensive open water swimming excursions.
This an excelent property for who like being away from the fast life and the busyness of cars, people and modern media; enjoy quiet, nature, walking, eating simply and living fully; be self-sufficient and imaginative.

The owner is only selling this magical, unique olive farm after seventeen happy years, due to a change in personal circumstances. They are keen to find the right people to work this land, as it is something special and has a unique and very Portuguese atmosphere. This quinta offers the imaginative buyer plenty of potential: to be developed to handle a new-build home and growing family: enable the construction of eco-accommodation for visiting nature/bird enthusiasts and ramblers; to continue to maintain and run an increasingly productive olive farm; or simply to be developed as a self-sufficient smallholding by a knowledgeable individual or couple.

Property Features:
v Off-grid electricity – solar, water and generator
v Private access – down dirt lane
v Fertile terraces – established olive oil production
v Own water supply throughout whole of year
v Own wood supply – plenty of timber available on land
v New double glazed windows and doors in cottage
v Newly tiled roof
v Fully insulated and lined walls and roof
v Recently installed septic tank
v Ideal for self-sufficient couple
v Close to National Park Area – Seia River Valley
v Quinta itself has many rare plants and creatures living on/in it
v Quinta is surrounded by eco-aware friendly neighbours who can speak some English
v Nearby Portuguese village with plenty of amenities.

Property Location

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

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