AWG75: Quinta Vale do Bracal

Arganil, Coimbra



Renovated 1 bedroom schist cottage. Land of 1ha, 4 water mines and schist patio

Property Description

A newly renovated furnished one-up one-down traditional schist cottage in the mountains.

The house has a floorspace of approximately 50m2, and dates back around 150 years. It has been very sympathetically renovated in the traditional style, with locally-sourced chestnut for the veranda and fencing, and schist from its own land for the walls and patio. The doors and windows are double-glazed to make the cottage heat-efficient, with a wood finish and strong security shutters. Along with the 2 foot-thick walls and a wood-burning stove with internal chimney, that makes for a very snug home in the winter. The house is fully wired up for solar panels with sockets, switches, lights and fuse board etc but does not yet have a solar power system installed.

Upstairs is a bright spacious double bedroom with pine wooden floorboards and ceiling, and naturally rendered stone walls. There is a double bed, leather sofa and chair, wardrobe and a chest of drawers. The bedroom has large windows to the east and west, and southern facing double doors leading onto the veranda. The veranda has a pergola and looks out over the property’s land. All window-sills are white speckled granite, and there is a feature alcove in the north wall. The chimney from the downstairs woodburner comes through the floor near the western wall and provides upstairs heating.

Downstairs is a lounge-diner with sofa and dining table arranged around a large wood-burning stove. The stove has an oven and hotplates and adjoins a modern fitted kitchen which has a sink and lots of storage cupboards up and down. There is an area under the stairs with a washing-machine, and tucked away near the front-door is a combination fridge-freezer. A door by the stairs leads to a modern tiled bathroom with flushing toilet, basin and open shower.

The lounge is tiled throughout.

Land with 1ha, terraced, numerous water-mines and a stream, there is natural schist patio and seating area leading around under the veranda to the front of the property. Most of the terraces have been left to nature but could easily be cultivated. One of the unused terraces was built as a road so is rocky but could be converted into a vegetable plot with a lorry or so of topsoil. Most of the hectare would then be available for planting.

The stream can provide irrigation for at least half of the year, but the 4 water mines work all year round, so you will never be short of water. The water has been tested OK for human consumption, it is delicious and it is one of these mines which has been plumbed into the house. There is potential for turning this aspect of the property into a business, as at a rough estimate it generates about 6 million litres of wonderful spring-water per year.

Some of the trees are regenerating after the 2017 fires, so there is ample opportunity to create your own planting scheme with new trees and vegetables etc. There are about 15 regenerating olive trees on the land, and numerous oaks. Some of the bigger trees weren’t affected.

There is an outdoor water tap by the downstairs front door, and the roof has aluminium guttering. The roof has metal joists and all lintels are concrete for fire-safety. Water is either fed to the house from a stream or, with electricity installed, pumped whenever required from a concrete deposit just down from the spring closest the house into another deposit in a corner of the land higher than the house. This second deposit is connected directly to the household plumbing.

Realistically speaking, you will need a 4×4 to live here (or anywhere else around here for that matter). The mountain tracks are OK most of the year, but when it rains heavily you will need a 4 wheel drive to get up the hills safely.

The house is bordered by a stream on one side and mountain tracks on the other sides.

Quinta Vale do Bracal is properly registered as a pre-1951 urban dwelling. It is a very special, beautiful little home and has a wonderful combination of traditional styling and modern convenience. It is completely self-sufficient and is situated in a very private location, making it an ideal permanent home or holiday home for a small family, or the perfect base for an eco-project, a music / artists studio or holiday let.

The council tax is only about 40 euros per year. The nearest neighbours are about a kilometre away.

It is located 2km along a sometimes-steep stone track in the hills behind the village of Vinho, in the Serra do Acor mountains. There are innumerable forest tracks adjoining the property, with picnic spots, hiking routes and river beaches close-by for those who like outdoor activities. The hills offer beautiful vistas and fresh mountain air, and the local communities are mostly rural little villages. It is idyllic. The nearest cafe with wifi is about 3km away and the nearest town is the popular tourist town of Coja about 8km away, which has phone shops, minimarkets, hardware stores, bars and restaurants etc. Arganil with its hospital is 20km away and Coimbra with its university, Fado bars and indoor shopping centres is about 70km away. Porto is the nearest airport, about an hour and a half’s drive away.

The property has an excellent mobile signal. All the documentation is in order and the council tax is paid up-to-date.

The adjacent property Quinta Candosa de Cima is also for sale, with a ruin and 8.3 hectares of mountain moorland, constituting most of the rest of the valley

Property Location

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