SHD148: Quinta do Caroucho

Tábua, Coimbra

Price:

€118,000

House plus guest cottage and solar electricity. 3ha terraced and wooded land

Property Advertised by: Owner

Property Description

House plus guest cottage in 3 hectares of terraced and oak wooded land with 40+ olive trees and full solar collection and battery storage set-up. Spectacular views and private river beach on the Mondego. Perfect self-sufficiency / agro-tourism / glamping / permaculture project (with permissions). The house is sold fully furnished.


Overview

Quinta do Caroucho is a fully legalised house with a legalised separate two room ‘cottage’ building, legalised garage building and attached and non-attached parcels of land.
The property consists of a 4 room main house plus 2 room guest cottage, garage/shed, 3 hectares of land – flat terraces with 40+ mature olive trees, fruit trees (apple, plum, cherry, fig) and deciduous (mainly oak) woodland. All paperwork is complete and legally correct. There is no eucalyptus on the land. There is an extensive and new (2017) solar electricity system with large battery storage, compost toilet and plentiful mountain spring water from a water mine, plus two sections of riverbank on the River Mondego for swimming and canoeing (see map for location of all land parcels). There is no passing traffic which makes this a perfect place for a rural tourism project or retreat.


Access

There are three access routes to the property. One requires a 4×4 and is approximately 5 minutes to the main road towards Carregal do Sal. The second also requires a 4×4 and is about 10 minutes to the nearest village of Vila do Mato, which has 3 cafe/bars, a food store and an agri shop. The third can be easily driven by a standard car and is 15 minutes from Vila do Mato. It is a 40 minute walk to the village up the hill behind the house. It is situated within 25 minutes of three sizeable towns – Carregal do Sal, Tábua and Oliveira do Hospital. Carregal do Sal has a train station with trains to Coimbra and on to Lisbon and Porto. The property is about a 2 hour drive from Porto airport and about a 2 and a half hour drive from Lisbon airport.
At the property, the final 20m is accessed by 4×4 or by foot up a flight of steps as it is too steep for a standard car.


Main house

The main house is a traditional stone built dwelling. It has one large kitchen/diner/living room which leads on to a large bedroom/living room up 4 steps. There are two further rooms in this building which are accessible from outside on the terrace surrounding the house. One is a bedroom/study and the other is currently used as a power room/storage room.
There are new wood-burning stoves in both the main room and the bedroom/study.


Bathroom
The bathroom is currently accessed by an external door to the rear of the main house but could be knocked through to the bedroom/study room.  The bathroom has a shower run by gas and produces plentiful hot water as well as a sink, washer/dryer and a Kamper Khazi bucket toilet. A urine separator toilet or vermiculture system could easily be installed.

Planning permission has been granted to replace the existing bathroom and add an additional vertical first floor bathroom above the existing bathroom to be accessed from inside the main house. There is a time limit on this work being done by March 2021 before expiry. A urine separator system, vermiculture system or septic tank could be installed to allow for flushing toilets.


The ‘Cottage’
The cottage is brick-built upon a stone foundation and has two large rooms which could be used as a guest lounge + bedroom. There is a new wood-burning stove in the main room.  A bathroom could be fitted into one of the rooms as could a small kitchen area. Underneath the cottage is a cellar used for food storage.


Water
The water for the house comes from a water mine approximately 30m higher than the house and delivered at pressure by gravity to the house meaning no pumps are required and giving good pressure for taps and shower. This is filtered through a 25 micron particle filter (combined particle and active carbon filters are available in this cartridge size) from one of the local hardware stores. The water was tested by the previous owner and found to be suitable for drinking. We have no documented evidence of this but we and all previous owners have drunk this water with no ill effects.


Solar Electricity System

Both the main house and cottage are powered by solar electricity. The power is sufficient to run a washing machine/dryer and all household appliances. There is enough battery storage to ensure a year round electricity supply even without daily sunshine.

Solar electric system was installed new, in 2017. It is comprised of:
• 12 photovoltaic panels – roof-mounted, south-facing
• 2 Victron Energy charge controllers
• 1 Victron Energy charger/inverter (5kW)
• 1 Victron Energy diagnostic unit
• 12 Midac 2V, 600Ah batteries
• 1 Kohler 4.2kW 4 stroke generator
House and cottage are fully wired and earthed to modern standards, including consumer units (also 2017). The whole system produces 240V a.c. allowing the house to be used in the same way as an on-grid house, for electricity purposes.


Furniture

The house is sold fully furnished with double bed, single bed, sofa bed, futon, sofa, dining tables, chairs, drawers, fridge-freezer, separate fridge, washing machine, all kitchen equipment (kettle, pans, crockery, cutlery) and some bedding and basic garden tools and equipment, including lawn mower, olive collecting net, rakes and buckets. Additional garden tools for sale by separate discussion.


Mobile Internet

There is no landline telephone. We use a Vodafone mobile internet dongle and receive sufficient signal to use the internet, send and receive emails and use Netflix/Youtube.


Toilet Facilities
The main compost toilet is 25 metres from the main house and comprises of two, independent, long-drop variety chambers inside a block built, purpose-built shed. One chamber is used as a toilet for 12 months and then closed to allow for safe decomposition before using the humanure in the garden, whilst the second chamber is then used as a toilet. This a dry toilet and not used for urine. There are also three Kamper Khazi toilet buckets for urine which are used in the house for day and night-time use.


Garage/shed

There is a large, brick-built, concrete floored garage/shed used for storage. A car could be stored in here if required. This could be converted to additional accommodation (subject to planning permission).

Outside of the main house is an eira – an old corn threshing area – now used as a patio.


Land

The land consists of approximately 3 hectares and is in three separately numbered parcels, attached and non-attached (see map). The land around the main house is made up of a number of flat terraces having 40+ mature olive trees – which produced 42 litres of oil plus 36kgs of eating olives in 2017 – apple, cherry, plum, nespera and a number of newly planted fruit and nut trees. There are a number of vines which produce a few kilos of sweet grapes. There are stakes and wires all around the terraces for easy planting of more vines. There are some raised beds, a small greenhouse and compost heaps. This parcel also includes a small woodland valley of mainly oak trees and a few olive trees with a large stone built water collection tank (possible natural swimming pool) and which runs to a small section of riverbank on the Mondego River. The view from the house and highest point in the wooded valley land along the Mondego is simply spectacular. Red kites, bats and the odd vulture are regular visitors. Otters live on the river.
There is a separate parcel of land higher up the hill above the house which contains the water mine. The water is piped down to the house via buried plastic piping.
The third parcel is a second riverbank area which provides a sandy beach with swimming and canoeing opportunities. The river never runs dry. This is a 2 minute walk down the hill from the house which sits about 30m above the water level and is at no risk of flooding.


Irrigation/water collection

There are three irrigation tanks which hold several thousand litres of water each, one of which collects the rainwater from the roof of the house. There are two springs in the main part of the garden which supply many thousands of litres of irrigation water by pumping into the second and third irrigation tanks and to all points in the garden which are serviced by standpipes and hoses. There is much more water that could be collected if required with additional guttering and tanks.


Fire Prevention

The land is surrounded by deciduous woodland – oak, mimosa, some pine and a few eucalyptus and was known to have been affected by fire in 2005. We have undertaken a complete clearance of all the overgrown areas of land in 2018 and this should need to be cut once per year to maintain its safety. There is a local team of forestry workers who can undertake this work. We removed over 70 large pine trees near to the house in 2017 and have replanted with oaks and chestnut trees. The house itself is on a raised concrete/stone platform with no close trees or undergrowth and is close to the River Mondego. There are three exit routes plus the river in the case of fire.


Neighbours

There are two neighbours along the valley. One is a small house further up the hill and the other is a yoga eco-retreat (Cara Creek) which does not interfere in any way with the tranquillity of the setting and also shows the potential for possible tourism projects at the quinta (subject to planning permission).


Climate

The climate in Central Portugal is perfect for growing a wide range of vegetables and fruit with two  growing seasons. There is plentiful rain during the winter months followed by a hot, mainly dry summer. The winter rains are sufficient to fill all of the irrigation tanks and ensure enough drinking and washing water for the whole year.


General Thoughts

The Quinta is immediately habitable providing all amenities. Other works could be undertaken to provide a greater level of comfort such as installing an indoor toilet and bathroom access. The land is clear and ready for growing or tourism projects and can be managed alone or with assistance from forestry workers (contacts available). Access is via rough tracks from the main roads and some work could be done to improve these by making a concrete road on the steep drive to the house (approx. 3000€). It is a truly magical place and all who visit have this same reaction. We are selling due to a change in situation that means we cannot give the place the time and energy it needs.

Car available by separate negotiation: 4×4 Opel Frontera (Portuguese registered), IPO until April 2020.

Property Location

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