Casa do Retiro is located in the heart of
Ribeira Lima, in the village of Fontão,
one of the most picturesque villages of
the Minho region in northern Portugal.
Ponte de Lima, the oldest Portuguese
town stands 7km away and Viana do
Castelo, where long white sand beaches
contrast with slopes of vineyards and
farms, is only at a 15 km distance.
Manor Casa do Retiro is part of a 10ha
farm exhibiting the typical architecture
of the region. It is surrounded by fi elds
and trees and encircled by stone walls,
providing great privacy and a sense of
(website hidden) e house stands amid a highly forested
area, surrounded by the imposing Serra
D´Arga and the plain of Rio Lima,
combining a beauty worthy of a romantic
painting with a privileged location.
A clear water brook crosses the farm,
inviting to a bath or trout fi (website hidden) e land is intended for corn plantation
for animal feed purposes.
After crossing the emblazoned entrance
gate, we come to an open and ample
yard that leads to a large stone staircase
and the manor’s main entrance.
Next to the main façade of the house
there are various farm premises, amongst
which an old cellar and barn that lead
to a monumental old granite threshing
fl oor, with 4000 metres, deemed to be
the largest in (website hidden) e house has a beautiful garden and
pool, which face a dazzling scenario of
mountain ridges where the blue colour
of the sky mingles with the green of the
trees, and the peaceful silent environment
invites to dreaming and introspection,
away from daily stress.
We had a great time in Casa do Retiro! This is not a typical holiday house: don't expect Ikea furniture, but a LOT of charm and real history. Some of the equipment might not be the most recent, but who cares, if you have a library and real art to enjoy!
There was plenty of space for the 2 families we came with. When you have a car, there's plenty to see in the neighborhood (mountains to beaches, cities to villages). And every evening, we could enjoy another stunning view from Cata do Retiro!
We stayed in this house for a week with a larger family (multiple little kids, grandparents, etc.) and enjoyed it a lot. The mansion is *huge* (we were using only part of it), there is plenty of rooms and space for everybody. Note that the house is quite old and whereas some parts of it (e.g. bathrooms) have recently been renovated, many other parts are obviously old and are run down to varying degree. As the other review says, it is part of the house's charm, and I fully agree! There is an old library, old porcelain collections in old cupboards in the living room etc., etc. -- many things to explore and enjoy, but don't expect everything top-notch and be sure to find some woodworms and old-house-smell. If you don't mind it, as we did not, then you will love it.
The territory around the house is also huge, there are several yards where the kids can play, and a nice little swimming pool (maybe 5 by 5 meters). Note that the main floor is the 1st floor, so be prepared for a lot of staircases.
The location is great (but you definitely need a car), Ponte de Lima is very close, Viana de Castelo is very close, Braga and Geres are not the far. There is a lot of culture and nature to explore, and a lot of vinho verde to try. I disagree with the other review about Ponte de Lima: it's a very enjoyable little town, well worth a look. There are some very nice cafes there as well. Check out the beach below the rapid right downstream from the automobile bridge. When the water level is low (it's not always low! maybe high tides reach in until there? or maybe it varies on its own), it's like an aqua-park, kids will love it.
We liked this place. It was calm, far from the crowds. There are many places to visit in about 1h-2h drive max from the house. Ponte de Lima was not so good as expected, though. The house is big, a bit old (including the interior), but it is part of its charm. The place to go if you are looking for a stay with a big group of friends/family and/or to rest/read books/stay by the pool.
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