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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

River Island, Luxury Waterfront Villa, Private pool. Boat, kayaks, river bar

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,152 sq. ft.
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 4 - 7 nights


About the property

Waterfront Villa with private pool, sundeck, boat, kayaks, in Serra da Lousã, Silver Coast, Portugal - On An Island In Warm, Clear River, 6 Mins Walk To River Bar, 8 Mins Drive To Town

This is an area for individualists. If you cannot bear to be more than two metres from another tourist, if you enjoy lager louts, noisy bars, tacky shops, rip-off restaurants, burger gases, traffic jams and impossible parking, then this is not for you.

But why be stampeded into an overcrowded, overpriced tourist ghetto? Instead, treat yourself to a dreamy slice of a watery Eden. Look around you and you might find it hard to believe you are in Europe, never mind just a two-hour flight from grey skies and rain-soaked streets. Try wild swimming in the tree-lined river. We have a 200-mtr stretch of calm water, about 1.2 mtrs deep, not as warm as the pool but still very pleasant, and full of little fish. If you stay still they will come and nibble at your skin – a recognised spa therapy! You might spot a kingfisher while swimming downstream to the river bar (open May – Oct), which as well as serving great coffees offers snacks and a diving platform; or you could paddle down in the wooden rowing boat or kayak; or just walk - it takes only 6 mins.

Once a watermill, the villa has been stylishly restored without cutting corners, to make a roomy home of uncommon charm and elegance.

On the ground floor are a walk-in shower room; big sitting room with two-sided wood-burning stove, satellite TV, and a door to the walled courtyard (with pool and sundeck); a large, modern fitted kitchen and dining area, with door to the riverside kitchen garden.

From the entrance hall, steps lead up to the first floor, where there are three spacious bedrooms. Two of them share a good-size shower room with two-person walk-in shower. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and large covered veranda (with outside steps down to walled courtyard with pool). Take a lazy breakfast here, or just lounge with a good book and barely a sound, except, perhaps, for the sighing trees and the children’s shrieks of laughter from the river below.

In the private walled courtyard is an exceptionally pretty swimming pool with lounge shelf and sundeck. Under the large sundeck is the pump house, with washing machine.

Oil-fired central heating and double glazing throughout.

A short walk/drive, row or swim takes you to the river bar, which serves simple snacks, has a diving board and children's paddling pool.

The town of Lousã, which has several supermarkets, restaurants and one of Portugal's best beauty spots, is about 8 mins by car. The medieval university city of Coimbra is barely half an hour. Also within easy reach are the vast golden beaches of the Silver Coast, gorgeous mountain scenery, warm rivers and lakes (far warmer and safer than the ocean).


*Kayak/boat on the river;

*Lovely walks and drives through the hills and the 'lost' mountain villages;

*'Portugal Pequinitos' - a fantasy model village with Portugal's great buildings in miniature, but still large enough to walk through, plus humbler houses accessible only to children;

*Conimbriga - the ancient Roman capital with some of the best mosaics in Europe;

* World Heritage Tomar, a lovely old town with Knights Templar castle and convent;


*Open-air zoo plus farm zoo;

*Gondola rides on the canals of Aveiro;

*The Holy Shrine at Fatima and nearby beautifully lit caves;

*The medieval university city of Coimbra with its big shopping malls.

The infrastructure is excellent, English widely spoken and restaurants amazingly cheap. This is the real Portugal, not a tourist ghetto rip-off.


Escape the northern winter with a low-priced long term break, November - March.

More Details

Member since: 2006
Speaks English, French, Portuguese, Dutch
Calendar last updated:
19 May, 2017

Why James chose Coimbra Region

It is very, very rare to find good properties next to a river - there is a total embargo on building - and this happens to be the best stretch of swimming river in the region.

What makes this villa unique

.The adventure of swimming in a warm river, right from your door.

Guestbook comments from the owner

What a week! What a property! Fantastic facilities and welcome. Lousã area is great, the river swimming a must. The owners have excelled in creating such a relaxing atmosphere. We recommend a row down to the river bar, Burgo Restaurant at Lousã Castle is a must. We will be back!"

Kevin and Janet, Cambridge, UK.

"We had a wonderful time on River Island. The house was lovely and well decorated. The kids liked to go to the river bar by boat or dive from the platform. The interior of Portugal is extremely beautiful and the people friendly. We surely recommend this place!"

Achien and Guy, Netherlands.

"Do we have to leave? Once again the sun is shining, the pool is calling. We had a fantastic, relaxing holiday. Everything we could possibly wish for and more."

Simon and Karin, Surrey, England

"We enjoyed our week here very much. The villa is gorgeous, both in decoration and location. We also enjoyed the pool, and the Blue Book was invaluable in guiding us to places to visit. We particularly recommend the Roman ruins at Conimbriga."

Deborah and Jamie, England

"What can we say? We have absolutely loved staying here. It's been the perfect end to our trip. We're just sorry we could not stay for longer. It is a beautiful villa, so beautifully designed. We visited the Arouce Castle in Lousã and it's just amazing. We will definitely be back!"

Amy and Anthony, England
Jan 2013
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Municipality of Lousã in Central Portugal - Silver Coast

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 2152 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • river
  • rural
  • waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Bidet , En-suite to master bedroom
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Hand-held shower in toilet serves as bidet
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Hand-held shower in toilet serves as bidet. Grnd floor
  • The en-suite bathroom has a bath, toilet, bidet, washbasin in vanity unit. The shower room has a walk-in shower, toilet with hand-held shower, wash basin. There is a further shower room on the ground floor, near the pool. Toilet also has hand-held shower to serve as bidet.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed
    Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed , 1 Cot , En-suite bathroom, large veranda
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Master bedroom has en-suite bath, large veranda. Second (even larger) bedroom has double bed. Third bedroom has twin beds, and shares shower room (with one access door from corridor) with second bedroom.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Bicycles
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Veranda
  • Tennis ...
  • 2 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes on accommodation: The house is roomy and airy, with a special atmosphere of calm and elegance. The meter-thick walls make for coolness in summer, cosiness in winter. Furnishing is in most cases brand new and of good quality. Outside: Dreamy location on an island, between an enchanting canal and tree-lined river. Large lawned garden with pond; riverside kitchen garden with barbecue and dining table; walled courtyard with pool and sun deck. Utility Room: Washing machine - free use. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: All linen and towels included. The house is cleaned weekly and after each visit. Other: Dining room open plan with kitchen.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(11 traveller reviews)


Lovely house in a beautiful setting

  • 5 of 5

We had a fabulous family holiday at River Island. James & Heidi were so welcoming and friendly. They were really helpful with everything we needed. The house is really well equipped with a gorgeous pool, which our kids loved. We also loved taking the kayaks down the river and relaxing in the lovely garden. There is loads to do if you feel like venturing out. Our favourite was swimming in the nearby gorge. We can't wait to go back!

  • Review Submitted: May 15, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Lorna, for taking the time to leave a review. We much enjoyed having you and your family as guests and look forward to seeing you again before too long. Always welcome!
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Surpassed all expectations!

  • 5 of 5

Dreamy is the word. It was a joy to wake up every morning to the sound of birdsong, look out of my bedroom window and watch the clear waters of the river drift slowly by. I was tempted to jump in, but it was still a bit cold for that! Must be idyllic in summer.

We immediately felt at home in the villa, which was modern, roomy and very comfortable, with a calm atmosphere and some nice touches, like the exposed stonework from the original house. The weather was a bit up and down, but the central heating and log fire kept us snug in the evenings..

The biggest surprise was the beauty of this gorgeous area, so unspoiled. We had some wonderful walks up in the hills, with breathtaking views and exhilarating fresh air. We both loved Coimbra, which is such an easy, laid-back city. The Roman ruins at Conimbriga were amazing and should be much better known. The local people were so friendly (many of them speak English and liked to show this off) and not out to rip us off. We kept thinking they must have made a mistake with the bill in the restaurants. Fantastically cheap and huge portions! They had English menus, too.

I was so delighted with my short break that I have already booked to go back with friends and family.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 28, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Carla. I'm so glad you felt at home. We're glad to welcome you back. You are almost family!
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Fantastic holiday in an amazing location

  • 5 of 5

From the moment we arrived it was brilliant, amazing accommodation, everything you need, wonderful hosts, kind, friendly and welcoming. The location was by far one of the best we've ever stayed in, enjoyed walks, kayaking on the river and we were very amazed to see the family of otters that reside on the river bank only 200 yards from our accommodation. There are plenty of places to visit in this wonderful part of portugal and the coast is lovely and not too far away. We very much hope to return very soon and will recommend this place to everyone.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you to you both for your kind review. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay in such gorgeous autumnal weather, and had the privilege of seeing our resident otters from the kayaks. Hope to see you back for a longer stay next time. James
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Luxury by the river in real Portugal

  • 5 of 5

We stayed here in October and enjoyed lovely weather for the week . The villa is beautifully appointed and very comfortable. Location is in a stunning part of Portugal and well located to visit , Lousa, Coimbra , Tomar Fatima to name a few . Restaurants are very good and extraordinarily cheap to eat in.

The addition of kayaks on the river kept our teenage son and 10 year old daughter entertained .

James is a great host and very efficient in all he does .

Recommended for a relaxing break .

  • Review Submitted: Nov 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, B and L, for taking the time to leave a review. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your stay and had such summery weather in late October. Autumns have been exceptionally hot in recent years. Hope to see you again one day. All the best, James
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It is about Pianola Villa - The perfect Villa that make you feel at home!

  • 5 of 5

Actually we rent the villa Pianola in Pova de Fiscal instead of waterfront villa after the reservation.

We came late in the evening and James was helpful and very generous. He welcomed us at home with fresh mozzarella salad, watermelon, wine and beers . it was generous and lovely.

This was the BEST apartment that we have been so far in our trips and we travel a lot (family trip of 6 month to Australia and New Zealand and more...).

The feeling is that you come to a warm house with all the amenities that you have at home.

The only disadvantage is the rural far location . We traveled from there to Aveiro, Coimbra, Tomar, Ourem, Batalha, Nazare .... and even so - it was worth it - The apartment is so big and beautiful, with a pool well designed and very clean and most of all you just feel at home - perfect !!!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, family S, for your kind observations. It's a shame you were here for three days only, otherwise you would have discovered the many gems that lie right on the doorstep. I am so glad you liked the villa, which was perhaps more suitable for your party than River Island, about which you first enquired, having a ground floor bedroom, suitable for elderly mum.. You were our very first visitors from Israel! You are always welcome back, I hope for longer next time. Thanks again and best wishes James
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wonderful property majical location

  • 5 of 5

River Island was a wonderful place to stay. we loved the villa, the swimming pool and the river. The villa was very clean well equipped and comfortable.We are already talking about returning.

Many thanks to the kind owners who were very helpful.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, TJ for taking the time to review. We are very gratified that you enjoyed your stay and would love to welcome you back!
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Prices & Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Late spring
18 May 2017 - 26 May 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Early summer
27 May 2017 - 23 Jun 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Shoulder season
24 Jun 2017 - 14 Jul 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Peak season
15 Jul 2017 - 3 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Late summer
4 Sep 2017 - 29 Sep 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
30 Sep 2017 - 3 Nov 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
30% non-refundable deposit requested with booking, the balance 30 days before arrival, please. Payment may be in sterling or euros.

Ask about our special rates for long term stays, November - April. Escape the northern winter!

Changeover Day:
Flexible. Departure by 10:00am, arrival after 3:00pm - but we try to be flexible about this too.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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