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



Updated: 13-Oct-2016
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;

* 'Sky Garden' rope bridge walks through the treetops in the Botanical Gardens; *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
  • Sleeps 6
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Swimming pool
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

Speaks English, French, Portuguese, Dutch

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

6 Reviews

based on 6 holidaymaker reviews


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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0 0

Simply wonderful, we loved it!

  • 5 of 5

This was without doubt the best family holiday we have had.

The villa was much better than described. It was cool in the heat and there were no mosquitos! It was stylish and well equipped ....A welcome pack was provided too. The swimming pool was fab, just big enough and kept our children entertained.

The owners and their lovely girls went far beyond what we would have expected. We were so well looked after and on my sons 16th Birthday Heidi knowing we might not be able to find a birthday cake....made one for our son. How wonderful is that?

The position of the villa is unique between canal and river...with kingfishers and fish...otters further down he river. If you love nature and still want style, this is for you.

The kayaks were used by us all, every day and we walked to the river bar daily too.

There is so much to see and we enjoyed day trips too.

We plan to go back in Spring, when the mimosa trees that surround the villa are in bloom.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 14, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you. It was a pleasure to have you as guests and we're delighted you enjoyed your holiday. Hope to see you in the spring!
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1 0

Absolutely Magnificent

  • 5 of 5

Our first holiday to Portugal after over 15 years of renting villas in France. This was up there with the best. A truly beautiful property with everything you need and more, in a fantastic location. If you want peace and quiet, but within easy driving distance of the coast or attractions, this is the villa for you. The photos do not do it justice, it is much better in reality. The blue book of recommendations was invaluable. We would definitely recommend this property and look forward to returning in the future. Thank you James & Heidi for your hospitality and allowing us to stay in your wonderful villa.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 1, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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2 0

A first class villa in a beautiful location.

  • 5 of 5

We spent a very enjoyable twelve nights at River Island in July 2015. The villa was perfect - lovely location, spacious, well equipped and very clean. The boys enjoyed the pool and especially the kayaks! We visited some local attractions but most days could find no reason to stray too far from the villa. James and Heidi were always available if needed. We would certainly recommend River Island for a comfortable, relaxing holiday.

The Monahans.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 19, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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3 0

A superb property with excellent facilities

  • 5 of 5

Three couples stayed at the property for one week. The property is what we were looking for....off the beaten track, well equipped, spacious, with a pool, and interesting places to visit nearby. Very helpful owners who live next door and for whom nothing is too much trouble. A car is essential with all you need within 15 mins drive...supermarkets, restaurants etc. Highlight of the stay...taking the rowing boat down to the local bar....hilarious

  • Review Submitted: Nov 19, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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2 0

A little bit of island paradise

  • 5 of 5

We had stayed previously at one of Heidi & James's other properties and when they said this one was better we were skeptical but they were right. Beautiful house, fantastic setting, amazing pool and all made truly perfect by Heidi, James and their family - the perfect hosts. The area we can also recommend for climate, scenery, sightseeing and water based fun. Our only other concern was being near the river there may be insects but we need not have worried as we had no bother at all. We had a beautiful week and will return soon.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 7, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Jan, Kev and girls, for your kind remarks. We are truly gratified that you so much enjoyed your stay. We would love to welcome you back soon, but since we posted new photos there has already been a small avalanche of enquiries for next season!
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From the Owner

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.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Barpub : River Bar at 0.3 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Burgo, Lousã at 5 Kilometres Nearest Beach : River Beach at 0.3 Kilometres Car: necessary

This is an area noted for its clear rivers and lakes (the best stretch of swimming river runs right past the villa), almost tropically warm in summer - far warmer (and safer) than the open ocean. Some have beaches with cafe/restaurant; others you might have all to yourself, even in summer. It is a pure delight to swim in these warm waters, surrounded by nature.

Other things to do: 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; horse-riding; open-air zoo plus farm zoo; gondola rides on the canals of Aveiro;


Porto is about 1hr 45mins, Lisbon about 2hrs, and it's motorway most of the way. There are inexpensive flights from several UK airports and Dublin, and from other northern European countries.


The nearest shops/restaurants are c. 8 mins by car. The medieval university city of Coimbra, regional capital and Portugal's third city, is c. 25 mins. World Heritage Tomar is also c. 45 mins. The Roman ruins at Conimbriga (with some of the best preserved mosaics in Europe) are c. 30 mins. Riding stables, a zoo and big lido are all about 15 mins by car. Lousã Castle, in one of Portugal's leading beauty spots, is about 10 minutes.

Gorgeous green countryside is right on your doorstep.

Further Details:

Restaurants are amazingly inexpensive and serve huge portions. The better ones have menus in English. Wine is absurdly cheap and very drinkable. English and French are widely spoken.

Locals are genuinely friendly, the roads empty. This is the REAL Portugal, not a rip-off tourist ghetto! You'll return home wondering why this paradise isn't better known, but very glad it isn't!

English, French, Dutch and Portuguese spoken.


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
2 Oct 2016 - 5 Nov 2016
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Low season
6 Nov 2016 - 19 Dec 2016
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Christmas/New Year
20 Dec 2016 - 5 Jan 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low season
6 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
1 Apr 2017 - 21 Apr 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
22 Apr 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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Updated: 13-Oct-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

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

Property Type

  • villa


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities


  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove


  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area


  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Toys

Pool / Spa

  • Private Pool


  • children welcome

Location Type

  • river
  • rural
  • waterfront


  • 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

Floor Area

  • 200 m²


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Bathroom 3 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • The en-suite bathroom has a bath, toilet, bidet, washbasin in vanity unit. The shower room has a walk-in shower, toilet, wash basin. There is a further shower room on the ground floor.


  • 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.


  • Boat ...
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Veranda
  • Tennis ...


  • Self-catering

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website


  • We recommend ORBITZ and EASYCAR for car rentals. They seem to offer better deals with reputable companies than do other agents. 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.

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