Quality 6 bedroom villa on river border of Portugal & Spain - next to great town
Suci & Mark
- english, french, german, spanish, portuguese, Russian, italian, Dutch, swedish, greek, Czech, Danish, norwegian, polish, Hungarian, arabic, Finnish, Turkish, Mandarin Chinese, OK, we use a translator! :-)
About Suci & Mark
This has been our primary family home for 11 years, from 2004, and we love it. We have moved abroad for business and specialist schooling for our daughter. We visit regularly and enjoy the villa still. We once owned and operated a small villa beach eco-resort in remote Northern Bali, so we know about what guests want and expect, we think and hope. Our friend is our housekeeper and gardener; her husband is the handyman that maintains the property for us. They do not speak much English, but you will get by, for sure. After you arrive, we will call you, and talk you through everything if you like. The phone has International call barring but you can call our Portuguese mobiles if you need us (we are not in Portugal); we can liaise with the housekeeper and sort out anything that needs to be.
Suci & Mark purchased this Chateau / Country House in 2004
Why Suci & Mark chose Monção
Easy walk to a great antique town full of cafes and more, or a lazy day paddling and swimming in your own private pool or the river bank below. Tons to do for all the family. Spend a few days out on trips; once to the Atlantic Coast of Portugal to buy some fresh bonito (small species of tuna) at a real fisherman's market, to walk along the white sandy beaches (also rock pool areas with great mussels; pick your own!), maybe take in luch at a great seafood restaurant (the squid is exceptional). Or go shopping in Vigo (some great shops and waterfront cafes). A few mornings to nearby Ponteareas (Spain) for sure; best seafood supermarket counter, patiserie / bread & cake shops, superb cafes and restaurants. A lazy day milling aorund the local town called Moncao (market day is Thursday); plenty of cafes and more. Wednesdays are good to go to the larger local Portuguese town of Valenca, as they have a huge market (buy English clothing store overruns at a fraction of the UK shop prices) and great fortified old town. A day in the mountains is good to cool down (it can get very hot here in the summer); there are even summer only mountain restaurants to enjoy (the lamb is exceptional). The Spanish coast maybe another day (fancy some scuba diving maybe). Kayak down the river; go on, try (there are supervised group outings or you can rent a kayak if you are experienced). Avoid the mass tourist hoards; less fish and chips (although they sell fresh cod here at around half the price you can buy it in the UK) and more authentic regional cuisine. There are many tourists here, but they tend to be Portguese (what does that tell you, we are in the area that the Portuguese themselves chose to holiday at), Spanish and French. Health centre with 24 hour emergency department 3 minutes drive away. Two large and exceptionally good riverside parks with picnic BBQ areas very close by; one is huge, with boating lake, long riverside jogging / cycling track, outdoor gym, agricultural museum, etc
What makes this Chateau / Country House unique
Two waterfront holidays for the price of one; immediate access to both Portugal and Spain. And you will not find better views! To that end, we have binolculars and telescopes (including a large refractor to watch the night time sky). Look at the river, go down and paddle, boat, kayak, swim, fish on the river. Then go back to your own private pool and look down to the river again! Is it possible? Will you get bored with looking at the river? We think not. Be amongst the real people of Portugal and Spain. Immediate access to Spain (our views are of the mountains in Galicia, Spain) even though the property is in Portugal. Unspoilt area, clean air, unpoluted river, quiet, tranquil, secure, bird song (some beautiful songbirds during the day, wood peckers in the afternoon and owls at night). Only an hour through some great scenary to the Atlantic Coast but only a few meters (if going across the river) or 6 minutes drive to the popular river beach on the other side of the river. Great fishing and boating, or just hang out and picnic on the river. Tradtional food in Portugal. Tapas and seafood in Spain. True tranquility but with ready if not immediate access to many supermarkets and more. If you want the larder / fridge / freezer / wine rack stocked in advance of your arrival, let us know; we will charge you the true local price plus 10 Euros for the person who gets it all for you. Although we are not in Portugal, you can call our Portuguese mobiles from the house phone at any time (Internal calls are barred, so please buy a calling card at the local store or post office if you need this facility), and we will talk you through anything you need. Security, security, security. Extensive 2 meter security fenced / walled grounds, not overlooked, video entry vehicle and pedestrian gates (plus regular padlocked river gates). We are in an exceptionally low crime area and at the end of the village no through road. Plus we have an advanced security system (emergency services +).
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 10:30 am
No 3rd persons to use facilties without consent.
You are welcome to smoke outside.
No pets indoors ever, sorry. Dog pen available.
Parental care around pool area, top floor & river
Max guests:12 (sleeps up to 9 adults)
Check in 14:00 to 16:00 and check out 8:30 to 10:30 except by arrangement (we are flexible if consulted and able).
No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made
Beautiful villa and location
We’ve had plenty of villa holidays as a group (4 adults and 5 kids, aged between 5 and 12), and all agreed this was probably the best villa we’d stayed in.
We loved the private setting, the views over the river, and the space and quality of the villa itself. The little touches were great, such as arriving to find ample supplies of loo roll, inflatables for the pool, books etc. The resident (outdoor) cats were a bonus for the kids. The weather was very hot, and the pool a lovely temperature.
The location was great, with the river beach opposite, Spain on the doorstep, and the fantastic local town an easy walk home from after a night enjoying the local Fiesta.
We home to come back! Many thanks
We are truly very glad that you enjoyed yourself so much. Our daughter is especially happy you liked the "adopted" cats (Pingo, Pepper and Zebbie); Pingo is the mum, she turned up as an emaciated stray one day, very timid to say the least, so we fed her, she stayed and a few days later had kittens first by the pool but then took them to the greenhouse; we had them given their shots and neutered, let them come and go, and fed / flea treated them; we could not bring them with us as they had not been chipped / passported, plus it would not have been possible in other respects.
But anyway, we are so glad that you enjoyed our property there; we miss it so much.
Mark & Suci
Beautiful spacious villa with lovely views
My family and I stayed at Marks villa for two weeks at the end of June, we arrived at a very antisocial hour but Mark made sure everything was organised and as smooth as possible for us, his housekeeper Lucia and her family were there on our arrival and briefly showed us around, she spoke very little English but we got by, especially as one of our party spoke some Spanish. Lucia and her daughter were fantastic during our stay, changing sheets, cleaning etc. and helping us with any issue or questions we had.
The villa itself is marvellous, so much more spacious than it looks in the photos, there was over 10 in our party and at no point were we short on space, there were things available for the young children which was incredibly useful too - high chair, cot, toys etc.
The location is perfect for exploring Portugal and Spain and we found beautiful beaches between 30 and 40 minutes away as well as the river beach opposite. It's worth knowing there is a walk along the river from the bottom of the villa which leads you straight into the local town Moncào much more quickly than the roads (although there are a few rocks to climb over).
I would recommend the boat trip in Vigo over to Cies Island for a day trip - the beach is breathtaking. Caminha in Portugal is also well worth a visit, we ate at a wonderful restaurant in the square that made ice cream on site. Some of our party also went to the Festival at Braga which was great fun.
We found Continente (I can't remember it's name exactly) the best supermarket locally for us.
Unfortunately the jacuzzi bath was out of action during our stay but with such a lovely pool this wasn't an issue.
We made lemonade from the fantastic lemons we collected which was delicious and the children very much enjoyed petting the cats and spotting the hedgehogs at night!
I cannot fault Marks communications during and before our stay and Lucia and her family were fantastic and always smiling.
Thank you for a wonderful and unforgettable holiday - my two year old daughter now keeps asking to go back to her 'Portugal house'!
Thank you for your kind words.
We are truly glad that you had a great time, and especially took time to go a little off the beaten track and walk along the river.
Yes, Lucy and her daughter are our stars, and Lucy's husband.
Glad you enjoyed the lemons! Guests are welcome to help themselves to whatever fruit we have, though many of the trees (cherries, plums, nectarines, etc.) fruit April through May, while the citrus (oranges, nectarines, etc.) are later - the lemons you had were on the trees from the winter. But you missed the large fig trees down the bottom?
The jacuzzi feature of the bath is history for now I'm afraid; it is not a simple matter to get a replacement motor and pipes (we would need to get these too).
Mark, Suci, Lucia and Adreana
beautiful mansion in absolutely peace
Das Anwesen ist wunderschön ruhig im Grünen gelegen. Weder die Nachbar, noch eine Straße, oder irgendein anderes Haus ist zu sehen. Man entspannt völlig. Das Haus ist gut eingerichtet. Etwas kolonial. Wir waren zu acht, 4 Erwachsene und 4 Kinder. Jedes Kind hatte ein eigenes Zimmer, das Dachgeschoss wurde zur Jugendetage, da die bis in die Puppen schliefen.
Eine Klimaanlage ist nur im Kellergeschoss, dort brauch man sie eigentlich nicht, wie auch im Rest des Hauses blieb es angenehm kühl, wenn man dem Vermieter Mark seine Empfehlungen beachtete. Für das Dachgeschoss gab es eine mobile Anlage. Aber Nachts kühlte es immer angenehm ab. Daher empfehlen wir auch bei hohen Tagestemperaturen für abends eine leichte Jacke oder Sweatshirt dabei zu haben.
Jeden zweiten Tag kam Lucy, um zu putzen und die Bettwäsche, sowie Handtücher zu wechseln. Schon im voraus hatten wir einen netten und guten Kontakt zum Vermieter, der unkompliziert und sehr hilfreich war. Nordportugal ist wunderschön, die kleinen Städtchen sind eine Fahrt wert und eine Wildwasserfahrt auf dem Mini auch. Wir hatten tolle Ferien. Wer allerdings Trubel braucht und alles nah bei sich haben möchte ist hier nicht richtig. Zu den schönen Stränden fährt man eine 3/4 Stunde, jedoch sind sie naturbelassen gut ausgestattet und nicht überfüllt. Auf dem Rückweg lohnt es sich auf den schönen Plaza's der Städtchen/Dörfer etwas Essenz gehen.
Wir hatten wunderbar erholsame Ferien und werden dieses Jahr wieder mit einer befreundeten Familie hierher fahren. Da wir im letzten Jahr weitere Pololiegen vermisst haben, haben wir dies dem Vermieter gesagt und er versprach noch 3 dazu zu kaufen, bevor wir kommen.
Dear mark we are happy to be able to stay with you again this year!
Hello Sonja - we bought 6 new sun loungers for your stay this year (thanks for coming back again - hopefully we will get 5 stars this time :))
Bijzonder verrassend mooie en goed uitgeruste woning, prachtig gelegen aan de Minho. Genoten van het zwembad, het uitzicht, rust en de omgeving.
We zijn echt blij dat je van je verblijf hebt genoten. Heel erg bedankt voor je vriendelijke woorden.
We are truly glad that you enjoyed your stay. Thank you very much for your kind words.
Mark & Suci
Superbe Maison de Vacances
Nous étions 12, et avec les 6 chambres tout était parfait, chacun avait de l'espace.
Les chambres étaient confortables; la salle à manger au rez de chaussée au top!
Accès direct à la grande terrasse, très grand parking, les enfants ont joués dans le jardin
Vraiment belle maison, si on refait une cousinade à Monçao, je la relouerai avec plaisir.
Chère Marie-Claude et Adelin
Merci beaucoup de nous avoir choisi pour votre séjour, et merci pour vos aimables paroles. Le plaisir était tout à nous.
Mark et Suci
There are two excellent public recreation parks, one on the Portuguese side of the river (2 minutes drive away), the other on the Spanish side (5 minutes drive away). Each have children's play areas, BBQ / picnic areas, outdoor gymns and riverside walks. Next to the Portuguese park is a public covered / heated swimming pool and gym. The Spanish park is the largest, with a cycle track, boating pool, horticultural "museum" (animals, plants, history), avery, children's cycling track, and duck pond. These are excellent places to hang out with the local families and relax.
There are two local adventure tour companies offering loads of choices, especially kayaking, horse riding and the like. The Atlantic coast is approximately 45 minutes drive away (the beaches do get busy in the summer) where you will also find a small fishing port with fresh fish market, and some excellent seafood restaurants. There is a local health center with 24 hour emergency department, plus three international standard hospitals in Vigo, 25 minutes away. The nearest golfing is at Balneario de Mondariz (a country resort in Spain - highly recommend), 30 minutes drive away with a water palace spa and childrens / infants areas / resources, or at the Ponte de LIma Golf Resort in Portugal, 50 minutes drive away. The airport in Vigo offers small plane flights. There is also a hot air balloon company.
On the Portuguese side and within 5 minutes drive are 4 supermarkets; national markets Continental and Pingo Doce (the later we prefer for tropical fruits, patiserie and wine selection), plus local markets Coca and Minipreco. On the Spanish side in Ponteareas is our favorite supermarket, Eroski (there are two; bizarly the smaller town centre one is cheaper and has superb meat and fresh fish counters - their car park is free for their own customers and the excellent patiserie "Francos" and cafe "Monet" - absolute must uses). There are two Lidl and other supermarkets within 15 minutes drive, plus huge hypermarkets and department stores in Vigo (20 minutes drive). Recently, a Burger King has opened (3 minutes drive from us).
Restaurants; you are spoilt for choice, really. Tapas bars just across the river, a superb seafood restaurant in Ponteareas, excellent traditional food in nearby Melgaco, plus a wealth of restaurants in our local town, Moncao / Monção, itself.
Good days trips includ the Peneda mountains and of course the fine Atlantic Ocean beaches nearby. Vigo is a great day out for all you would expect from a large Spanish city, and Porto is just an hour away via one of the most scenic motorways in Europe. There is an excellent spa and water palace resort around 45 minutes away (El Balneario de Mondariz), plus equestrian centres for horse riding abound.
During July, August, Easter and Christmas / New Year the local town is just one long festival; be careful though, drink driving rules are strictly enforced (luckily, you can easily walk to the town centre, though perhaps not so easily back). And you will hear as many French voices as Portuguese during this time, as many of the Portuguese emmigrants who live and work in France come home to Moncao for their holidays.
There is a riverside railway on the Spanish side; a beautiful journey, which can take you all the way to Madrid, but nearby Ourense is a great market town to sepnd a day at before catching another train home (the station is just 5 minutes drive from our property).