What a wonderful find! Our stay at Casa de Carcevelos was magical and well suited for all members of my family ranging from 5 to 75 years!
The house is built of local stone and as well as making it beautiful it also helped to keep it cool inside. We found out it dated from 1830 with the top level more "recently" added in 1910.
The five bedrooms and ensuites are all well appointed and spotlessly clean. All overlook the swimming pool and beautiful view of the valley. The beds are a little on the hard side but this is perhaps more to do with personal preference.
The kitchen is adequately equipped for the casual holiday cook and allowed us to make full use of the amazing local produce, much of which can be plucked from the orchards on site. We were amazed by the variety of produce growing. Lemons, limes, apples, pears, plums, oranges, grapes, passion fruit, quinces, rosemary, thyme, mint, chives and probably much more! We seemed to discover something new every day.
The kitchen contains a fridge/freezer, electric hob, oven/grill, dishwasher and washing machine.
There is a huge dining table inside the kitchen and a smaller outdoor one in a gorgeous spot shaded by a truly magnificent arch of grapevines which also covers a lovely cobbled path up to the road.
The swimming pool is a good size with about half of it shallow and half deep. There is a useful pool house with bathrooms and showers located next to the pool. There were some inflatables and noodles for the kids. Sun loungers and cushions were also provided.
The tennis court was a real bonus and recently resurfaced. Racquets and balls are provided but if you are a serious player, you'll want to bring your own.
There is a lovely sun terrace above the kitchen with seating. We enjoyed a fair few aperitifs, admiring the sunset and views!
Next to this there is a small stone pool that is constantly fed by running spring water. This is safe to drink and is delicious.
The games room had a table football and various board games as well as a guitar, amp and African drums.
Lucinda and Mario were the best hosts, extremely warm, helpful, friendly and informative. They do stay on site but are completely unobtrusive. They do not speak a lot of English but they definitely understand more than they can speak. As we didn't speak any Portuguese, we muddled through with a mixture of mostly French, a bit of English, a smattering of Spanish and some help from Google Translate!
I would say that a car is essential in this location. There are a few cafes and a bakery in the village but no supermarket and although the local town of Cabeceiros de Basto is only 3km away, you could not walk it as the roads are not pedestrian friendly. I do advise that you do not hire a large car. The roads in the village are narrow, steep, winding and without any barriers and you would want the manoeuvrability of a smaller vehicle to cope. Very glad we hired two cars for our party rather than a minibus!
Another reviewer mentioned the sound of dogs barking at night which I do agree is fairly annoying! Although we did get used to it after a few days, I do recommend earplugs for a guaranteed good night's sleep. This will also stop you from being woken up by the cockerels in the morning... I would also recommend bringing a good insect repellent for anyone who particularly suffers from bites. Although mosquitoes did not seem a big issue, there are some biting flies that appear during the day. Ahhhhh, the joys of the countryside!
Casa de Carcavelos was perfect for us. We wanted a relaxing, self catered holiday in a beautiful and authentically Portuguese location that was not saturated with tourists, had a decent swimming pool and was suitable for young children. It ticked all these boxes and more. However, it would not suit those wanting exciting nightlife, entertainment or shopping on the doorstep.
This place is literally paradise! An increadible breathtaking location in the mountains with fresh water piped off the mountain and surrounded by orchards and grape vines! The accommodation is very beautiful and well presented. The owners live on site and were very helpful and kind. We were given home made wine and jam! They did all they could to make us feel welcome.
The reason I couldn't give this 'excellent' were that the beds were rather uncomfortable and there were dogs barking on a local farm all day and night! It was remarkable how noisy and dominating they were. As the dogs were not on the property the owners couldn't do anything about this. As such we didn't sleep very well.