A tremendous holiday property from start to finish, the villa is conveniently located 40 minutes from both Santiago de Compostela and beaches at the coast.
Its proverbially sleepy hamlet is surrounded by verdant, hilly countryside. The villa is situated in the centre of the tiny, leafy village, near a grocer’s, baker´s and butcher’s, by the tree-filled square where stands a detached village pub (see photos).
The country house is a considerable size – originally two houses that were knocked together – so we’ll lead you through it.
The front garden, fastidiously maintained as is the entire property, has a drive with room for three cars within an electrically operated gate, not that security is a problem in this tranquil corner of Galicia.
Two entrances pass directly from the front garden to a dining room set for six, or the large sitting area with which it communicates. The sofas are very comfortable, there are a number of decorative objets d’art, the flooring tiled in black, the ceiling of wood. A games table to one side seats five.
Doors open to a well-equipped (double oven, fridge-freezer and an extra freezer) kitchen and breakfast room, which continues to the main living room. Walls of attractive local granite are left alternately bare or plastered in order not to overdo the rustic theme. In the corner is a log fire and a dining table is set up here as well. One door leads out to the front garden from here, and another to the rear verandah and main gardens, of which more anon.
A banistered staircase rises to the first floor, where seven bedrooms are ranged out along a rambling hallway.
Three rooms are grouped together on the landing. The first has a king-size double bed and is the only one which looks out across the timber deck to the rear gardens (all the others look out onto the front garden). It has an en-suite walk-in power shower in a nicely finished bathroom, the sink sunk into a wood surround, for example. The other two bedrooms here, a comfortable double and a smaller double (suitable for two small children), share a bathroom between them.
The hallway, which is a room in its own right, furnished with sofas and armchairs, a writing desk and paintings, continues round a dog’s leg to four more very comfortable rooms (all with windows out to the front garden).
The accommodation, already impressive, starts to get really interesting when you go out outside from the hallway onto the broad, covered, timber deck that runs along the length of the building. Furnished with chunky wooden chairs, it has delightful views over the massive gardens and the surrounding countryside. Only languid country sounds, musical chimes from the old church, and a neighbour’s dwelling in the mid-distance, remind you that you are within a village.
The timber floor of this impressive terrace forms the roof of an equally huge, furnished verandah, an ideal place to gather together en masse for al fresco dining in full view of the gardens and pool. A wooden staircase descends from the first floor deck and you can also access it from the main living room and front garden.
The beautifully kept 4,000 m² (a full acre) of lawned gardens are a delight. Planted with fruit trees, shrubs and flowering plants, the emphasis is nonetheless on the free expanse of green lawn. Children can run and play to their heart’s content here.
Pride of place goes to the 10 m x 5 m mosaic salt-filtered swimming pool, which has night lighting and plenty of sunloungers.
Exploring the gardens, way below we find a brick-built barbecue with simple stone bench seating and table, a swing for children, outdoor table tennis, a pond and an ancient hórreo: one of many you will see around Galicia, these historic grain stores are now under a preservation order. You'll also find an ecological vegetable plot, complete with automatic watering system, from which you are invited to try delicious tomatoes or other produce in season.
At the end of the smooth path leading from the main house and front gardens, in its own private corner, is an extra Guest Cottage with two double bedrooms and its own private outside terrace. The rooms are at opposite ends of the cottage for maximum privacy and the large kitchen window looks out onto the garens. It is equipped to be completely independent and one of the bedrooms has a shower room with wheelchair access. It is not rented separately: only as additional accommodation to the main house, if required.
The villa can be rented by 6 people in three bedrooms, or 8 people in four bedrooms, at the reduced rates as advertised. Unused bedrooms on the first floor are then closed off.
In the hamlet, everything is close to hand. There’s fresh bread daily and a fish van calls by 5 days a week. There’s a bank, but no ATM: for this, and good restaurants also, we suggest the lovely ten-minute drive through gorgeous countryside to Forcarei. More recommendable restaurants are to be found in the small town of A Estrada, the main population centre for the area, which is the same short distance away.
For visits to the coast, at 45 mins you have the sandy beaches of Vilagarcía. A few minutes further on, you can drive the sea bridge to the island of Illa Arousa or continue round the peninsula to fashionable O Grove, where the fabulous beach of La Lanzada is justly famous.
At a similar distance are the beautiful beaches of the Noia-Muros estuary.
A day trip to historic Santiago de Compostela, with its cobbled streets and cathedral, is a top attraction of any stay here.
Our Local information guide (one of your holiday documents) explains the highlights of Santiago as well as providing plenty more information on what to do, what to see and where to eat out in the area.
Wherever you go, you will eat well. Seafood is the Galician speciality par excellence, and if you’ve never tried octopus, this is the place to try it. A cold Albariño or Ribeiro white wine is strongly advised as an accompaniment.
The dramatic cliffs and coastline of the Costa da Morte at Finisterre are also within possible day trip reach, but the drive is a full two hours.