Located an hour north of Porto and less than an hour from the Spanish border, this holiday home in Portugal is settled into the rural town of Afife just a mile from the Atlantic coast.
Designed by architect Guilherme Machado Vaz, the towering, five-story, split-level building, was positioned and cleverly adapted to the topography of the site to accommodate the existing elevations, resulting in a staggered layout that allows a direct relationship with the exteriors from each level.
Cut through with a central stairway, the living room, kitchen and dining area are just a half a level above and connect directly with the gardens and outdoor living spaces, while the three double en suite bedrooms are divided between the two levels above. The top level is a fabulous roof terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the sea.
Set next to an historic chapel accessed through a small path, the home’s design, construction details and scale were intended not to disturb this religious space, sharing it in quiet harmony instead.
Wifi throughout, satellite cable TV, kitchen and bath amenities.
Set along the northern coast of Portugal an hour north of Porto, the town of Afife dates to Roman times and earlier in some cases, and houses beautiful museums, castles and fortresses. Rich in history, the local village is less than a mile away and is worth a stroll for dining and local shopping.
Beautiful sandy beaches like Praia de Afife, Arda, Âncora or Moledo are nearby with excellent surfing and water sports with great camping, hiking and fishing in the nearby forested areas. Festas da Senhora da Agonia every August is an annual days long festival packed with processions, parades, costumed revelers and some of the best food and drinks, and is considered the event of the year.
Make a day of it in nearby Viana do Casteloat where the Estacao Viana was inspired by the architecture of a railway station, and enjoy the excellent gastronomic traditions of the local restaurants and cafes. Check out the weekly fair on Saturday in Vila Nova de Cerveira and in August there is a popular event in Viana do Castelo and a great musical festival in Paredes de Coura.
The small town of Caminha has a lively central plaza in Torre do Relogio for some of the best dining and a long stretch of sandy beach at the mouth of the Minho River overlooking a 17th century island fortress.
You can cross the river or stroll through the forest to reach the nearby Moledo Beach.
Nearby Praia do Cabedelo, is backed by giant sand dunes and is adjacent to Viana do Castelo with great views of an imposing neo-Byzantine Temple.
Catch the ferry boat across the river from Caminha for a quick ride to Spain.
Afife, Portugal. Nearest Airport: Aeroporto Francisco Sa Carneiro – Porto (77km)
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring through Fall
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