This small Quinta (or Quintinhna) is a property for sale located in an exceptionally beautiful valley called Vale Lourenco in the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede. Being in a National Park you are safe from development appearing nearby and it is very hard to find quality properties in this desirable area.
This secluded home is within the Alto Alentejo region of rural Portugal. It's nearest town is Portalegre and the most well known other towns nearby are the charming Castelo de Vide and the medieval hilltop village of Marvao which has an other-worldly atmosphere.
A lot of countries had a torrid time with house prices because of a credit fueled price bubble but real estate in Alto Alentejo never saw over-inflated prices.
Most of Portugal's real estate didn't see the massive rise that other European countries saw but the Euro crisis has made a dent in prices so whilst they have fallen back, they didn't collapse. As of 2014 the market is definitely shifting and it is an opportune time for real estate.
Alto means upper and this sub-region is the northern part of Alentejo towards the east of Portugal bordering Spain. The region is shown on Wikipedia which explains that Alto Alentejo used to mean a much larger area.
Our property is central to the Parque Natural de Serra da Sao Mamede in the north west of the Alto Alentejo close to Portalegre but not in the town. The area has a range of hills (the Serra) and forest which overlooks the plain below and it includes the remarkable hill-top village of Marvao and the lovely Castelo de Vide.
This is actually an area of gradually declining population since the Portuguese tend to migrate towards the cities which are on the western side of the country. However this area is gradually becoming more popular with discerning Northern Europeans who favour the character of the area as a holiday escape. Some come to buy holiday homes and others set up permanent residence to escape the busy world.
Although the Portalegre region is laid back and a wonderful region for northern Europeans to take up a more relaxing life that does not mean isolation. There are many nationalities living around Portalegre especially in the land surrounding Castelo de Vide.
The area is very appealing to the discerning tourist so some residents provide accommodation to either make a living or supplement their income. The cottage we have for sale has been a holiday home with glowing reviews and comments from guests who stay there and you can seen some of them on our holiday rental comments page.
Castelo de Vide as you can guess is a town with a castle. It is a very small town with a hilltop village at one end with ancient houses within the castle's fortifications and more conventional houses and amenities on the slopes to the east.
It is a charming and relaxing place with many places to dine and enjoy the Alentejano cuisine. This is a jewel in Alto Alentejo and it attracts tourist but is never overrun.
The ancient hilltop village of Marvao is quite an incredible and atmospheric place to see and all tourism to the Alto Alentejo includes a visit to Marvao although tourism here is low key and you could find that you feel like a you have discovered a deserted film set.
You might visit Marvao at the same time as a coach of tourists but you much more likely to think you are the only ones to have discovered this mysterious village.
One thing to note is that the name Marvao not only refers to the village where few people would want to live but it also means the municipal area (Concelho) around. In this area there are many properties dotted around and quite a community of residents from other countries.
There are several realtors or estate agents in the area and the Portuguese for estate agent is inmobiliario. The most prominent is the big American franchise Remax where you have a good chance of contact in English. Another prominent estate agent in Portalegre is Imodistrito who have an office in Castelo de Vide. Era and PortugalRur are two others to look out for.