This interesting property offers very satisfactory self-catering accommodation twinned with a perfectly peaceful location, just 15 minutes’ drive from Northern Spain's most beautiful city: Santiago de Compostela.
In a leafy area of gardened properties, this large rural villa sits back from a quiet road within well-kept grounds, planted with flower gardens around a gated swimming pool.
The stone-built villa stands out for its tasteful furnishings, good housekeeping and semi-rural peacefulness so close to Santiago town. Since it was first built by the present owner’s great-great-grandmother in 1850, it has been lovingly brought up-to-date without losing a tad of its character.
This is the large property of choice for people who want to get to know Santiago while staying in comfort and tranquility outside the city, but by no means far away. It has a private swimming pool and a garden planted round with flowers.
The swimming pool is gated and ensconced in the gardens. It’s salt-filtered, so no sore eyes from chlorine! A short path there passes under a tall chestnut tree and there’s also a back gate which allows wheelchair access.
The garden has mature trees, a fountain and a Galician cruceiro –stone cross– and horreo –grain store–, both emblematic of the region’s cultural landscape. The property's 3,000 m² are walled round: it is introduced by a sweeping driveway and there's plenty of room for a number of cars, but you are invited to use the large covered garage parking space to the rear.
Taking our pick of two entrances, we enter via a reception lobby or directly to a stately main room, connected by a hallway. Here is a wooden 4-poster double bedroom with an en suite bathroom. As the only downstairs sleeping space, the bedroom and bathroom are also adapted for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users.
The seven upstairs rooms are reached by a wooden staircase, carpeted for sound-proofing. Each bedroom has oak flooring, oak ceilings, generous wardrobe space, some additional furniture such as table and chairs, TV, and complete bathroom. The last of these bedrooms is on its own up a second flight of quite steep stairs. Except for two bedrooms, all have hydromassage showers over full bathtubs.
The main living room downstairs is a grand affair, comfortable, beautifully furnished, hung with tasteful oil paintings and quite large enough. Plus the antique wood-stove in the pillared corner is not just for show, it works very well.
There are a number of spaces to have meals, or to sit and relax, often generously large, and this allows for choice and variety. After all, it's a pleasure to enjoy holidays with friends and family, but you don't necessarily want to be on top of each other all the time.
Besides the main sitting room and its own dining corner, there is a stylishly furnished dining room, with its own woodstove to supplement central heating if required. There is another large dining area with a number of smaller tables, and as if that weren’t enough, there’s a furnished conservatory with windows out onto the flower garden. It’s just the place for drinks, informal meals or board games, a few of which are provided. It opens up to double as a kind of covered, windowed terrace by the garden.
The kitchen, strikingly all-stainless steel, is fully equipped, and there is also a brick-built barbecue to the rear if you want to enjoy some al fresco cooking. On our last visit in summer 2015 this spot looked beautiful with ferns, roses and fruit trees: pear and lemon.
The pool is skimmed for you first thing in the morning by the owner, Ana, a very friendly and courteous lady, who lives with her family behind the villa in another house with its own entrance. Your intimacy and privacy is respected, but she is on hand if you need anything.
You can walk to the bakery or Ana can arrange for daily delivery: it’s good Galician bread! Even more interesting is the catering service offered to you by the local restaurant, making days off from self-catering a very attractive prospect.
The famed Camino de Santiago (Way of St James) passes close by and can be walked through countryside to within 8 km of the city. If you decide to join, you'll be walking the Portuguese way which starts in Lisbon, popular with pilgrims looking for a more rural experience. Other walking routes in the area will take you to waterfalls or to a Roman bridge with bathing spots over the River Tambre.
Pride of place and top attraction goes, of course, to Santiago de Compostela. The classically elegant cathedral and university town is only 15 minutes driving from the property. From the villa to the main road is one kilometre and from there you have a straight run into Santiago. And you don’t have to take the car: a bus from a village stop near the villa leaves you in the centre of Santiago.
Other excursions take you west to Finisterre lighthouse on the infamous Costa da Morte and south to the rivers and estuary beaches of the Rias Baixas and Arousa Island, even to the delightful border area with Portugal at the ancient river town of Tui.
A choice of sandy beaches at Noia are 35 minutes away.