Chestnut Tree Yurt – Central Portugal, Beira
- Yurt for 2
It is possible to accommodate 2 children on folding beds in the yurt (£9 a night) or three children in a bell tent alongside.
A locally sourced breakfast hamper, hand-made olive oil soaps and fantastic Caiparinhas are just a few of the things that make this place a great experience. In a lesser travelled area of Portugal, Hannah and Derrick (the cocktail mixer!) have created an incredible eco escape. They have designed their site to be super efficient in its usage of energy and water but, more importantly, to be a relaxing, fun place to stay. They have drawn up some local hiking maps and can point you in the direction of everything from museums to kayaking. They also have superb on-site meals, which you can have brought to the yurt or eat up at the house with the other guests.
Chestnut Tree Yurt is on a raised wooden platform and has an antique feel with wooden floors, steamer trunks and a big iron bed. There are two armchairs, rugs and hangings that add a touch of Moroccan influence with warm earth tones. The bathroom is two minutes walk away and has a gas run shower and sink and compost toilet of the Swedish modern variety.
- Children welcome
Kids can sleep in the yurt on camp beds or in a bell tent alongside but pets cannot be accommodated
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Everything you need to know about Chestnut Tree Yurt
The important stuff
- Check in time is from 3pm
- Check out time is from 11am
- Children are welcome but please be aware of the hazards such as the steep terrain, which may also be a problem for anyone of limited mobility
- A travel cot is available for either yurt
Sleeping arrangementsIt is possible to accommodate 2 children on folding beds in the yurt (£9 a night) or three children in a bell tent alongside.
Kids & PetsKids can sleep in the yurt on camp beds or in a bell tent alongside but pets cannot be accommodated
SurchargesPrices shown are for two adults. It is possible to accommodate 2 children on folding beds in the yurt (£9 a night) or three children in a bell tent alongside.
- There are no cooking facilities for guests but breakfast is included in the rate and Hannah and Derrick can provide evening meals
- There is a terracotta cooler in the yurt for drinks and snacks
- Each yurt has a private shower (gas powered and hot) and a Separett Compost loo, just next to it
- There is also a hot sink, but all washing up is done by your hosts
Heating, lighting & bedding
- All bed linen is provided, including towels for the shower, but please bring your own swimming towels
- There are gas heaters provided when (rarely) necessary
- A travel cot is available for either yurt
- There are cards, board games, book etc in the yurt
- Apple Tree Yurt runs on its own independent solar panel at 12volts and has two reading lights, but no power point
Yurt Holiday Portugal, Lugar Varzeas, Pracerias, Arganil
By public transport
The nearest train station is Coimbra, which is one hour away by car and there are either buses to Coimbra or Moita de Serra, which is just 20 minutes away. Pick ups can be arranged from Coimbra for €40 and from Arganil with a little notice.
By car - GPS coordinates N 40˚ 11.032' W 8˚ 01.429"
From the airport - When you leave the airport on the dual carriageway you need to follow route for VR1/A28/Porto - you will then start to get signs for A1/ICI Lisboa. Follow directions for IC1 and/or A1 Lisboa and Sul (South).
Take ticket at tolls and you will have to pay when you leave motorway. Make sure you get a ticket – there are express lanes which let pre-paid vehicles through and if you go through one of these the exit toll will charge you for whole of motorway! Exit motorway at Coimbra North/Viseu IP3. Pay tolls and take IP3 Viseu/Guarda which is straight on.
IP3 - The road is mostly dual carriageway up and down mountain passes. After crossing Rio Mondego signs on right are for IC6 Covilha, Arganil and Oliveira do Hospital. (Some maps show this as IC7 but it is IC6 as sign posted). Go through Arganil. Go right at the roundabout with fountain then sharp upward right at next roundabout. This is the road to Gois.
Do not take the first sign marked for Pracerias in Casal San Jose wait until you see a solitary white chapel on the left with signs for Colmeal, Celavisa and PRACERIAS (where you are heading). Pracerias is 6kms along this road, carry on a bit and Yurt Holiday Portugal is on the right after Pracerias and before Adcasal. You should see the stone house on its own on the right.
Eating & drinking
Meals at Yurt Holiday Portugal
Breakfast is included in the rate and consists of:
Hot bread, home made jams, museli, yoghurts or eggs, fruit or fruit salad, butter and once a week there are pancakes! The ingredients are where possible organic and locally sourced. There's also tea, coffee and hot frothy milk!
Other meals on-site
Hannah and Derrick love their food and are more than happy to whip something up for you. Please give 48 hours notice where possible as all meals are home made with fresh local ingredients.
Three course meal inc wine €19 per head
Two courses inc wine €13.50 per head
Soup and bread €3.50 per head
Children's meals €6 per head
Packed lunches €7.00 per head include sandwiches, snacks, cake and drink in a hamper for you to eat on-site or take out with you
Tea/coffee and cake €2.50 per head
A few examples:
Mushroom Pate v
Avocado and papaya salad v
Potato and spinach pie v
Sticky Spare ribs
Spanish tortilla v
Pork and prune casserole
Meatballs with tomato sauce v
Beef/chicken/fish or vegetable tagine
Lemon curdy pudding
v– vegetarian version available
Things to do
In & around your yurt
Relaxing, reading, backgammon,badminton, croquet.
There are swings and games for children and if they are interested in pond dipping there are nets and other equipment
Going a little further afield
Science Museum Coimbra - Fantastic for kids and adults much to learn and helpful staff to show you round
Aveiro fishing town and beaches - Good fish restaurants, night life and markets at the weekends, but 1 hour and a half drive from the yurts
Some slightly more adventurous stuff
Wild swimming within 20 minutes drive in the Rio Ceira
Fantastic walking - Hannah and Derrick have created a folder for walkers with maps and a GPS they can lend you so you can explore with confidence
Canoeing in the River ceira
They can put you in touch with an agent for Kayaking on the River Mondego, rock climbing, hiking and wild camping in the Serra da Estrela Mountains
Meet your hosts
A little history
Derrick and Hannah bought Lugar Varzeas in 1999 and started working on restoring the "goat shed" and converting it into a family home a couple of years later. They spent many months working with local people who knew the art of building with the traditional Xisto (slate). In the mean time they built themselves a small wooden hut to live in. 2 years later their house was ready to move into! The next years were spent working on the land, clearing and cleaning the beautiful terraces and stone walls, and bringing up two small children.
A note from Hannah, Derrick, Theo and Ella about what they do and why they do it:
"We are all now extremely conscious of the pressing need to change our ways of life and outlook, by living in harmony with our environment and at the same time rewarding ourselves with the bounties that can come from a sustainable way of living.
Here you can experience how comfortably we can all live predominantly from our own resources in an uncomplicated and inexpensive fashion. Solar energy supplies all the electricity for our yurt. The hot shower and compost toilet is part of as clean and fresh a bathroom suite as one could hope to meet anywhere, and will, we feel sure, convince any sceptic that this is an agreeable non-polluting and effective alternative solution to plumbing.
The yurt is low impact and was made by local people using local materials and will leave very little footprint on the land once removed. Our business is small scale and family run; hence we feel we can give our guests our best.
We try to ensure that everything we use here is biodegradable, for the simple reason that otherwise we would upset our organic water filtration system and recycling process. Our grey water is filtered through sand, shingle and charcoal and redirected to water trees and vines that are precious to us. The terraces were cleverly designed to conserve all the water that comes down from the hills around us, which is collected in tanks, and supplies our needs.
Our garden produce is grown free from pesticides, artificial fertilisers or insecticides and is included as much as possible in our menu options. We use a raised bed, no dig system that we mulch heavily to maintain healthy moisture and nutrition levels. We tend our little haven with love and a belief that through treating it with respect and care we can leave a positive mark here. Quite simply we keep it as free from pollution as possible.
There is a great deal in the vicinity to offer the eco-tourist from cultural excursions to wild swimming, on which we supply information in the yurt. Yoga, massages, and reflexology are available in the yurt itself just let us know and we can arrange them for you. You can indulge in hill walking to your heart’s content; there are many paths to follow. Or else you can go to the nearby Cuevo del Gato, to bathe and swim deliciously in its mountain rock pools.
Alternatively just lie back and relax here in front of the yurt while we serve you wine, cocktails and delicious home cooked meals.
We look forward to your visit."