16 July 2017

Where to stay in Viana do Castelo: Quinta da Bouça d'Arques


It was a sunny and hot summer day in northern Portugal, just a short drive from Viana do Castelo. We passed an old narrow gate and continued under a long green vine tunnel until we saw a beautiful yellow-painted Portuguese manor house surrounded by gorgeous majestic trees. We got out of the car to find out that the only sounds we could hear were church bells in the distance and a fly buzzing nearby. Silence  that’s what Quinta da Bouça d'Arques welcomed us with.

We were greeted by Gabriel who, before taking us to Casa da Magnólia, chatted with us for a while, recommending restaurants to eat at, closest beaches to visit and things to do in town, as well as served us some excellent pink port and a little sweet treat, a delicious Avianense candy from the oldest chocolate factory in Portugal. 

Quinta da Bouça d'Arques has belonged to the Abreu Teixeira family for the last 300 years. In 1997 it opened its doors to guests and now this beautiful estate of four hectares receives Portugal lovers from the whole world. With the vineyards in front and woods behind, a stunning view at the Rio Neiva valley, a beautiful garden full of flowers, a swimming pool with fresh water and incredibly warm and hospitable staff make this quinta a dreamy place to rest. 

At Quinta da Bouça d'Arques there are several small houses to rent in two different styles: rustic chic and contemporary (these were constructed a few years ago), both harmoniously combining with the surroundings. Our rustic Casa had a private patio, a fully equipped kitchenette, wireless Internet, air conditioning and a bed so comfortable that it was actually seriously difficult to get up in the morning! What struck me the most was how meticulously the room was prepared for our arrival: mineral water and oranges on the kitchen table, pleasant smell of flowers in the room, soft music playing on the radio and the air-conditioning and lights on, waiting for us. The biggest hotel brands could certainly learn something about hospitality from this little guest house.

Breakfasts at Quinta da Bouça are delivered in a basket every morning to each house’s doorstep. We liked to eat ours on the outside table in the shadow of a huge tree and to the accompaniment of birds’ chirping. Breakfast included fresh bread, butter, ham and cheese, yoghurt and cereals, fruit, homemade jam and a sample of delightful honey from Quinta’s hives. We prepared tea, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice in our kitchenette. There’s no restaurant on site but frozen meals are available in case of a sudden eating urge. Nearest recommended restaurant is a 10 minute drive away.

What I enjoyed most about Quinta da Bouça are the simple things: the comfort, the privacy, the silence. Relaxing on a deckchair under lemon trees, sun-heated water (reaching 28 degrees!) in the pool, morning walks in the forest, drinking chilled regional vinho verde on the patio in the evening while watching the exquisite nature of the garden bathe in golden hour light. Ana and João Couto, the owners of Quinta da Bouça d'Arques, say that their guest house is “a therapy of Nature”. I couldn’t agree more.

Practical info:
  • from 154 EUR/night for 2 people
  • the room in the pictures: Casa da Magnólia
  • location: Vila de Punhe, Viana do Castelo, 45 min drive from the Porto airport 
  • breakfast included
  • address: Rua Abreu Teixeira 333, Viana do Castelo, Portugal (www)

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Charming guest house in Viana do CasteloCharming guest house in Viana do Castelo
Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

Charming guest house in Viana do Castelo

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I was welcomed to Quinta da Bouça d'Arques as a guest. As always, my opinion is my own.

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