Lovely cat and comfortable home to care for in rural Portugal
Hi! We are Andy and Jacqui. We live in a large, comfortable house in a rural location in the beautiful Alentejo region of Portugal with our friendly cat, Lois. Our nearest airport is Lisbon, 2 hours drive away. We are looking for a friendly, non smoking, mature and experienced couple to look after Lois and our house and garden whilst we are away. We would prefer a couple who have house sat before in a similar situation, and they must be willing to respect our vegetarian food preferences (see more below). Please read ALL of the information before you decide whether this house/pet sit would appeal to you. We would also like to make contact via Skype or similar to discuss the details of the house/pet sit prior to accepting new sitters.
Our Home & Location
Hello! We retired to this lovely location several years ago with Lois, our cat. We have a large and peaceful house and garden with an outdoor swimming pool in the Alentejo region of Portugal. This is not a 'touristy' area, so you would get a taste of an unspolit region of Portugal- nothing is hurried here! It is an area well worth exploring, and if you enjoy peace and quiet, read on... We are off the beaten track (and so a car is essential), but we can be in our local town in 30 minutes, and to various villages with shop/bars etc within about 5-10 minutes drive. We are about 40 minutes drive from the historic city of Evora, and about 20 minutes from the Spanish border.
The views from our terraces are breathtaking, and the skies at night are magnificent- the area has been awarded 'dark sky status'. There are many places of historic interest nearby, ranging from pre-historic sites, Roman remains and castles to lovely villages and towns etc. If you are interested in bird watching and nature in general, then you will enjoy staying here. You can swim or hire small boats on Europe's largest man made lake (the Alqueva), about 10 minutes drive from our house. The region is also famous for its excellent wines and cheeses. There are many places to eat nearby, from inexpensive rustic village eateries to a sophisticated 5 star restaurant; the region is famous for its cuisine....
We are about 2 hours drive from Lisbon airport, and about 2 1/2 hours from Faro airport. If you prefer to drive here, the nearest ports are Santander and Bilbao, around a 6 hour drive away, although you may want to break your journey and have a night in Spain en-route. We can offer a discount for Brittany ferries if you want to come by ferry. It gives around 10% off Spanish crossings. Ideally, we would need you to be here a day before we leave, and to overlap our return, as we will need to show you around the house and garden- see more detail below. We have wifi throughout the house (not super fast), a television, many dvds, and loads of books. We also have all of the usual amenities that you would expect. + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
We are looking for non smoking, friendly, mature, like minded sitters who will look after our lovely cat and to keep our home clean and tidy and our garden cared for (see below re picking vegetables, watering etc, depending on the season).
Lois is an easy cat to look after; friendly, self sufficient, and there is no cat litter to clean (cat flap installed) - a real joy to care for! He enjoys company and will often follow you around if he is not asleep!...
During hot weather, we will need you to water our pots on the terrace twice a day and give our garden vegetables a watering if necessary . The latter are on a semi automated system, so it is a matter of keeping an eye on them, and taking appropriate action, especially during the hot summer. It would be an advantage if you have an interest in gardening. We grow our own vegetables and there are likely to be lots of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc to pick during summer months. This will need to be done on a daily basis- it can take up to half an hour, but it is a nice way to start the day. You can eat as much as you want, and we would ask you to store the remainder in a fridge for us to preserve when we get home. If you come in the cooler months, there will still be some watering to do for the terrace pots and indoor plants.
As Jacqui is a vegetarian, we also ask our house-sitters to not prepare/cook meat or fish in our kitchen during their stay please. There is a gas barbecue on the terrace that you can use if you want to cook meat and fish, and cooking outside is normal during the summer in this region- it is very warm! There are many nearby restaurants , and the region is famous for its (meat eating! cuisine), so you will have plenty of choice if you prefer not to cook.
You will need to be 'water wise' and to keep an eye on the tank as we are supplied by our own well- there is no mains water supply, but this is quite normal for this region.
You will need to take care of the swimming pool and to keep it clean and maintained- we can show you how to do this if you have not done so before, it is quite easy. If you arrive during the winter, you may experience the odd electricity cut, but these are few and easy to deal with- we will leave a 'welcome pack', and go through everything with you.
We would prefer you to arrive a day before we leave so that we can show you around the property and to make sure that you are happy with the running of the place.
All of our previous house- sitters have enjoyed their stay here, and several have returned, a recommendation in itself! + More info