What do you actually need on holiday?

It’s clear: most children need water. And the adults often too. It is something soothing, sitting by the water. Every fisherman can confirm that (when (s)he’s awake again).

It’s our first necessity of life, water. No life without water.
No fun holiday without water.

So, what DO you actually need on holiday?

There are probably people who can hike endlessly in dry mountainous areas, but even then an unexpected mountain lake is a pleasant surprise. You hear from few people that they’ve had a fantastic holiday in the desert.
And if, then it must have been in an oasis in the desert.

So, okay, water. No problem. We have an abundance of that here




Termas-da-Azenha lies in the delta of the Mondego, and as the crow flies only 12 kilometers from the ocean. Everything comes flowing down from the glowing-hot / dying-cold, so almost uninhabited Spanish plains. Only in the Serra da Estrela, Portugal it becomes livable again.

The Serra da Estrela** is such a hiking area as described above, with unexpected pleasant surprises.

The Mondego begins there, as one of the two rivers that originate in Portugal. There has once been a group of people who discovered the sources here. If they were the same people who discovered that our water has healing* powers – no idea.

The place is therefore very old, but the water remains fine and fresh. It flows from the spanish plateau into a large underground lake, where it is heated by Mother Earth to around 30º.
The previous owner placed a tube in that subterrainean lake – no one knows how and where, pity – so that the well water always flows through the bathhouse.

What a luxury in these times! Always fresh spring water of good quality

As a result, that excellent water also flows into the ditch. Fish like that very much, frogs and langoustines too. This ditch is located behind the hotel rooms, where this summer the children on holiday could greatly appreciate our latest initiative: a thick plank.


“The fish are nibbling at your feet!” giggled a newly arrived brother and sister, who were sitting on the plank with their feet in the water. It’s not deep, but if you fall into it – which happened of course a few times – you run the risk of losing one of your flipflops in the mud.

And your hair gets wet. Not a disaster. You take a shower, and then you put on your best dress because you’re going to eat out in Figueira da Foz. Enough with that ditch for now.


Most children didn’t get enough of it easily. And when the catching of lobsters and fishes was done, they dived into the pool. Their parents thought it was fine. Water nearby, having fun messing around – everyone can relax.
And if you want something a little different, go to the swimming lake or one of the beaches nearby, or drive a little further to a serra**.

You’ll always find water there.

After all, that remains the nicest toy on holiday!


* Our water heals skin diseases such as eczema, allergies and even psoriasis patients come clean out of the water. It has always been a spa until the previous owner, Dom Henrique Foja Oliveira, died.
** Nearby: the Serra de Lousã. Magnificent. A little further: the Serra da Estrela, where you encounter beautiful and ice-cold mountain lakes, with beautiful green-turned round rocks.


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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

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