The Village of Chãos

In Ferreira do Zêzere, Central Portugal

by Serena Greenslade

The first thing to tell you about Chãos is how you pronouce it. It is not pronounced like Chaos meaning complete disorder and confusion, in Portuguese 'ch' is 'sh' and a word that ends 's' is also 'sh'. So pronounce the first part of the word like you would pronounce the first part of 'shower' – 'sho' and then add 'sh' to the end. If I had to spell it in English I think I would say shaush.
Chãos is a great place to buy a property in Portugal, it's a lovely village in the centre of the country . It has all the advantages of a village and is also only 20 minutes from the lovely Templar town of Tomar, which has every facility you could want.

We are lucky enough to live right in the centre of the village, only a one minute walk from the weekly Sunday market where you can buy fresh bread, fish, meat, cakes, fruit and veg among other things (the second Sunday in the month it is larger with more stalls), the post office which is open every day apart form Saturday, the local village office, known as the Junta, and a Multi Banco machine which is much more than a cash machine. I can pay my water rates, my car tax, my lottery tickets, online purchases to name but a few from this machine, oh and I can get cash as well.

Above the Junta is the local association, Associação C.D.R de Chãos, they are open every Sunday when the market is on and you can sit and overlook the market while enjoying a cup of coffee. The Associação also organises various events during the year, theatre shows, meals, trips out, monthly walks, New year celebrations and possibly the biggest event in Chãos – the Festa. This is held in July and lasts a weekend with music and food for everyone. The village is lit up with decorative lights. The space is also used for yoga classes and any other events that locals would like to arrange.

The Church, Igreja Matriz de Chãos, which is off the village square, organises a lot of religious precessions during the year and they all walk past our house and are a lovely spectacle to watch.

Also opposite the square is a typical local Portuguese cafe, open everyday.
At one end of Chãos there is a football pitch.

Next door but one to us is a little hairdressers which is open every Tuesday morning and every morning the second Sunday in the month to coincide with the larger market. Maria doesn't speak a lot of English but it is easy to make yourself understood.

Every day a bread lady drives through the village and will stop at your home to sell you fresh bread, if you are out or not up early enough, leave a bag on your door and she will put in a pre-arranged order. A fish man also comes to the village.

There is very little traffic in the village even though the road through it goes directly into Tomar. There is a river beach, Agroal, only a 12 minute drive away and there, as well as the river beach which has a lovely area for swimming available all year round, you will find open in the summer a cafe and a restaurant.

About a three minute drive from the centre of Chãos you will find an amazing local supermarket, a hardware store/builder's merchant that sells almost anything you would ever need, and if they haven't got it in stock, they will get it for you and they deliver for free. You can top up your vehicle with petrol or diesel here as well. Between the hardware store and the supermarket is another, slightly larger cafe.

Back to the centre of Chãos and you will find living here are Portuguese, Dutch, English, Italian, and German families. A ten minute drive finds you in Lagoa where the local car maechanic is amazing. Although Carlos doesn't speak English, his main mechanic does and his son who works in the office is fluent. Also in Chãos is VIP dog kennels, very highly thought of – in fact one of our dogs has happily stayed there.

Chãos is a typical portuguese village which has the advantage of being close to all the big supermarket chains both in Tomar and if you take a different route only 25 minutes from big supermarkets in Entroncamento and Torres Novas. There are cinemas in Tomar and in the shopping mall in Torres Novas. Tomar also has a train station with rail links to anywhere in the country.

If you want simple country life with all the facilities you need on your door step Chãos is the place to be.