Tradition and family run deep in rural Alentejo, and nowhere more so than at this cork farm in the hills. Philip and Margarida are the fifth generation to strip their oaks by hand each June, keep chickens, sheep, cows, and let black pigs loose on the acorns (they give ‘porco preto’ its sweet taste). Oh, and Philip makes award-winning wine.
What a pleasure to buy the farm’s fresh fruit, honey, lamb and eggs and take a picnic to the estate’s highest point where views swoop over the forest. The handsome farmhouse is home to the family, with one half handed over to guests. If rustic and cosy is your thing, pick the shepherd’s cottage next door for its sunny sitting room and palm-shaded terrace. Stroll to the atmospheric spring-fed pool and discover fine craftsmanship in the ‘marble towns’. A gem.