At the end of the long winding track: two wonderful old farmhouses side by side, recently renovated and all hunky-dory, sharing a pool and gorgeous green views. From the back, the eye sweeps over fields to Marvão on its craggy hill; so ancient, so special, it’s a contender for World Heritage status. Such is the setting. Peter and Rosemary, attentive and charming and living nearby, recommend visits to sites, restaurants and markets (don’t miss Monday’s in Valencia de Alcantara) and will take you on forays in the São Mamede Natural Park, a magical area for botanists, birdwatchers and walkers; Peter has a deep local knowledge. Interiors are tastefully contemporary, ample yet cosy, not fancy or frilly, with well-stocked kitchens, lovely modern bathrooms, and superb beds. WiFi, wood-burners, games, toys, music and DVDs ensure cosy evenings in, there are terraces for sitting out under the stars and heaps of generous extras: mountain bikes, a friendly horse to ride, wine and bread on arrival, and the use of the farm’s organic oil during your stay.