Down a cobbled alley on a steepish hill is Casa Santana. From the first-floor living room a magical view sweeps across tiled rooftops and shining river to the famous Rossio Square. There’s a great little kitchen with chunky bar stools and an up-in-the-attic feel. Bed linen and towels are immaculate and all you might want is here: books, toys, DVDs, stuff for the beach, vinho verde in the fridge, a laptop with WiFi. On arrival, Debra will give you a tour of the local area and, if you’re interested, will suggest volunteering opportunities with local homeless and conservation charities. And fado singer Amalia Rodrique’s nephew offers tours and cookery classes: learn to make arroz de marisco (seafood rice) – or, if you’re feeling flush, let him cook for you. Restaurants, bars, shops and history lie down the hill and the beach is a train ride away.