Nine snug lodges on an old fruit farm, set in magical gardens in the hills. Chestnuts, urze, gingko, pear trees, apple trees and bountiful fuchsias: the lushness of the vegetation reflects the hill climate. These pristine cottages are well-scattered, two of them new, the rest old farm buildings restored some years ago; all gleam. The décor is unfussy country style, the bathrooms are white, and each one has its own piece of garden for eating and lounging. We like two-storey Pindas with its carpeted bedroom under the eaves, and Levadinha for its open-plan layout. Leonor is the smiling housekeeper who greets you with Madeira and cake, Sofia runs the place with enjoyment and ease; her parents, once at the forefront of rural tourism, are still involved in revitalising local crafts. There’s badminton and table tennis here and levada-walking beyond; the pebbles and pier of Canico are a ten-minute drive and it’s a stroll to the nearest small restaurant; a great position. Cockerels and peacocks strut, blackcaps and firecrests trill and all feels tranquil, verdant and fresh.