The crenellated tower is visible as you wind along the cobbled track into this ancient hilltop village, perched high with mountain views. Levada is really a small castle in a settlement built of moss-covered granite blocks. Luis and Maria, she a retired English teacher, are caring hosts with a lively sense of humour. Breakfast around the big table on eggs, cured meats and cheeses – if you’re hungry later you can request a traditional slow-cooked roast in the bread oven. The food’s delicious and wine and conversation guaranteed to flow.
Bedrooms have wooden ceilings, beams and sisal floors; the Tower Room has a balcony; the bathroom of the Poet’s Room is reached via a trapdoor in the floor! The sitting room is more than comfortable and made for slouching. Find a trampoline, a small pool and a river beach here, and beautiful waterfalls nearby. Up the hill, past the water mills, is a hilltop with great boulders and dolmens.