Linger over breakfast’s cheeses, hams, organic fruits and pastries, bask by the pool, walk by footpath (seven kilometres) along the river to Ponte de Lima for lunch; it is rich with restaurants. This immaculately restored hotel, formerly a farm, later an aristocrat’s country residence, is near the oldest town in the Minho.
In the hands of Jorge and his remarkable small team, you are made to feel totally at home. You have a large sitting room with an open fire in winter, a small one with access to the terrace, ancient cellars with original olive and wine presses, a library and a playroom for wet days, and five magical acres of garden that drop down to the river.
Discover the huge surfing beaches of the Viana do Castelo, taste and buy from the Vinho Verde wineries, and return to delicious suppers cooked by Rosario. Then retire to one of six baroque bedrooms on the first floor; all large, all ornate. Further rooms with high ceilings, small patios and a modern décor lie off the big central courtyard.