Paradise in Portugal

Santa Clara-a-Velha, Alentejo
Bed & Breakfast
+351 283 933065
Visit owner's website Icon Created with Sketch.


Wild beauty and hundreds of birds on the shore of a freshwater lake. Frank and Daniella look after you in a homely, fuss free way

Bedroom

10 rooms

Sleeps

Rooms sleep 2 – 5

Children welcome
Pets welcome
Babies welcome

The Experience

Up a 4km dirt track which the adventurous will love, and hugging the shore of one of the Alentejo’s largest freshwater lakes, the Quinta and its garden are simply the best for birdwatching and wildlife with masses of wild flowers in spring. Frank’s eco-friendly renovation of the original low house took years and then a row of guest rooms was added. These are pleasingly simple, with pictures, books, terraces and lake views.

Breakfast, lunch and supper – all home cooked by Daniella are served in the big extended living room and bar which has a warm, informal feel. Beyond huge windows (open to the sky except in winter) is a vine-covered terrace; further butterfly-bright terraces brim over with hibiscus, oleander, palm, jasmine, plumbago, cactus. Frank planted the garden specifically to attract birds and wildlife so book a tour (he is southern Portugal’s expert) or sit quietly in one of the hides.

Walk down the garden to the jetty where you’ll find boats and kit for canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing; swimming here is sublime and warm for most of the year. You’ll also find a newly-built yoga shala overlooking the lake. This is a place of peace and much beauty – and star-filled skies on clear nights.

Paradise in Portugal - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Watching the birds and other wildlife
  • Being so very far away from crowds, cars and buildings
  • Swimming, boating and fishing on the lake
Paradise in Portugal - Gallery

You should know

  • No TV
  • No nightlife apart from lively conversation
  • This is a destination place, you're not near anything else

Essentials

  • Swimming pool
  • EV charger
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Spa
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Licensed premises
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Fire guard
  • Cot available

Nearby

  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles

Activities

  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

Information
& pricing

Special offer: We're offering a 15% discount on accommodation for any reservation of 7 nights or more, (excluding August), up until the end of October. There's never been a better time to get away!

Booking information

Check in
12pm-9pm
Check out
8am-12pm
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 2 nights. 4 nights in high season.
Closed
1 November - 8 March.
Property
This property is part of a working farm or vineyard.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property
Meals
Lunch €17. Dinner €25. Wine from €10.

Pricing

Nightly price
from €125
Surcharges
Singles €120. Extra bed/sofabed available €30 per person per night.
1 Family room for 5
From €160
8 Twin/doubles
From €125
1 Family room for 4
From €160

Accommodation

Reviews

I had a very unique experience for 2 nights at this hotel/quinta. I came by public transport so I arranged a lift from the closest railway station. From then on, everything was looked after for me, from breakfast to dinner to the wildlife trip. The wildlife trip is a must-do. I have never gone bird spotting before but I was able to join the trip and learn a lot. Frank knows a lot about all the wildlife and can teach you a lot. In addition I enjoyed visiting the lake, doing yoga in the specially built yoga area and walking through the amazing gardens.

Sarah, Wolverhampton

Paradise in Portugal was the prefect end to our vacation. It was great to get to see this part of Portugal. The small setting and fabulous abundant meals gave us a chance to talk with the owners, staff and guests. It was all very comfortable in a quiet, lush setting.The beds & rooms were great. There's a beautiful lake to swim in and a bird hide on property.The two trips we took with Frank were unforgettable. He had created his own hides and gave us the amazing pictures he took of all the colorful, beautiful birds and wildlife we saw. Well worth the money and the trip to get there! Obrigada

Deborah, Portland, Oregon USA

Second visit here for birdwatching with Frank - that says it all - another great stay with interesting and friendly people, great food and the opportunity to relax pretty much away from it all.

Jennifer, Beaminster

Paradise Portugal gave me another perspective about watching, listening, and understand birds life! Photos published in birdinginportugal.com are amazing! Calm, Sustainable, Excelent Food, and a Warm and kind Team, its something, I found there!

Olga, Porto

Our week at Paradise in Portugal was perfect in every way and exactly what we'd hoped for - beautiful accommodation, great food, lovely hosts, fantastic wildlife. The Quinta is in a remote area, very peaceful with no traffic noise or intrusions, and has views over the Santa Clara lake. The lush garden is full of wildlife. The food was home made and delicious. We went on 4 birding trips and each one was great, we saw a real variety of birds and the local countryside and national parks are lovely. We hope to go again!

Becky, Ely

A clean, comfortable, quiet, solar-powered lodge at the end of the road was a perfect place to relax, enjoy some birdwatching, and be treated to some awesome cuisine that featured ingredients from their on-site gardens. We were treated like long-lost family, and the proprietors, Frank and Daniela, just made everything easy for us. A great stay!

Kas, Moscow

Incredibly friendly staff, breathtaking views, spectacular food, and a professional organization. One of the nicest places we've ever visited. We also highly recommend doing a birdwatching tour with Frank.

Thomas, Vienna

We just found a heaven in Frank ‘s house . Everything was a delight: unspoiled nature , beautiful plants and birds , a breathtaking view over the lake and all so calm . Frank ‘s wife made us delicious meals on their amazing terrasse . And we had a great yoga lesson with her with the view over the lake . . They welcomed us so well and it felt like at home .

Gabrielle, Paris

What a place! A breathtaking lake, beautiful flowers, canoes and kayaks to use at your leisure, an enormous bed, a bath, home-cooked food, very friendly staff – a real wonder. Places this interesting and full of love are hard to come by.

Liv, Amsterdam

We had the pleasure of spending a weekend at Frank and Daniela's Quinta where we were warmly welcomed. Frank took us out birding and shared with us his fascinating wealth of information on the bird life in Portugal. His expertise was most appreciated. The Quinta has quaint and comfortable rooms surrounded by a beautiful lush garden specifically designed to attract a large variety of bird species. Daniela's delicious home cooked meals and friendly manner were yet another treat. A true Paradise! Definitely an experience to be repeated. Thank you Frank, Daniela and staff.

Regina, Aveiro

We spent a few days birding in late October (after a recommendation) and can heartily endorse the other glowing comments, a trip which hugely exceeded our expectations. The human dynamo that is Frank made it unforgettable. Whilst guided around the coast, plains, hide and local walks, we could just observe and enjoy, with Frank emailing us his stunning photos of that we had seen afterwards. The location is unforgettable too, relaxing in the evening sun over drinks and delicious dinners, hosted by Frank and Daniella. We will be back again next year!

Julian, London

The Quinta is an extraordinary place: it’s seriously beautiful, tranquil and relaxing and, above all, an infectiously happy place to be. There’s nothing soppy about this contentment either: it’s a natural reaction to lovely surroundings, comfortable rooms, Daniela’s great food, excellent company – and, not least, an obviously happy and well looked after young staff. You all eat communally – up to about 20 people at the same table – and it works a treat. If it’s right for you, it’s wonderful – but maybe not for young children or anyone likely to miss a TV.

Charles and Caroline, London

My partner Steve and I have just returned from five amazing days in this place. We flew into Faro, and it was an easy 90 min drive up to Paradise in Portugal. The “resort” (feels like the wrong word as it’s not at all commercial) is down a long private road that opens up onto a beautiful lake view. We had Kingfisher room and the view from it was incredible. Daniela and Frank are so welcoming it feels like an amazing “home from home”, with breakfast, lunch and dinner all on offer. I advise you take it! The food is all so beautifully home cooked, and the communal dining

Billie, Berkshire

Beautiful, tranquil lakeside surroundings with the highest quality cuisine imagineable provided by Daniela. Most of us were birders so we took advantage of Frank's expertise and local knowledge to partake of the full day and half day birding excursions led by Frank and Tony. We didn't have time to use the free boating/swimming facilities but for anyone wanting a more relaxed holiday the Quinta and its surroundings would be ideal.

Paul, Derby

A day's birding on the high plains of the Alentejo was a spectacular experience - Frank is such a knowledgable and considerate guide. He has created a very special place - very comfortable accommodation and good food. Not luxurious but totally appropriate to the setting.

Kim, Dorking

This was my first visit to Portugal and this was one of the highlights. Frank and Daniela are very gracious hosts; Daniela's food is excellent, the rooms are basic but very nice and the setting is spectacular. My prime reason for coming here was the birds, and I was not disappointed. Both Frank and Tony are very knowledgable and got me onto a lot of good birds and were great company too. The common meals are a pleasure as they are more of a family meal hosted by Frank and Daniel with people from all walks of life sharing their experiences.

Hanno, Sa Pa

An amazing location overlooking the lake, great place to stay to either relax, enjoy the gardens, lake swimming and kayaking or exploring the walks in the area. Also great bird watching trips organised by Frank, an expert on Southern Portugal. Excellent food and communal dining which was very enjoyable and felt like one big family including the staff. A lot of care taken to ensure you have a comfortable and relaxing time and certainly a great place to escape from outside world and recharge the batteries!

Carol, Bourne Lincolnshire

The name of this quinta on the reservoir at Santa Clara a Velha is on point: it is a fantastic place. Our children aged 11 and 14 enjoyed themselves all day at the jetty, where canoes and surfboards are free for use. The area is beautiful. Daniela is a great cook. There is not much to do in the surroundings of the quinta - something that we were very close to. It is a place with character, not a slick hotel chain.

Merel, Amsterdam

This was a return visit which was every bit as good as our first. Frank provides great bird watching trips backed by 30 years experience and Daniela serves fantastic, healthy food. The whole place has a great feel of calm and tranquillity a great place to spend time away from the real world. A lovely,lovely place, have booked to go back.

Ian, Reading

Peaceful and beautiful retreat. The friendly owners and their staff made us feel as though we were staying with friends rather than as paying guests. This made for a very relaxing and stress free holiday. Home cooked and unpretentious but delicious fresh food every day. Frank's legendary birding trips took us to places and birds we would never have found by ourselves and provided superb views and photographic opportunities. We enjoyed it so much we plan to return next year.

Andy & Jenny, Beaminster

Read more reviews

Location

The neighbourhood

This is the most beautiful, unspoilt part of rural Portugal and you don't come here to do anything but stay (unless you enjoy going up and down the dirt track endlessly, in which case you can do that.) Frank's bird tours are legendary and sometimes there will be yoga groups so you could come to find peace in the shala. There are plenty of books to read and maps for walks long and short, strenuous or strollable. All food is provided for you but if you want a change there is a restaurant on the other side of the lake. The village at the bottom of the long track is sleepy and quiet but with two cafes. You are at least an hour away from both coasts and Daniella can give you a picnic lunch.

Local points of interest from Frank McClintock

  • Birdwatching - and nature in general - is our speciality and Frank, the owner, organises Guided Trips throughout southern Portugal for guests at the Quinta. It's an opportunity not to be missed!
  • Canoes and SUPs are all included in the price of your stay - make the most of them and explore the lake's 250 kms of coastline.
  • The fishing is stunning, with Carp and Wide-mouthed Bass being the targets.
  • Swimming in the lake is de-rigeur - at an average temperature of 28º during the summer months it's the ideal place for children too as it's safe with no currents.
  • The surrounding area's full of walking trails and the Quinta can supply you with detailed directions and picnics.
  • There's a total absence of any noise from the outside world; no cars, trains, buses or planes - just the hum of insects and the trill of birds. "Paradise" it's called and it's as near to heaven as you'll ever get!

Introducing

Frank McClintock

Frank is a maverick - one of those guys who just decides to do a mad thing and does it. So many years ago he bought this wild piece of land in Portugal - totally unterraced and unreachable - piled all his belongings into a red double-decker bus and drove out here. He created the track, the house and the rooms and the wonderful garden. He's made the place very much his own and now shares it with Daniella. He really does know everything that is worth knowing about birds and plenty of other wildlife.