Paradise in Portugal

Santa Clara-a-Velha, Alentejo
Bed & Breakfast

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


12 rooms


Rooms sleep 2 – 6


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


  • Swimming pool
  • 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
  • Cot available


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


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

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
By 9pm
Check out
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 2 nights. 4 nights in high season.
Christmas, 1 November - 28 December, 4 January - 15 March.
This property is part of a working farm or vineyard.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property
Lunch €15. Dinner €22.50. Wine from €10. Restaurants 35km.


Nightly price
from €112
Singles €90-€130. Extra bed/sofabed available €25 per person per night.
1 Family room for 6
From €112
10 Twin/doubles
From €115
1 Family room for 4
From €112


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 hotel truly excels in all categories. The birding is expertly guided, the food expertly prepared and the facilities expertly run. Much of the appeal comes from a serene location and outgoing, welcoming staff. The practices are eco-friendly. There are plenty of activities for singles, families, whomever. It deserves the highest marks.

Tony, Harrisburg, pa

This is a stunning location though well away from amenities, so if you want peace and quiet this is it. The rooms were well appointed and comfortable, we were very well looked after by Frank and Daniela and their team, and having built the Quinta up from nothing Frank's knowledge of the flora and fauna is exceptional.

Mandy, Crossgar

This is our third stay at the Quinta known as Paradise in Portugal. Need I say more? If you like peace, good food, beautiful scenery, minimum environmental impact and interesting wildlife this is the place. Throw in some excellent birdwatching tours with super-knowledgeable Frank and the holiday is perfect.

Jill, Maryport

Four of us have just spent a wonderful week birding in this idyllic location. The birding was exceptional with the expert knowledge of Frank and Tony. The location is so remote and peaceful with wonderful walks or swimming or sailing in the lake if you do not wish to go out on the birding trips. Frank and Daniella provide fabulous hospitality in this magical place. I can't wait to return.

Patricia, Cheltenham

This is a gem of a place to visit for peace, tranquility, restorative rest, first rate birding with expert birder Frank. The rooms are lovely and Daniela's cooking is just wonderful. Not for the first time I returned home refreshed and inspired with a spring in my step.

Paul, Tring

Had a great holiday. Frank and Daniela were very welcoming, the room was comfortable, the food excellent and the birding outstanding. At this time of year the wild flowers are beautiful and visited by colourful butterflies. All together a wonderful experience.

Pam, Southport

We were well looked after by Frank and Daniela in their homely Quinta. Vegetarian and fish dishes were provided for us non meat eaters. The track to the Quinta is an experience. The highlight for me was the wonderful birding trip starting before dawn and lasting all day, led by Frank. He knows all the key places to go and we had a thrilling time seeing beautiful and unusual birds, including little owls and majestic harriers and experiencing the peaceful landscape of the Alentejo.

Sue, Cambridge

Set in a lovely garden, surrounded by birdsong, with the lake as a backdrop, this guest house with excellent green credentials, is a great place to relax completely away from it all. Frank and Daniela are excellent hosts. The rooms are simple, clean and comfortable and the home cooked food consistently good. Evening meals are taken communally - a great way to socialise. P in P is also the home of Birding in Portugal and many of the guests were birders like us. Frank is a knowledgeable bird guide. His varied tours were excellent and provided a huge variety of birds. A wonderful stay.

Jane, Holmfirth

An incredibly special place! The setting is beautiful; so peaceful and remote. Frank and Daniela make you feel straight at home; the convivial dinner was a highlight, as was taking a paddle board out onto the lake and feeling totally connected to nature. I can't wait to return!

Florence, Bristol

The location is sublime - beautiful terraced gardens on the side of a hill with plenty of places to sit and admire the view of the lake. The food is unbelievably good (with a great wine list) - especially when you consider our party consisted of one vegan, one vegetarian and one slightly fussy vegetarian 11-year-old. Frank is a superb bird guide, and we went out for four days with him seeing many different habitats and birds. There are canoes and paddle boards to take out on the lake. The hotel is quiet and peaceful and Frank/Daniela are wonderful hosts. Can't recommend highly enough.

Alex, East bergholt

We enjoyed staying in this beautiful natural garden hillside retreat. It was the quietest place I have ever been. Daniela is a wonderful hostess and our meals were delicious. The staff was friendly and fun. We enjoyed dining with the other guests at the large table and made new friends that week. One becomes family staying here. We came to birdwatch. Frank was an excellent guide and we explored the plains to the east and the coast to the south-west. He knows where to look for target species! Great Bustards, Yes! Black & Griffon vultures, Yes!

Karen, Santa rosa

We NEVER go back to a place we have been before BUT we made an exception for the Quinta and returned to a most beautiful, peaceful and friendly holiday spot. Frank's birding knowledge is superb and the hospitality is just right. Dinner en famille; trips to see birds if you want to go; water sport if you want to stay around, or just be in the sun, soaking up the traquility. It's a special place and one I hope we will be able to return yet again!

Lesley, Diss

I’ve been coming to the Quinta since 1990(!) and there are a few reasons why... this has become one of my truly happy places on the planet; as soon as you arrive you cannot help but feel relaxed. The scenery is stunning, but the Quinta is so much more than a gorgeous lake and some lovely views. When you enter you become part of the fabric; part of the family. From family breakfasts on the terrace to entertaining dinner party style evenings, Frank, Daniela and all the crew make you feel incredibly welcome - a home from home. This is my second visit this year & I’m already planning the next one!

Ash, London

An amazing location high high up - 5kms along a winding dirt track through forest - to arrive at a comfortable place to stay overlooking a huge lake where you can swim, canoe and paddle board. Book on a birding tour with Frank - he's a total expert but also a hoot - and has planted a wonderful garden specifically to attract birds. Daniella cooks good food and you eat with other, international, guests so conversation is lively. You can do yoga too.

Nicola, Bristol

In the loneliness of southern Alentejo is a beautiful place, created with enormous efforts and run by two wonderful people, where impressions and knowledge of Nature (esp. birds), hospitality and a great way of cooking blend into an unique atmosphere, which attracts people from various nations. Daniela and Frank, we are happy to have enjoyed this experience. All our best wishes are with you Maria and Peter

Peter, Area of munich, germany

My husband and I spent an incredible 4 days at Paradise in Portugal (September 9th thru 12th). Frank, Daniella and the entire staff went out of their way to make us feel exceptionally comfortable and at home. Paradise in Portugal is in a remarkable location, 4 kms off the grid, overlooking a beautiful lake and beautiful plants surround you. We stayed in the honeymoon suite which has a private veranda. The place is wonderful and the meals were exceptional. There are opportunities to swim, kayak, sail or just relax looking out at the unbelievably beautiful surroundings. One word, GO!!

Patricia and david, East lahave, ns

We really enjoyed the peace and friendly hospitality of the Quinta, and the excellent home-cooked meals. The lush garden is quite an oasis, and the adjoining lake is perfect for a refreshing dip or paddle on a warm summer's day. The rooms are clean and comfortable, with lots of character. At dinner-time we chatted with interesting people of various nationalities around the table, and enjoyed the ever-changing vista across the lake. Frank is an excellent bird-guide, and knows where to find the avian specialities of southern Portugal. Highly recommended.


We've never been on a 'birding' holiday before so didn't really know what to expect .... what we got was great trips out, brilliant guidance from Frank, lots of laughs, and so many 'firsts' we almost lost count. As for Quinta itself, what an idyllic place to stay. We had a charming bedroom with a cat theme which suited us down to the ground, a fabulous bathroom, and own terrace with a lovely view of the lake. We've never stayed in a hotel with such a warm, family feel to it - Frank and Daniela are a very special couple and made us feel part of the family in no time.


This is the best ever for a relaxing holiday in the middle of no where. Everything one could ask for is on hand here. Fresh water lake where one can swim as far as one likes to build up an appetite for the next delicious meal provided by the Quinta. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a peaceful relaxing holiday in an enchanting eco friendly corner of the Alentejo, Portugal


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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!


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.