Up, up, up between eucalyptus trees, glimpsing distant Algarve beaches, to your white-washed cottage huddled against the mountains. A wisteria-and-vine-hung terrace sets the tone for this comfortably rustic hideaway: terracotta tiled floors, chestnuts beams, white rough-plaster walls. Rocking chairs cluster around a stone fireplace in the living room while the kitchen is cheery with Portuguese pottery and a scrubbed dining table. A marble table on the terrace, too, for al fresco eating. There’s a little beamed ground-floor bedroom with a pretty view and two rooms upstairs, one (for romantics), light and airy with its own door to the terrace and steps to the garden; perfect for long lazy breakfasts or star-gazing with a drink in hand. There’s a small shower room and larger bathroom to share; white and simple. Plenty to do for the active in and around Monchique – hiking, canoeing, cycling, beaches – and pretty Silves for the curious. Or doze around the pool in the garden, lush with dappled shade and fruit trees; birdsong and crickets the only sounds. You are in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Magical.