Plunge into an emerald pool. Fringed by century-old trees, it’s an old stone water tank that’s been extended, and is as enticing as the landscape that surrounds it. Off an unassuming road that runs from Tavira, in a garden full of fig, olive and orange trees, all you hear are the birds.
Authentically decorated in Portuguese-Moroccan style, spacious yet intimate, the 200-year-old quinta is irresistible. Chop, chat and stir in the kitchen; sink into cushioned sofas on the terrace; cosy up to the fireplace if the weather is bad. All is simple yet exotic.
In ten minutes you are in Moorish Tavira, ordering dinner at one of the restaurants that line the Praça da República. Seaside Cabanas is another fine old town – a gateway to the nature-rich Ria Formosa.