An architect-designed, no-expense-spared renovation of a lovely old terracotta-roofed house. Warm sloping timbers blend with pale walls and floors and all is contemporary, clean and spacious. Dazzling white rules – with splashes of colour in striped curtains and cushions, sofas are elegantly upholstered in neutral linen and the huge double-height kitchen has a big cherry table for 10. There’s a piano to play and bold pieces of African art adorn the walls. All the bedrooms have very large bathrooms with tiled floors, safe terraces link to an infinity pool overlooking the water and surrounded by eucalyptus trees. This is great for families, with lots of toys, and you can request pretty much anything: yoga retreats, paddle boarding, cycling (you can hire bikes locally), home-cooked meals if you don’t want to cook. The natural garden, dotted with wildflowers, blends into the landscape – set off from here for a walk along the via Algarviana, the famous self-guided route passes the driveway. Stock up at the daily market in Messines, return to wicker loungers and a splash in the lovely pool.