Snake 1,500m up a winding pass to the ‘first mountain resort in Portugal.’ The surrounding hamlet is 120 years old but the hotel is new: all clean lines, blonde wood and touches of colour in locally made felt rugs and stool covers. Everywhere there are vintage wooden skis set off by funky 50s style lamps. Chalet-style bedrooms, some with balconies, all with stunning views to river valleys, are cool and calming with spotless, state-of-the-art bathrooms. Dinner is a gourmet affair in the gleaming dining room (open for non-residents too) followed by a gentle stroll to a quartz outcrop: you’re in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park and its wooded, boulder-strewn hills; note the Penhas Douradas gleaming golden in the setting sun. João, your ever-helpful host, can point you in the direction of gentle walking trails and challenging hikes, or kayaking round the nearby lake. Return to a library stuffed with books and DVDs, a sitting room with a fireplace to curl up in front of, a delicious spa and a pool with floor-to-ceiling windows. Gulp in the restorative air, wonder at the huge skies – it’s stunning.