Get to know the real Portugal: Prem organises hiking and biking weeks (yoga, painting, Portuguese and meditation/massage courses, too) and provides proper walking maps. It’s believed that the abundance of water here, in this otherwise thirsty region, is the reason why Monte ‘Miracles’ is so named: there are no fewer than four wells within the 22-acre estate and their water is sweet and drinkable. At the top of a long hillside track, the grounds are quite lovely, furnished with figs, vines and olive trees; the farmer next door turns the olives into oil, the grapes into wine and dries the figs for winter. Such is the setting for these houses (two of which interconnect), the largest being the old farmhouse, simply and stylishly converted by Prem. The beams, stones and wooden floors are as they were; new pale pine, huge stoves and white walls add to the rustic feel. There’s a lovely saltwater pool to come home to, a hammock between the orange trees, and Prem on hand to give massages for aching bones. Meals are not provided but your serene hostess will cook by arrangement for groups. Simply lovely.