Up a 4km dirt track which the adventurous will love, and hugging the shore of one of the Alentejo’s largest freshwater lakes, the Quinta and its garden are simply the best for birdwatching and wildlife with masses of wild flowers in spring. Frank’s eco-friendly renovation of the original low house took years and then a row of guest rooms was added. These are pleasingly simple, with pictures, books, terraces and lake views.Breakfast, lunch and supper – all home cooked by Daniella are served in the big extended living room and bar which has a warm, informal feel. Beyond huge windows (open to the sky except in winter) is a vine-covered terrace; further butterfly-bright terraces brim over with hibiscus, oleander, palm, jasmine, plumbago, cactus. Frank planted the garden specifically to attract birds and wildlife so book a tour (he is southern Portugal’s expert) or sit quietly in one of the hides.Walk down the garden to the jetty where you’ll find boats and kit for canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing; swimming here is sublime and warm for most of the year. You’ll also find a newly-built yoga shala overlooking the lake. This is a place of peace and much beauty – and star-filled skies on clear nights.