Here you can get a homely little apartment looking on to a quiet garden with a small swimming pool.
You can go for a walk around the lake, check out the local chickens or take the dodgiest mountain bikes on the Iberian peninsula for a spin.
Sure, you have the Bairro Alto, the renovated bohemian quarter of Lisbon, which is as hedonistic as anywhere in Europe after dark.
It's one of the many rural stopovers on the Rota Vicentina, a 338km trail that winds from Cape St Vincent in the far south west, to Santiago do Cacem in the Alentejo.The humour of the place is wet and damp, not dry and hot. It's a more varied experience, and – compared with a stay in Tuscany or Provence – tremendously good value too.They're a bit like us, really, which is why the British are more likely to flock to southern Spain (or the Algarve, which almost everyone, the Portuguese included, regard as much the same thing). I had my theory all mapped out when I met the man from the Alentejo tourist board. So, has Portugal come up with the right offer at the right time? In 2011, 14.1 million overseas travellers visited Portugal; 3.8 per cent more than in 2010.Like Prague or Krakow, Lisbon feels like a town that's come late to hedonism and is still getting to grips with it.Less West Coast, then – more Eastern Europe, with better seafood.