If you`re looking for a break with equal amounts of indulgence and relaxation, look no further than the town of Olho in southern Portugal.
Other than a smattering of British day-trippers, the majority of people you will come across will be fisherman ferociously arguing over dominos, the odd stray dog seeking respite from the sun and locals basking in the good weather.
Over the course of a week in Olho, we spent our mornings at the town`s two markets – one bursting with fresh fish and seafood, the other overripe with local fruit and vegetables, as well as the odd pig`s head and local cheese.
After lunch we jumped on a ferry to the nearby islands of Culatra and Farol, where the long, sandy beaches easily tempt you into the Atlantic for a dip.
But mostly we found it difficult to leave our house for the week. Casa Barreta is just one of several properties owned by White Terraces, a company set up by a Portuguese architect and his Anglo-French wife a few years ago.
A townhouse of Moorish descent in the traditional fishing quarter, Casa Barreta is a minimalist`s dream. Chalky white throughout, the house boasts three en-suite bedrooms and two delicious terraces perfect for al fresco eating or relaxing in the sun.
There`s a small but seductive swimming pool on the first terrace and the second one boasts beds surrounded by floaty curtains to keep you shaded from the sun`s hot rays.
What`s more, Olho is just 15km from Faro Airport, which is served by low-cost carriers like Easy Jet, meaning that you can reach this slice of paradise in just half an hour after landing.
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