Torres Vedras, Portugal
When to go
Warm summers, mild winters and an ever-present Atlantic breeze make this a destination with all-year allure.
PlanesLisbon airport is a half-hour drive away. British Airways (britishairways.com) and TAP (flytap.com) both fly direct from London to Lisbon; TAP also operates direct flights from Newark in the US to the city.
TrainsIt takes an hour and a half to get from Lisbon to Torres Vedras by train, and the journey involves frequent stops and at least one change. For a smoother (and quicker) ride, hop on one of the frequent buses from Lisbon’s Campo Grande terminal to Torres Vedras (around 40 minutes).
AutomobilesA car is a good idea if you’re planning on exploring the nearby towns but if you’re tying in a trip to Lisbon, ditch your wheels beforehand – driving in Lisbon can be a hair-whitening experience.
TaxisCabs are hard to come by, so avoid stressful searches or long waits by asking your hotel to book transfers.
Having removed bed-facing plasma TVs, formal service and the ubiquitous minibar from the menu, Areias do Seixo has set about redefining luxury, giving nature a starring role: fresh fruit in rooms and furnishings carved from wood. Inside Nha Cretcheu, the futuristic grey stone walls and floors create an austere space, yet the more natural touches – an elevated four-poster bed with a frame hewn from slender wooden boughs, a neatly stacked log pile next to the cosy fireplace, a collection of floor cushions, a private Jacuzzi and an astonishing view of the ocean – all result in a surprisingly relaxing environment.