Paradise in Portugal... unspoilt heaven by the lake Albufeira da Barragem de Santa Clara in the Beja-District in the south of the country.
A small lakeside hotel set in unspoilt countryside, with wonderful views over one of Europe's cleanest lakes. The lake is relatively unknown, with a busy day being the sight of five boats. In summer the fruit and flower gardens lead guests down to the shore where there are a variety of water sports on offer. Winter is not to be outdone, however, as it offers marvellous local walks – there is a complete absence of traffic noise all year round. Quinta do Barranco da Estrada also offers a variety of speciality-guided courses, such as bird watching.
The resident hosts, Frank and Daniela, who live in and run the establishment with personal care and attention have meticulously built up the Quinta into what it has now become, "A Paradise in Portugal".
They also offer a variety of yearlong courses such as bird watching and massage. It really is a lovely place and this small intimate retreat for peace and relaxation serves up eight double en-suite rooms, a Family Suite and a Honeymoon Suite. It has 2 large drawing rooms with log fires, sauna, one roofed terrace, one vine-covered terrace and various lawns within the 2-acre garden that drops down towards the water.
Really cool, calm and nice place from very warm owners. If you wanna relax, cool down in the lake und have nice conversations with the staff and other guests this is the right spot.
Away from everything
Date of stay 16/09/2020
Magnificent scenery.excellent swimming in the lake although the stairs to reach it are very steep.. Excellent breakfast.Communication with nature.
Einzigartig schön und entspannend
Date of stay 14/09/2018
Für uns, Familie mit 2 kleinen Kindern, war es eine wirklich schöne und einzigartige Erfahrung. Die Quinta ist ein wunderschöner Ort, der etwas ganz anderes ist, als die meisten Portugal kennen.
Daniela und Frank sind herzliche Gastgeber, die Zimmer sind schön und sauber, hell und haben einen wahnsinns Ausblick auf den See. Man kann auch schwimmen, wandern, Kanu fahren oder einfach nichts tun und die Ruhe der Anlage geniessen. Unsere Kinder fanden es auch super.
Empfehlenswert! Wir kommen auf jeden Fall wieder.
Quinta do Barranco da Estrada
by Alex Suter
Date of stay 04/08/2017
My wife and I adored our stay and will most certainly return when we can. We appreciated the quietness, the beauty of the spot and the particuliary the way that Frank and Daniela run their establishement. We made some great acaquatances with people from all over the globe, due to the fact that meals are taken around a commen table. A lovely place!
Date of stay 23/07/2015
This place is giving meaning to the word 'secret place'!
Our already high expectations were exceeded in every way.
Frank and Daniela are fantastic hosts. Frank is an entertaining charismatic host and Daniela a great cook surprising us at every meal.
The location is stunning, the accommodation very well looked after and clean.
Not Just pleasing to the eyes but the ears too
Date of stay 27/08/2011
spent 22 days at Quinta and enjoyed every minute of it. As a solo traveller, it was ideal for me as I could get the benefits of having time alone but also getting to meet several different nationalities and personalities at the communal dinners. The food was fantastic, prepared by Daniela, and I never had the same starter, main or dessert twice, which I was amazed at.
The lake was always warm, which meant that kayaking or swimming before breakfast was always possible. The mist burning off the surface of the lake as the fish jumped at sunrise was always amazing to see. The garden has a wider variety of flowers, and several paths through it allowing you to see all the different flowers and wildlife. I was lucky to capture photographs of an ocellated lizard, thanks to Frank letting me use his hide and spare tripod.
Wifi and limited mobile reception is available so you are not completely cut off from the world, although with such settings I found I never checked my work email once (and that is saying something for me). Electronic beeps are very rarely heard here, which makes you notice them all the more once you leave. The dogs are friendly, although could be quite excitable, and seemed to behave with the other guest's dogs. The parrot, Uncle Harry, almost barked as much as the dogs and it does not take long to learn who she is copying when you here it call Frank.
Frank is also a wealth of information, full of great stories and knowledge, not just on birds and cork, but a multitude of plants, animal life and other topics. This leads to many interesting dinner conversations. If you are lucky, you get a musical after dinner show from the children.
Most guests during my time there stayed 2-4 days, a wide range of ages from 30-retired, couples and families, nationalities and it was interesting to see how the dynamic of the place constantly changed as different guests arrived and left.
It is not a question of will i go back but when I go back, as I am already trying to work out when I can go at the earliest possible time
Date of stay 01/07/2006
After reading the recommendation on Secret Places I stayed at the Quinta do Barranca da Estrada for 3 days July 2006. It was absolutely beautiful. A real remote retreat, with beautiful almost tropical gardens, a clean huge freshwater lake, lovely rooms and fantastic food and service. It's hard to do the place justice, but it would come heartily recommended from me.
Rebecca Morris, UK
Amazing 3 night stay
Date of stay 29/09/2010
We had an amazing 3 night stay at Quinta do Barranco da Estrada. It does exactly what it says on the tin - Paradise in Portugal. Don’t be daunted by the long dirt track to reach it - once you arrive it is definitely worth it. When we got there Daniela greeted us with lunch and Frank pleasantly informed us that we had been upgraded to the honeymoon suite. Excellent start!
Once we’d finished lunch it was down to the reservoir (and it’s where we spent most of our time for the rest of the holiday too!). It was very hot when we arrived, about 35C, so we spent our time between chilling on the sunbeds whilst reading our books, admiring the stunning views, and swimming in the reservoir to cool back down again!
There’s a few little row boats and pedaloes if you fancy being a bit more active. We took the kayak out a couple of times, and were even joined on one occasion by one of the dogs who swam the whole way with us! We were slightly concerned that Peshka looked like she was about to drown at any given moment, but judging by the lack of heavy breathing once she hit dry land, she’s fitter than we are! One of the mornings was a bit cooler and cloudier, so Daniela asked us what we wanted to do and we ended up going for a nice walk in one of the valleys. They had selection of local walks with full directions set out on a laminated card. Frank recommended us one not far away and we had an enjoyable morning ambling through the countryside.
The owners Frank and Daniela really couldn’t do enough for you, and really completed the whole place. Not only were they welcoming and helpful but they were also great fun and very good company in the evenings over dinner – and along with their three children, 1 parrot and 4 dogs, it certainly made for an interesting dinner time! It also helped that Daniela is a very good cook! The whole place was just magical and so very peaceful. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to escape from the world (no TV, no phone signal) and just switch off. We’ll definitely be going back again.
Katherine Hair, UK