Stay in a Portuguese Castle, Palace, Fortress, or Convent

by Andrea on March 1, 2012

Did you know that you can go to Portugal and spend the night in a castle, palace, convent, or fortess?  Seriously!  But before I go into the details, I want to share what’s been on my mind and why the sudden post on fabulous Portuguese accommodations.

wanderlust: noun – a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about

I am diagnosing myself with a terrible case of wanderlust.  Yesterday, my day went something like this.  Hey friend who just came back from Mexico, tell me about your upcoming Summer Italy plans.  Hey friend #2 who is telling me what you need to pack for your China trip next week, so you’re going to Croatia this Summer?  Hey friend #3, can you believe that Thailand is just over a week away.  Oh, what is that?  You are also going to Champagne in the Spring? Cool.  Oh and there’s still friend #4.  I know you are working hard right now, but Mexico is just two months away. And, don’t forgot China is just after that.  (I AM NOT KIDDING.  I AM NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING ONE BIT. THOSE WERE MY FOUR CONVERSATIONS YESTERDAY.)  Needless to say, the travel bug is biting me… fiercely.

I like to operate in a world where I always have a trip to look forward to.  Sometimes, the trip is over a year away, but I know I’m going to some new country and just the anticipation is awesome.  Currently, there is nothing on the horizon.

So to help (or perhaps worsen) my wanderlust, I thought I’d do a little research on Portuguese pousadas for future adventures, and to try and convince you why you should stay in them!  Let’s start!

Back in the 40s, Portugal started building ‘hotels’ for visitors that were like all of the other traditional buildings in the region.  These hotels, or pousadas, were created to give visitors an opportunity to experience traditional Portugal.  In the 50s, pousadas slowly expanded to include historic buildings.  And today, the Portuguese government has grown this collection to over 40 pousadas divided into four categories: Historic, Historic Design, Charm, and Nature.

In drooling over the 40 options, I’m dying to go to these 4 choices.  Let’s start with the Pousada de Gerês.  This former hunter’s chalet is situated in Portugal’s awe inspiring National Park in the North.

Next up, we have Palacio do Freixo. When visiting the fabulous city of Porto, why not stay in a palace?  This is certain to make any girl happy. The palace was built in the 19th century and sits along the Douro River.

With the pousada in Óbidos, you get two treats for the price of one.  Not only do you get to stay inside a fortressed city, you also get to stay in a 1oth century castle. Isn’t this too much?

Finally, if two in one wasn’t enough for you, how about staying in a castle, convent, and a palace? That’s what you’ll find in Crato at Flor de Rosa.  I have a soft spot for this pousada. Brian and I spent part of our honeymoon here and were completed delighted.  If you go, splurge and stay in the tower suite. You won’t regret the 20 ft ceilings, stone walls, canopy bed, luxurious bathroom, tower patio, and all around amazingness.

So, has this helped or hurt my wanderlust? I’m going to go with helped.  I’m finding myself plotting which pousadas to sneak away to when we head back to Portugal.

images of first three pousadas from Pousadas de Portugal, first Flor de Crato photo from Virtual Portugal, last two photos from yours truly


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