Skip to navigation Skip to content
Skip to content
< Back to Travel experiences

19th May, 2021

Pousadas of Portugal

If you’re fascinated by the history and heritage of Portugal, there’s no better way to explore the country than by staying in one of the nation’s stunning Pousadas. Specially chosen for their historical significance, these amazing hotels represent the ideal accommodation for travellers who want to be fully immersed in each region’s story.

The history of Pousadas

A Pousada isn’t just a hotel – it’s a place of architectural, cultural, and historical significance, created to protect and preserve Portugal’s most important buildings for posterity. First envisioned during the 1940s, these hotels are not only rustic but also reflect the true heart of Portugal.

Today, there are more than 40 Pousadas across the length and breadth of the country, with some set in areas of especially glorious countryside, while others are in converted historical buildings from monasteries to castles that give an incredible insight into the nation’s past.

Showcasing Portugal’s religious heritage

Pousada de Guimaraes

One of the most spectacular Pousadas is the Pousada de Guimaraes which is a converted Augustine monastery dating back to the 1100s. Boasting impressive views over the city from its lofty hillside location, this luxury hotel enjoys glorious surroundings in 9 hectares of beautiful gardens. From its pillared courtyard and ancient cloisters to its outdoor pool, this accommodation is a favourite choice of our Head of Product, Chris Yianni who says:

As you walk in, you can feel the history envelop you.

Splendour in the heart of nature

Pousada Serra da Estrela

The Pousada Serra da Estrela affords guests luxurious accommodation in the midst of nature’s beauty. Sited at the impressive height of 1200 metres, this hotel is in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, one of inland Portugal’s most visited sites, and boasts dramatic views over the surrounding area. Originally built as a sanatorium thanks to its health-promoting location, this Pousada now offers amazing facilities including both outdoor and indoor pools and a spa.

Offering hospitality since the 15th century

Pousada de Ourem

The walled medieval town of Ourem is home to the Pousada de Ourem, a magnificent and spacious hotel that was originally a 15th century hospital. This elegant accommodation offers travellers an insightful way to discover the ancient town while its breathtaking hillside location affords wonderful views over the famous Shrine of Fatima and the Seica River Valley.

Relive the crusading past

Pousada de Alcacer do Sal

The focal point of the town, the stunning Pousada Alcacer do Sal, commands outstanding views of the Sado River. Thanks to its excellent defensive position, this one-time castle once repelled invaders with its strength. The history of this town goes back 5000 years and this Pousada still incorporates the original castle’s towers as well as its castellated walls and ancient stonework complete with its Baroque coat of arms. There can be no finer way to immerse yourself in Portugal’s crusading past than by staying in this former fortress.

Discovering the beauty of Portugal’s culture

Staying in a Pousada is a unique way to experience the culture and history of this beautiful country. As Chris Yiannis says:

It’s as though the importance and significance of these places suddenly come into focus. The exploration of your destination doesn’t pause when you reach your hotel for the evening and that’s very powerful.

If you’re ready to discover the true heart of Portugal, our Pousadas of Portugal itinerary is an ideal choice for you.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.