Honeymoon in Portugal: would you stay at a historical palace, castle or convent?

A honeymoon in Portugal could very well be synonymous of playing princess and prince, where you can experience staying in a castle or palace during an unforgettable holiday.

In Portugal, it is not only possible to share special moments in paradisiacal regions, but also in places that take you back in time a few centuries. Among them are castles, palaces, abbeys, convents, monasteries… that include luxurious restaurants, bars and esplanades. Do you want to discover where princes and princesses slept in the good old days? From the north to the south of Portugal, theses castles, palaces and convents await you… and promise you the honeymoon of a lifetime.

1. Hotel Pousada Palácio do Freixo

Estrada Nacional 108
4300 Campanhã – Porto

The Palácio do Freixo Hotel has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. Created by the architect Nasoni, this symbolic palace was ordered by D. Jerónimo de Távora e Noronha, the Dean of the Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral) in 1742. Later, the building and its gardens were sold to the Harmony Company that installed a mill on site, which was expanded in the 50s and 60s. The building is located on the banks of the Douro River, named after Portugal’s famous wine region, which dates back to Roman times. Situated just a few kilometers from Guimarães, the European Culture Capital 2012, the Freixo Palace is a beautiful example of Portuguese civil baroque and is definitely fit for a king and his queen…

2. Hotel Pousada Castelo de Óbidos

Paço Real
2510-999 Óbidos

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, this castle is currently awaiting the UNESCO classification of World Heritage. The village of Óbidos holds centuries of history within its walls. With a vast heritage of religious architecture, historical and monumental remains, the town of kings and queens was, in other times, a place of preference to rest or to escape from the quarrels of the court. Today, it is the perfect place to escape to for a cherished honeymoon…

3. Hotel Pousada de Alcácer do Sal – Dom Afonso II

Castelo de Alcácer do Sal
7580-197 Alcácer do Sal

This medieval 8th century castle has been magically transformed into a hotel of truly luxurious design. Overlooking Alcácer do Sal, the city, with over 5000 years of history, takes us back to the end of the Neolithic period, where it was one of the main Atlantic costal ports south of the Tagus. Throughout the entire city, you’ll come across many remnants of the Phoenician, Arab and even Roman culture. With a panoramic view of the Sado River, which runs through a vast green valley, the Pousada de Alcácer do Sal has been installed in the Medieval Castle of Óbidos since 1951, a year which marked the start of the Pousadas of Portugal heritage classification. A very royal honeymoon indeed…

4. Hotel Pousada de Alvito – Castelo de Alvito

Alvito – Apartado 9
7920-999 Alvito

A 15th century castle, this building has been classified as a National Monument since 1910 and is an excellent example of Portuguese architecture at its finest, combining the architecture of the fortress and palatial residence with Islamic, Gothic and Manueline influences. Located around 30 km from Beja, the Alentejo village of Alvito is the perfect place for couples to relax and honeymoon… they will be, after all, surrounded by luxury, charm and finesse. Want to know how to plan a romantic night on your honeymoon? Step onto the outdoor patio and enjoy the view of magical flickering lights from the castle wall… then, head hand in hand towards the property’s stunning fairytale-like gardens and get lost in your love...

5. Hotel Pousada de Guimarães – Santa Marinha

Largo Domingos Leite de Castro – Lugar da Costa
4810-011 Guimarães

In the city of Guimarães, the European Capital of Culture 2012, you’ll find the majestic Pousada de Santa Marinha. Nestled into the Agostinhos Monastery, this elegant hotel is the result of restoration work done on this 12th century monastery, which stands out, not only because of its localization, but also because of the magnificent gardens that surround it. Located only 2 km from the historical city centre (classified as World Heritage by UNESCO), and where the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, was born, be amazed by its magnificent view of Guimarães, sit back and enjoy the perfect union between historical past and contemporary comfort.

6. Hotel Pousada de Tavira – Convento da Graça

Rua Dom Paio Peres Correia
8800-407 Tavira

Founded by D. Sebastião in the 16th century, the Santo Agostinho Convent has an inviting atmosphere… and a great kitchen, with strong maritime influences! Close to one of the region’s most beautiful beaches and surrounded by three magnificent golf courses – Benamor, Monte Rei and Quinta da Ria – if sun, sand and teeing off are your thing, this may very well be a great place to spend your honeymoon in Portugal. Located in Tavira – in the Algarve – this stunning hotel combines classic lines with contemporary luxury. At the Pousada de Tavira, guests can enjoy the outdoor pool stretched out on the sun loungers, under parasols or in the comfortable drawing room, perfect for reading a great book. While the Pousada was being restored, archaeological treasures of Islamic origin from the 13th century were uncovered. These discoveries forced some adjustments to the original project design, in order to preserve another important local and historical legacy, which can now be enjoyed by all at the Patio Moor Bar.

7. Hotel Pousada de Vila Pouca da Beira – Convento do Desagravo em Oliveira do Hospital

Calçada do Convento
3400-758 Vila Pouca da Beira, Oliveira do Hospital

Dating back to the 18th century, the construction of the Desagravo Convent was ordered by the Bishop Count Dom Francisco de Lemos de Faria Pereira. With its doors open since 2002, this charming historical hotel is near Serra da Estrela and Serra do Açor, beautiful mountain ranges with incredible panoramic views of the surrounding natural landscape… providing a romantic and peaceful atmosphere that is ideal for a secluded and dreamy honeymoon.

8. Hotel Pousada do Crato – Flor da Rosa

Mosteiro da Flor da Rosa
7430-999 Flor da Rosa, Crato

The Hotel Pousada do Crato, an important national gothic monument, is located right in the heart of the Alentejo, installed in the old Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa Monastery. D. Alvaro Goncalves Pereira, Grand Prior to the Hospital and also the father of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, had the building erected in the 14th century. A stunning medieval monastery that once belonged to the Order of Malta, is now an equally stunning hotel, where amongst the calm, sophisticated and relaxing environment, traces of medieval mysticism still lurk. This luxury hotel in Crato is the perfect example of how to restore a historical building in modern times, without losing the monastic spirit and peacefulness. It’ll be like having your own private castle for a very aristocratic honeymoon…

9. Hotel Pousada Convento de Belmonte

Serra da Esperança, Apartado 76
6250-073 Belmonte

Built on the ruins of the old Nossa Senhora da Esperança Convent and classified as a Property of Public Interest since 1986, this charming hotel sits right next door to an 18th century chapel that was cleverly transformed into a bar. Situated just over 1 km from the town of Belmonte (birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral), this is a secluded and charming spot, for a secluded and charming honeymoon.

10. Hotel Pousada de Amares – Santa Maria do Bouro

Largo do Terreiro (EN 308)
4720-633 Amares

The Santa Maria do Bouro Pousada is the result of the restoration of a 12th century Cistercian Monastery, one of the most characteristic of this period in Portugal. This remarkable piece of work was done by the architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, who was awarded the Pritzker in 2011, the highest award in the architectural world for conserving the severity of an old monastery, while simultaneously injecting it with a very modern and comforting décor. Stepping into this hotel is like stepping back into time and stepping outside is the starting point for numerous cultural circuits all over the beautiful Minho region… and the fact that it is located mere minutes from the Peneda-Gerês National Park is the cherry on top of the cake! After you’ve immersed yourself in nature, head to the city of Braga (also close by) for shopping and sightseeing (the city is known for its baroque churches, splendid 18th century manor houses, elaborate parks and gardens). A sweet and unforgettable honeymoon spot in northern Portugal…

11. Hotel Pousada de Arraiolos – Nossa Senhora da Assunção

Apartado 61
7044-909 Arraiolos

Tucked into a 16th century monastery, this historical hotel is a perfect example of how to harmoniously mix tradition and antiqueness with the most modern design, décor and architectural concepts, in order to create a magnificent, luxurious hotel. During the middle ages, the convent served the local evangelistic population but, with its contemporary restoration, austerity and penance gave way to joy, simple comforts and some of life’s little – and greatest – pleasures! If you’re not cuddled up inside, venture outdoors and enjoy some of the many activities that the hotel has to offer: hunting, horseback riding, canoeing, bike rides, hiking, jeep rides, karting… Checking into this hotel is also a fantastic pretext for discovering the town of Arraiolos, whose cultural heritage is world renowned, especially through its carpets, which are a true work of tapestry art... and a perfect honeymoon souvenir!

12. Hotel Pousada de Beja – São Francisco

Largo Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira – Apartado 63
7801-901 Beja

Conveniently located in Beja’s historical city centre, this very old, 13th century Franciscan convent, dates all the way back to the year 1268. Breathing history and culture in every corner, the hotel that now inhabits it stands out with its classic décor and warm atmosphere. Luxurious and very impressive, the hotel maintains many of the convent’s original features – spacious areas, high ceilings with predominating white walls, with antiques and local crafts as decoration… guests simply want to stay forever! The long ample hallways connect the old monks’ chambers which have been remodeled and transformed into welcoming bedrooms with an inviting view of the pool and garden. Together with decadent local gastronomy and you’re all set for a relaxing honeymoon, that will rejuvenate body and soul…

13. Hotel Pousada de Vila Viçosa – Dom João IV

Convento das Chagas – Terreiro do Paço
7160-251 Vila Viçosa

Located in the heart of Vila Viçosa, a beautiful city in Alentejo, this hotel occupies the 16th century Chagas de Cristo Convent. Old cells, oratories and places for retreat were intelligently transformed into modern day accommodations. The result is a traditional and tranquil place… with a wonderful restaurant whose old, secret conventual recipes will definitely conquer your appetite! After a wonderful meal and retiring to one of its magnificently themed rooms, staying in this hotel is like sleeping in a museum and where, for a moment, you can be actors in an imaginary world from another century… a movie-like honeymoon no doubt!

14. Pousada de Faro, Palácio de Estoi

Rua São José
8005-465 Faro

If you’ve always dreamed of staying in a pink palace for your honeymoon, than this is the place for you! Estoi is a small village in Algarve, situated between São Brás de Alportel and Faro. Hidden within the region’s typical houses and floral roads, you’ll find a Rococo style palace which appears to have been taken straight out of the story books from the times of kings and queens, with its enchanted gardens, orange groves and palm trees. The luxurious 18th century palace once belonged to José Francisco da Silva, Viscount of Estoi, and was opened in 1909. In 1987, it was purchased by the Town Hall of Faro, and in 1977, it was classified as a Property of Public Interest. The hotel design project was done by the architect Gonçalo Byrne, where contemporary meets classic. Along with stunning views of the ocean and mountains, this hotel has all the wellness commodities that a honeymoon requires: spa, outdoor pool, Turkish bath, sauna, tropical showers and a heated indoor pool with jacuzzi.

15. Pousada de Angra do Heroísmo, São Sebastião

Rua do Castelinho
9700-045 Angra do Heroísmo

Standing majestically atop a steep cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the historical and World Heritage site of Angra do Heroísmo, this 16th century military fortress was built in 1555 and, in true defense style, has only one entrance, located on its north side. Inside, a hotel was inaugurated in 2006 and with only 28 rooms and 1 suite, it is a sweet escape for those who seek a very private and unique honeymoon. The fortress is closed in by high rising stone walls and other bits and pieces that, although in ruins; are a clear reminder of its days of grandeur, with the Portuguese flag flapping proudly in the wind.

16. Pousada de Palmela, Castelo de Palmela

Castelo de Palmela
2950-317 Palmela

Located in the notable Palmela Castle, the Hotel Pousada de Palmela occupies the cloisters of the old convent that also exists within these historical castle walls. There is little information about the origin of Palmela before the conquest of Lisbon by D. Afonso Henriques, when the Muslims surrendered this region to the Christian hosts, however, in the epic tale “Os Lusíadas”, Luís de Camões dignifies the fact that D. Afonso Henriques was able to seize the Palmela Castle, while being accompanied by only 60 knights. This hotel takes full advantage of its splendid location, perched on an imposing hill, with an extensive panorama of the Serra da Arrábida, the Atlantic Ocean, the valleys and fields which give life to the region’s wonderful wines. Situated close enough to Lisbon to offer you an urban honeymoon experience, it is also secluded enough for those days when you just want to curl up as a couple. A magical honeymoon spot to begin your new chapter in life, as husband and wife…

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