Pousadas de Portugal is a chain of over forty hotels

Pousadas de Portugal  is a chain of over forty hotels that have either been converted from historic properties like old monasteries or castles or are located in dramatic countryside settings. They are scattered across the country, with particular concentrations in the Alentejo and the north, though there are only three on the Algarve (a fourth will open shortly) and none in Porto.

While all make full use of the cloisters, chapels and other features of the original buildings, some are somewhat staid, with an old-fashioned elegance. Others, though, have been dramatically modernized by Portugal’s top architects – the interiors of those in Alcácer do Sal, Tavira and Amares are stunning. Facilities and service are equivalent to those in four- and five-star hotels. Standard rooms as well as suites are available; there’s almost always a swimming pool, lovely gardens and a good restaurant. We’ve covered most of the pousadas in the guide – particular Rough Guide favourites along with those mentioned above include those set in the castles at Óbidos, Estremoz and Setúbal, the convent and monastery conversions at Belmonte, Beja and Évora, and the beautifully sited properties at Manteigas (Serra da Estrela), Valença and Santa Luzia (Viana do Castelo).

Prices vary considerably depending on the season, day (more expensive Fri & Sat nights), location, size and position of the room, but expect to pay e145–225 in summer, or e95–160 in low season. Look out for last-minute deals on the website, plus seasonal promotions, especially for the over-60s, who receive good discounts most of the year. You can book by phone at individual pousadas, or through the central reservations number or online.