Photos courtesy of Pousada de Estremoz
Double rooms: 110–216 euros
Suite: 148–279 euros
Rates include breakfast, tax, and service.
Open: all year
Estremoz is 60 km west of Badajoz, Spain. Bus service is available from Évora and Lisbon. Trains go to Estremoz on the Portalegre and Évora line, but there is no train service between Estremoz and Spain. Signposts lead up the hill to the castle.
On site: swimming pool
Nearby: theme tours; bicycling; hunting; fishing; hiking
Not far from the Spanish border, on the way to Lisbon, is the picturesque whitewashed town of Estremoz.
A drive through the narrow, winding streets up the hill into the old town, with its Gothic and Manueline houses, is a trip into the Middle Ages. At the top of the hill, the castle of Estremoz is adjacent to a great keep—a 13th-century marble tower some 90 feet high.
Just inside the entrance is a stunning white marble staircase with blue-tiled sides that leads up to spacious hallways. The public lounge resembles a small museum of Portuguese furniture and art from the 17th and 18th centuries, with valuable paintings, tapestries, and ceramics.
Individually decorated guest rooms feature period furniture, embroidered or painted decorations, and either four-poster canopy beds or elaborate carved headboards. Views are either of the interior courtyard, the town, or countryside. Rooms vary in size, with the larger ones located in a new wing.
The dining room is in a great baronial hall featuring heavy wood chandeliers and high-backed chairs. Its high vaulted ceiling is supported by several marble columns. Local specialties and lamb dishes are featured.