Whom does not t love a relaxing time off far away from vertiginous daily routine in a peaceful place? That is right, that was exactly what we did. We decided to get in the car and drive “beyond the Tagus River” and stopped at the Arraiolos village, a small village known for its embroidered wool rugs and carpets.
Where to stay?
Since it is a small village, it has some hostels and hotels around, but we decided to stay at the most famous place to stay – the Convent of Arraiolos, which makes part of Pestana Historical Hotels Group and spent there three amazing days. The convent is just 7 miles away from the historical center of Arraiolos village, but it is localized way down the valley, so if you want to leave your car at the hotel and enjoy a walk in the middle of nature, be prepared to go a way up.
The hotel offers different accommodations suitable for everyone: individuals, couples, families and it is also pet friendly. You can enjoy a relaxing stay using an interior and exterior swimming pools, sauna and spa procedures. You can challenge your partner for a tennis match or horse riding around the valley. Every room is pretty spacious and bright, has everything you might need during your stay: minibar, tv, wi-fi , room service and toiletries in a big black marble bathroom and, of course, a Michelin starred restaurant.
What to do?
Arraiolos has so much to appreciate. The best to do is leave your car at the hotel and walk around through the hilly scenery, where you can find local churches, visit the interactive museum and appreciate all the nature around and the daily life of local people. The Castle of Arraiolos – which we could see right from my window – was our main point of interest. This medieval castle is considered one of the rarest castles in the world due to its circular architecture and is located on the highest point of Arraiolos village.
Where to eat?
Well, there are some cafés and typical restaurants, but unfortunately most of them were closed for renewals or for some another reason. We checked google for some restaurants and found one that has good reviews, “O Alpendre”, that apart from serving a typical food has an incredible rustic décor. There you can enjoy your dinner accompanied by a wonderful bottle of regional wine and all kinds of delicatessen salads and prosciutto. It is a bit pricey place, but totally worth of visit.
Our lunch choice fell on “República do Petisco”. Totally random choice. Since we were wandering through the Arraiolos streets and saw that place. It’s a small tapas bar…. Like very small, only 5 tables inside, but fortunately plenty space for those who loves eating outside on a esplanade. The bar served all kinds of snacks and drinks and it is really affordable. We were so lucky to be there at the right time, because 10 minutes later it become really crowded (and not because of fifteen members of female cycling team from Germany). It just because it happens to be located at the most central area of Arraiolos.