Do not be fooled by the immutability of the peaceful landscape that is in every window or "ameia" (battlement) - even if you feel the weight of the centuries on the thickness of the walls, windows and Gothic doors and artwork referenced in the hallways. This Pousada proves that time changes everything and what was once a kitchen of Poor Clare nuns living in seclusion is now a room where you can read a book left by another guest's passing through.
Enjoy a stay at the Pousada of Alcácer do Sal, named in honour of D. Afonso II, that assured his belonging once and for all to the Portuguese territory and have a holiday you'll never forget or have ever again.
The Pousada is comfortably installed on a hill overlooking the tranquil waters running from south to north of the Sado river. The Muslim wall is a constant companion, surrounding, protecting and interweaving your room and your stay with an aura of mystery, conquest and curiosity. There is always more to see, more walls to go by, more streets to go up and down, more battles to imagine, more river, rice fields, dunes and beaches to explore.
Less than 30 km on a road that is almost in a straight line, you can find one of the best-kept secrets of the Portuguese coast: the beaches of Comporta, Carvalhal and Pego. Chosen by the most sophisticated society and more entrenched fishermen, these beaches have the best restaurants and the wildest dunes. You can even imitate the ancient knights and go horseback riding in the sand.
And of course, do not forget that you are in Alentejo: wherever you are, you will surely find a good restaurant nearby. The pork, the game, the rice, the fried river fish and the wonderful grilled sea fish will give a unique and delicious flavour to your holiday. Even if you are a vegetarian, between migas, rice, bread soups and soups you will be able to taste this extraordinary cuisine full of flavour.
Find another kind of spirituality in the gardens, where ancient olive trees, oaks and wild olives form a natural barrier between the pool, the lawn and the corners with wooden benches to read and rest.
The Pousada also has a large terrace inviting you to enjoy the majestic view of birds soaring over the horizon. Alcácer do Sal’s railway station is 2.5 km from the Pousada itself and the city of Setubal is a mere 45 minute car ride away. The Pousada defers a parking lot on site.
Alcácer do Sal is one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded before 1000 BC by the Phoenicians. Alcácer do Sal and its castle was only conquered definitively during the reign of Afonso II of Portugal on 18th October 1217. It was in this town that in 1500, D. Manuel I married the Infanta D. Maria, daughter of the Catholic kings of Spain.
Spend a historical holiday at the Pousada of Alcácer do Sal. Located in the ancient castle built by Muslims, and donated by D. Sancho I to the Order of Santiago in 1186. In the sixteenth century, it was adapted to become a monastery for warrior-monks and later, cloistered nuns, having been active until 1834.
Go up the contemporary stairs to the second floor and find out where the nuns attended Mass, through barred windows of the overwhelming single nave church, with irresistible reverberant acoustics for the echoes of children. Look for the secluded and comfortable reading room and be sure to find access to the terrace of the highest tower, where you can photograph a sunset over the rice fields which is, in itself, a journey through time.
Whether you are passing through and want to stay just a weekend, or choose the Inn as a perch for a quiet and elegant holiday, the Inn of Alcácer will surprise you with the delicate balance between its aesthetic overload and your levels of comfort.
Pestana's tip: The nights in Alentejo are extraordinary for stargazing, so bring a small telescope.