Bussaco National Park (On the Way to Porto)
After a splendid time in Viseu, I decided to pass by Coimbra to deliver some research to the University department. Well… basically, on a frolic on my own, my curiosity brought me to the Bussaco National Park. I wanted to see the famous hunting retreat created by the royals and the astonishing surrounding nature. The palace was not built in one go, nor is it as old as you might expect. Actually, it was made for the last King of Portugal in 1885.
After the 5th of October revolution which overthrew the Monarchy in 1910, the abolished Kingdom had no more need for this romantic “rehab,” – so eventually, in 1917, it turned into a hotel.
Check it out here: Almeida hotels
The admission fee to the Park by car is 5 Euros. However, guests with booking reservations enter for free, and I believe hikers too. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to get the hotel experience as I had an important meeting in Porto to attend that afternoon. Therefore, I spent a few hours to check out space and surrounding Park.
Although, slightly cold outside climbing the staircase will keep your warm. As you can see a Natural wonder. The woodsy smell of this quiet zone – wholly hidden away from the rest of the world was what the monks subscribed to in the past.
After a few hours in these gorgeous settings, I made my way to Porto. I had booked a room at the Palácio Do Freixo, which became a National Monument in 1910. It is one of the most elegant boutique hotels in Portugal. The gardens are magnificent with stunning views of the Douro River. The Baroque architecture is also a unique feature to be appreciated. It is by far one of the most prestigious hotels in Portugal.
No wonder, it is a part of the leading hotels in the world!
Here are a few pictures of this unique hotel. The first image is from my room.
The Pousada Palacio do Freixo is an experience. The team at the hotel provides a fantastic service, in particular, – I would like to pick out some team members at the Pousada, namely, Hugo, Óscar, António, and Rita. They went above and beyond to make my stay unforgettable. Only noteworthy to mention is the Spa, which is very clean, elegant and cozy.
The Pestana group is on par with the top hotel chains in the world, and trust me, I have stayed at most of the 5star resorts and hotels in the world. The city of Porto and my family history goes way back. Therefore, it is always great to come back to pay a visit now and then. The city has undergone tremendous infrastructural changes and been developing so much in the past 15 years – even it’s neighboring Vila Nova de Guia, – more specifically the “Portwine district” has morphed into a world-class spot for tourists and Portwine enthusiasts.
It has become one of my favourite places in Portugal to visit, also because I got a keen interest in Portwine. However, I am going to create another article about this at a later stage.
Another delightful feature about Palacio do Freixo is the breakfast. The restaurant is sumptuously furnished, and their buffet is an invitation to induce yourself into a culinary coma. It is remarkable and the service top notch,
I will highly recommend anyone going to Porto to book into this hotel. It is value for money and given the standard a damn good deal.