Imagine yourself in one of the most beautiful valleys in Portugal, right in the heart of the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park in the rural hamlet of Alvados with its dry stone walls and old oak and olive trees where life has not changed since ancestral times.
Here, in Autumn, it is possible to see the flight of the Golden Eagle, pick delicious mushrooms and hear the call of the Eurasian Eagle Owl. In Springtime, when leaving 'Cooking and Nature – Emotional Hotel' take care not to step on some rare orchids or the splendid Broteroi Peony. Climb the Castelejo Hill with your guide, who will be carrying a flask of hot coffee in his back pack to serve to you at the top where you will get to know the Red-Billed Chough and understand why there are so many marine fossils in these parts. With a little luck, you may also see the Short Toed Snake Eagle, pale as the mountain stones. For those who are less energetic, there is a terrace where you will find binoculars for birdwatching and a telescope for star gazing. If you prefer a bicycle ride through the fields of the AlvadosValley, we have bicycles on hand and a seat for babies, all free of charge. 2Km from the hotel, at the Alcaria Equestrian Centre , we can offer horse riding trails through the NaturalPark. Treks can last for 1 hour, I day or even 7 days with different routes on offer each day. On moonlit nights, you are invited on a spooky walk through the forest of Alvados.
In the Heart of Portugal In the extreme south west of Europe lies a region we can call the Heart of Portugal.
Many of the events dating from the birth of Portugal — the realm with the oldest borders in Europe — took place in this region, which is infused with History, but also with myths and legends. The existence of three of the most important Portuguese monuments, recognised as World Heritage sites by UNESCO, in an area of little more than 90 km.2, bears witness to this amazing truth. These three monuments constitute an authentic compendium of medieval art and architecture and a unique portrait of historical sedimentation in the forming of Europe. Alcobaça was not merely a project for territorial consolidation at the height of the feudal period, it also represented cultural consolidation — since the monastery was a medieval centre for culture, housing the largest library in Portugal. In addition to keeping alive the link to the “mysterious Templars”, Tomar was a centre of military power and European expansion, while Batalha venerated a generation of men — the victorious and the vanquished — that shaped the present contours of Europe and the world.
Heart of Portugal. Heart because, long before, long after and far beyond the ambit of historical matters, this region remained a melting pot of cultures, as expressed in the syncretism of the “Mozarab” people, the place where Portuguese identity was forged. Furthermore, it is in this “magic triangle”, as it has been called, that one can find nature that is simultaneously wild and welcoming, among the peaks and the valleys of the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros, and one of the world’s major pilgrimage sites: Fátima.