Évora, the capital of the rugged Alentejo region of Portugal, makes an ideal weekend break from Lisbon. Once here, you’ll discover a Unesco-recognised rich history found in the eerie Chapel of Bones and Parthenon-esque Temple of Diana. A trip is further enhanced thanks to the stylish accommodation options, with Évora home to some wonderful boutique and luxury hotels displaying the local culture and illustrious past of the city.
Albergaria do Calvario offers 22 rooms across three categories, all comfortable and stylish with a cosy feel to them. Tucked inside the city walls, there are plenty of sights to seek out in Évora, most notably the beautiful Roman Temple of Diana. Expect good breakfasts here – the pancakes are a must – and light lunches, tapas and dinners that draw on local ingredients. The signature caipirinha cocktail is a must try tipple.
Hands down the most beautiful hotel in the city, this pousada was previously a monastery, dating back to the 15th century, and still retains original cloisters and monks’ cells, the latter now housing the 36 bedrooms. It looks onto the well-preserved Roman temple, making it the best for location, too. Dining offers a taste of the traditional – try the Alentejo lamb chops, local cheeses and regional wine.
Named after valerian, a plant whose root is said to aid relaxation, this seven-bedroom hotel aims to do just that. As a nod to the previous occupants, a pair of pharmacists, rooms are named after minerals and chemical compounds. Upscale interiors are attractive, with attention to detail resulting in high-quality linens and fresh flowers. There’s a bar where you can explore local wines and a rooftop terrace where you can soak up the views.
Set within a 15th-century mansion in Évora’s attractive Old Town, these apartments and studios are named after prominent figures in the city’s history. Ranging in size and decor, rooms can be found in the former stables, the chapel and the old cellars – all adding a feeling of authenticity and sense of place. Some rooms share a kitchen, others come with a kitchenette.
Enjoy views over Évora from the second-floor bedrooms found inside this renovated 15th-century manor home, where you’ll also discover arched ceilings, azulejo tiles and a mix of old-world and contemporary style. This boutique hotel is located in the Old Town, around the corner from Évora’s namesake cathedral and museum, and a short walk from the ancient Roman temple and ruins.
The M’ar De Ar Aqueduto is a chic, five-star hotel located by the Aqueduct of Água de Prata, giving guests a unique, up-close view of this 16th-century landmark. Once a palace dating back to the same period, the hotel offers spacious rooms decorated in a modern and elegant style, an outdoor pool and a spa centre.
The Évora Olive Hotel sits in the heart of the city, near the public garden and iconic city square. Contemporary and bright, this four-star hotel’s theme was inspired by olive oil, a much-loved product cultivated in the Alentejo region. Visit the hotel restaurant to sample some traditional local cuisine. The style, peaceful ambience and attentive staff make for an alluring stay.
This rustic-modern four-star hotel has a rooftop bar area, a spa and one-of-a-kind stone wall decor. The hotel also has a restaurant, three bars and an outdoor pool. It sits conveniently near the public garden and is within 15 minutes of many of the city’s major landmarks. From the rooftop terrace, guests can enjoy spectacular views.
If you have a car and want a little more peace and quiet away from the tourist-friendly city centre, consider staying at Imani Country House, approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Évora. Snuggled within cedar trees and gardens that are more than 100 years old, it’s a perfect picture of tranquillity. The house offers seven guest rooms, two outdoor pools and a cosy fireplace area. It is also a short drive from the ancient Almendres Cromlech megalithic standing stones – a must-see for anyone who appreciates history and archaeology.
The 15th-century Hieronymite convent, Convento do Espinheiro, was converted into a historic luxury hotel and spa resort offering 92 guest rooms, five suites, two restaurants, three bars and two pools. Located a couple of kilometres from the major city landmarks, it’s perfect if you’re looking to stay in peace but want to be within easy access of Évora’s museum-like downtown square. You’ll love the gardens, wine tasting inside an ancient cellar and fine dining at the hotel restaurant.
Nina Santos contributed additional reporting to this article.
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