Between golden fields and rugged mountains, Crato is a picture perfect spot for a luxury break in the countryside. Seek out historic churches, chapels and even a monastery built by a legendary order of medieval knights. Or make for the great outdoors and explore storybook landscapes, complete with castles perched high on mountainsides and surrounded by forests. Then return to your exclusive country retreat to watch the sunset, glass of wine in hand.
Medieval history and peaceful countryside in this historic Alentejo town
Things to do
For such a small town, Crato has a long and illustrious history. In the 14th century it became the base of the Knights Hospitaller in Portugal – a military order charged with protecting Christian pilgrims to the holy land. You can visit the castle they built, along with the monastery of Santo Maria de Flor da Rosa, which stands in peaceful gardens. Outside the monastery, stroll through the streets and you’ll soon stumble across churches and chapels to explore.
Your luxury hotel in Crato puts you within easy reach of some of Portugal’s natural and historic gems. Visit Evora – a thriving city and UNESCO world heritage site with a Roman temple, medieval walls and Moorish alleyways. Or you could spend a day or two exploring the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park. This mountainous region is the traditional border with Spain and its peaks are home to some formidable fortresses, including the vast Marvão castle. The park also has miles of hiking trails to follow – you might even spot wild foxes and Bonelli eagles as you walk.
FOOD & DRINK
Crato is in Alentejo, known as Portugal’s garden. Here culinary inspiration comes from the land, especially the forests. Look out for popular dishes including wild boar and spicy smoked sausage, and stews seasoned with fragrant coriander. Wine has been grown in Alentejo for centuries, with many vineyards offering distinct wines grown from local grapes. So you’re sure to enjoy a glass or two of Terras do Crato while in town.