Pousada de Arraiolos, Nossa Senhora da Assunção
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The Pousada of Arraiolos
The 16th century convent that was dedicated to Our Lady is nestled among holm oak and olive trees just outside of the little town of Arraiolos. In 1995, the convent became a luxury 5-star hotel. The pousada is a combination of traditional and modern features. Be sure to visit the 17th century church which is covered in Portuguese tiles depicting episodes of the saints' lives and bible stories. The restaurant serves regional food such as lamb, pork, octopus, alentejo soup (garlic and bread), hearty breads, yummy sweets, and delicious Alentejo wines. At the hotel, there are horseriding lessons, walks, and a gorgeous pool. Nearby there is canoeing, or bike rides, tours, wine tasting, and hot air ballooning. The pousada is in a peaceful, luxurious setting. I wandered around this historic convent. There were many beautiful nooks and crannies. I especially enjoyed the huge fireplace that I stood in as I posed for a photo. Nearby there is Arraiolos, the world-renowned town that has for centuries produced gorgeous hand-made embroidered carpets and tapestries. The ladies of the town work their magic in the many showrooms and galleries in the center of Arraiolos. The traditional designs are vibrant and intricate. Carpets and tapestries can be purchased and shipped home. A trip to Arraiolos while traveling in Portugal is an interesting stop. If you go, there are several great places to call home for a few days and one I recommend is the Pousada Nossa Senhora da Assuncao.
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