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The Carpet Town

As we arrived in Arraiolos, in the Alentejo area of Portugal, we saw the 14th century castle and the 16th century church resting majestically up on the hill overlooking the town.
Arraiolos is known worldwide for its gorgeous woolen carpets which are made in Moorish cross stitch designs. This industry has flourished in the town since the 17th century.
We wandered through town as happy tourists investigating this historic site. We watched as the women wove their beautiful carpet designs and chatted with each other.
We sat in the town square and sipped a cool drink and observed residents come and go. The restaurants were on every corner so dinner was no problem.
This tiny town was a delight with its carpet factories, many shops, restaurants, churches and museums. We investigated each attraction.
The buildings were painted white stucco with bright blue trim and Arraiolos resembled a picture book village.
Our stay at the Pousada da Nossa Senhora Assuncao was a memorable experience. This stunning 16th century pousada was formerly a convent. It afforded all of the modern conveniences while retaining the serenity and beauty of 16th century Portuguese architecture.
Our trip to Arraiolos was another fulfilling travel experience. There was so much to see and to learn about Portuguese history and architecture in this little gem of a town.

More Recommendations

AFAR Local Expert
almost 8 years ago

The Little Streets of Arraiolos

I took a stroll around the plaza and the little streets of the village of Arraiolos in the Alentejo region of Portugal. The streets and alleyways were pristine and so well kept. The plaza was alive with children playing.

Naturally, I stopped in the carpet galleries and watched the women hand embroider their latest pieces of work. The patterns and vibrant colors were simply gorgeous. I appreciated the ladies' skills especially when I thought of Arraiolos' history and the centuries of carpet and tapestry making.

But I also perused the little shops with their handmade toys, with groceries, the pharmacy, the book store.The proprietors were friendly and helpful. You had no trouble picking out some linens for home or perhaps a toy for a grandchild.

I spent several hours meandering through this medieval little village. This is not a big European city or town. It is just a tiny laid back village. The only difference is that this is a famous one. Famous for its carpets that they lately even sell in New York City, U.S.A.

A really restful, enjoyable, and historic visit.
AFAR Local Expert
almost 8 years ago

A Picturesque Village

While walking through the historic village of Arraiolos in Portugal's Alentejo region, I had to stop several times to admire the architectural details on so many of the buildings. The structures were all whitewashed and trimmed in that bright blue tone (some say the trim is to ward off the evil spirits). There were little balconies where you could see cats lounging and staring down at you as you had the audacity to stroll anywhere near their property.

The windows and french doors were also trimmed in blue and the lace curtains were swaying as the winds played with them.

The town was so clean and immaculate that you almost had to wonder if anyone lived there at all. But as I continued to wander around, I heard the laughter of the children in the town plaza.

With each step I took, I was rewarded with another glimpse of architectural beauty, of some piece of history.

Arraiolos is Portugal's carpet town where in the galleries, ladies produce spectacular carpets and tapestries by hand in ancient motifs. This has gone on for centuries. The town is world-renowned and carpets are Arraiolos.

There is much of history and times gone-by in this town, yet Arraiolos has the technology and amenities of the modern world.

I sat in the plaza to have a coffee and enjoyed a sense of "All's right with the world".