Enjoy your stay in one of Cycling Country’s top cycle tour highlight hotels in Portugal.
One of our favourite stays on our Amazing Alentejo luxury bike tour in Portugal, is the 2 nights we spend at the magnificent Hotel Convento de Espinheiro. A top cycle tour highlight hotel!
Cycle Tour Highlight Hotel in Portugal
Portugal’s Beautiful Luxury Hotels
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
This Highlight Hotel was A Pious Retreat
Not far from the ancient Roman city of Évora, this bike tour highlight hotel is our wonderful retreat. The sighting of the Virgin Mary, over a Hawthorne bush (Espinheiro in Portuguese) in 1400, led to devotion of this spot and so the original church was built there in 1458. The austere religious order of St. Jerome dedicated their life here to prayer and spiritual wellbeing.
Whether religious or not, the Convent’s tranquillity will convert you.
THE MOST ROMANTIC HOTEL IN PORTUGAL
Royal visits were plentiful through the 15 – 17 centuries due to the adoration of the Virgin here and it was a treasured place to stay for them. It was in 1490, the daughter of Uber famous Spanish King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabel, first met her Portuguese fiancé, prince Alfonso. This political union (normally stale affairs) proved quickly a great love match. In fact, so much so, as local legend has it, that pre-nuptials, Prince Afonso and Princess Isabel, snuck off for a first night together in the convent. That night, a terrible lightning storm set a part of the convent church alit. Perhaps a Divine rap on the knuckles?
However, this legend sets the stage, as everyone falls in love staying here too!
PORTUGAL’S HEAVENLY HIGHLIGHT HOTEL’S HARD TIMES
Although centuries of monarchs and dignitaries had enjoyed resting here, it’s ability to host and lodge people changed dramatically in the 1800s.
Court intrigue, Divine retribution, political manoeuvrings, a catastrophic earthquake, history is not easy and this lovely granite building you stay in on your Alentejo cycling trip, suffered greatly during the 19th century. During this time, church lands were removed from religious orders, to diminish their political control. Consequently, it was abandoned and left empty. Imagine, this impressive place in disrepair, with vines snaking over it, seasons passing, walls crumbling and lonely prayer rooms left to fallow.
INDULGE YOURSELF IN THIS HISTORICAL MONUMENT
Today an unique air of serenity still exists, and the joy that the 5 years it took to reform this into a magnificent hotel, is obvious. Take your time off the bike, to wander its beautifully appointed sitting areas that still host some antique religious statuettes and sink into the cool comfy plush sofas.
BIKE TOUR HIGHLIGHT HOTEL – ENJOY DIVINE MEALS
Not only is the atmosphere sublime but so is the food. Hungry cyclists will enjoy eating here at the Restaurant Divinus. Delicious kitchen creations by chef Jorge Peças, are taken at tables set in its elegant bodega, with the curving vaulted ceilings embracing you. Go outside, you will be stunned with its sculpturesque olive trees, centuries old, surrounding the beautiful glistening pool. Don’t forget, to try the Spa facilities out, to really fulfil that needed pampering. We all know that cyclists like to suffer, but they won’t off the bike in their stay at this highlight hotel!
PORTGUESE BIKE TOUR HIGHLIGHT HOTEL
Enjoy the original chapel of the monks. As well, its beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture, sympathetically and stunningly reformed is a real treat. The organ a masterpiece in pipes, will also impress. There is some fascinating blue and white traditional Portuguese tile work here, with scenes from the Bible, delicately done. One with the Devil, whose eyes have been scratched out. A very cool place to explore and find secret nooks in.
I am assured by staff, there are no ghosts..
Well only friendly ones at least.
perfect place to cycle to.”
FITTING NAME FOR A BEAUTIFUL LEGACY HOTEL
The name, Espinheiro, alludes to the thorny hardy Hawthorne bushes which grow around the place and decorated with crimson berries. It’s white blossoms appearing in springtime, is why it was said to be often used in the Pagan dancing of the “May Pole”. Heralding spring growth and rebirth. Knowing this place’s history of celebration, abandonment and revitalization, it is a fitting name.
A wonderful place to glimpse a part of the Alentejo’s interesting and rich tapestry of history and of course, delightful to stay in.
You’ll know that all your prayers will be answered here.