I love planning my client's vacations, but some trips are definitely more fun than others. Today I completed a favorite! - Portugal!
One of the destinations I have included in this trip is Palmela. With its steep cobbled streets lined with charming whitewashed houses, Palmela is centered around one of Portugal's most beautiful castles.
At an altitude of almost 4000 feet at the edge of the Arrábida mountain range, the castle offers superb views out over the vineyard terraces and surrounding countryside.
This area has a history of settlement from the Neolithic Period. First by the Romans, then the Visigoths and Moors. The original Moorish fortress built sometime in the 8th or 9th century was expanded after the Reconquest of the area by Christian knights.
Control of the area switched back and forth between Christian and Muslim control until 1165. The Moors regrouped and the forces of the Almohad Caliphate retook these castles. It was not until the early 13th century that Palmela finally remained under Portuguese control.
Damaged by the 1755 Earthquake, the castle was abandoned by its monks (the successors of the Order of Santiago) after the dissolution of Portugal's monasteries in 1834. The castle was then occupied by the Portuguese military.
Situated in the heart of one of Portugal’s richest wine-growing regions, and only a short drive from both Lisbon and the beautiful seaside town of Setubal, Palmela is a perfect location to stay.
Within the castle walls are the Convent and Church of Santiago de Palmela, which forms part of Pousado Castelo de Palmela, a lovely pousada where my clients will be staying for part of their vacation.
My son Erik and I stayed here a few years ago and truly fell in love with this divine place. There are tremendous views from the rooms of the castle and reaching as far as the sea on clear days.
At the beginning of September every year, they have a grape harvest festival that includes processions, performances, and the release of bulls in this area.
If you would like to visit Palmela or anywhere else in Portugal, please get in touch. You will visit the most amazing places. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-927-0588.
Lene H. Minyard