Portugal’s five star farm retreat
In the foothills of medieval Monsaraz and among the farms and hilltop villages of Portugal’s Alentejo region, lies the hotel and ancient farming village São Laurenço do Barrocal.
In the same family for over 200 years, this 780-hectare estate has been converted into a modern retreat by its eighth-generation owner, José António Uva. As a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it offers 40 rooms, suites and cottages, each evidencing the quiet heritage of ancient farm buildings and local craftsmanship. The estate also features a spa by Susanne Kaufmann, outdoor pool and gardens, a first-class winery, a farm-to-table restaurant, stables with a horse riding ring and a range of other indoor and outdoor activities.
Explore the beauty of the estate and its Neolithic history on horseback, with a guided ride to the town of Monsaraz and a spectacular view of Lake Alqueva at sunset, or journey through nearby villages to discover megalithic monuments. Wine-lovers should make for the vineyards or take a private tour of the winery – an integral part of the hotel and the estate’s regeneration – to get to know the blends and the different methods of production. Lounge by the pool for sunset drinks or settle in at the hotel bar – a sculpted vaulted room that was once part of an olive oil mill.
Adventure-seekers have the option of an intense three-day InGamba in Barrocal cycling adventure, travelling 180km around Alqueva Lake. The exclusive itinerary takes riders off the beaten track, through wheat fields and olive groves, to the summit of Monsaraz for spectacular views. Experience the region from a birds-eye view and rise with the first rays of the sun in a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the estate, the hilltop village of Monsaraz, the lush cattle grazing fields and the glimmering Alqueva Lake.