Sao Lourenco do Barrocal
Monsaraz, Alentejo, Portugal
At a Glance
A horseriding, hiking, wine tasting and wellness paradise far from the tourist trail
Farm to table food here is superb with incredible local produce and cheeses
The Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve boasts incredible stargazing
A relaxing spa offering a range of natural treatments and holistic wellness options
The 40 rooms and cottages are beautifully restored offering simple but luxurious accommodation
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The south of Portugal has a mild climate with more that 300 days of sunshine a year. The weather generally warm and sunny in May with the risk of the odd shower of rain. Sometimes it can be cool in the evenings. By June the weather generally settles in a pattern of long hot sunny days and balmy evenings especially in July and August. June and September are particularly pleasurable months.
To start planning your holiday to Sao Lourenco do Barrocal
Just two hours east of Lisbon, São Lourenço do Barrocal is a beautiful farm estate in the heart of rural Alentejo. Surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and flower-covered meadows, it's a short distance from medieval Monsaraz and the Roman ruins of Evora.
São Lourenço do Barrocal is an idyllic 200 year old farm estate in the Alentejo region of Portugal. A mere two hours from cosmopolitan Lisbon, this area feels a world away. The pace of life is slow here in one of the least populated regions of western Europe. Endless wheatfields, cork forests, olive groves, wildflower meadows and small white-washed villages lend this area a subtle charm - it's the largest region in Portugal and perhaps the least discovered.
In the heart of all this unspoiled beauty, this unique farm hotel offers 40 rooms, suites and cottages that perfectly reflect the rustic appeal of the area. Every room is large and feels like a private retreat designed for reflection and relaxation. The decor is simple but generous with high quality sheets, underfloor bathroom heating, excellent amenities and calming colours and every room has its own outdoor space with views over the fields and low farm buildings that surround the property.
The food in Alentejo isn't hugely sophisticated but it is honest and fresh. The estate's charming restaurant offers delicious local specialties, whether the Serra de Estrella cheese that can be eaten with a spoon, rustic breads, or dishes typical of the region like lamb stew and gazpacho, prepared with local herbs and produce. During the summer, there is a second restaurant offering an al fresco dining experience, surrounded by the picturesque gardens of Sao Lourenco do Barrocal.
With almost 2,000 acres, there is plenty to see and do around the property. One of the fields boasts a swimming pool while there is a superb spa by Susanne Kaufmann and fitness area set amongst the farm buildings. With an exercise studio, a cedar wood soaking tub, dry sauna, hydroptherapy and a range of natural treatments to soothe body and soul, this is a perfect place to unwind and be pampered.
The grounds have several archaeological sites dating to the Bronze age that can be explored with a guide. Treasure hunts are fantastic fun for kids, and walking trails and hikes can come complete with a picnic. There are several horses for riding and wine tastings can also be arranged. Bicycle tours around the Alqueva Lake are scenic and the Alqueva Dam was the first Starlight Tourism Destination in the world and has a Dark Sky Designation. Astronomers will take you on a walk to remember here and it's an experience not to be missed.
Further afield, Evora is worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage designation thanks to its Roman temples, 12th century cathedral and ghoulish Chapel of Bones, whilst nearby Monsaraz is the very definition of a picture perfect hilltop medieval village.
There are 40 rooms and cottage at this lovely 200 year old country estate. Set in former barns and farm worker's dwellings, each of the 22 spacious rooms, two suites and 16 cottages is decorated in muted colors and pale woods. Typical of the region, floors are made of local tile, windows have painted shutters, and bathrooms offer top end fixtures and underfloor heating. Crisp cotton sheets and locally woven blankets dress the beds, and all natural Susanne Kauffman spa products complete the bathrooms. All rooms have refrigerators while the cottages offer fully equipped kitchens.
Children are more than welcome at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal, and there is a dedicated kids playroom.
Breakfast sports a buffet of local delicacies as well as made-to-order hot items; lunch and dinner offer a variety of field to fork dishes. A shop, spa, fitness studio and swimming pool can also be found on the estate.
Bikes and horses take you around the farm, try an idyllic hike with a picnic, stargaze in the Dark Sky Reserve or soar in a hot air balloon, go wine tasting, see archaeological sites, Roman ruins and medieval towns at your doorstep.
Haile Brant (Staff)
Driving up to Sao Lourenco do Barrocal you arrive in a haven of serenity after driving through the peaceful Alentejo wilderness. A special Saturday night dinner was being held during my stay which included a jazz band playing soft music to enhance the sunset garden barbeque taking place. Communal tables lined the garden and the smells of traditional Portuguese barbequed meat filled the area. As the evening turned into night, due to the lack of light pollution, millions of stars dotted the sky, shining brilliantly. The observatory near the hotel is the absolute perfect place for an up close look into the galaxy above. The following morning presented me with a walk around the grounds taking in the two pools, old stone labyrinth that used to house animals, and a short horse riding lesson to make full use of the stable on the grounds! Sao Lourenco is truly an idyllic place to find your peace, serenity and balance. Relaxation takes over and mindfulness is easily accessed when surrounded by the quiet countryside and rolling hills of the Alentejo.
Tracy Stevens (Staff)
Just over two hours from Lisbon's cosmopolitan charms, deep in the heart of Alentejo, Sao Lourenco do Barrocal offers endless calm, beauty and pastoral pleasures. Alentejo, with its medieval castles and villages, is one of the least populated and least developed parts of western Europe and all the better for it.
Whitewashed on the outside and a haven of simple but thoughtful dcor on the inside, Sao Lourenco do Barrocal is the perfect spot to spend a few days of delicious downtime while in Portugal. It also makes a great way station between Lisbon and Seville. There's a fabulous spa, gym and pilates, extraordinary star gazing with a resident astronomer, wine tasting, hiking, bicycling, horse riding, weaving and bread baking workshops, not to mention very high quality farm to table cuisine. This is an amazing place for both body and soul, for families (there are multi-room houses), couples or singles, and highly recommended for guests who want to immerse themselves in Portuguese rural life -I'd go back in a heartbeat.
Discover Aveiro and Coimbra
Venture south of Porto, travelling along the coast to the enchanting town of Aveiro. Here you'll admire the picturesque canals before continuing south to Coimbra, the charming, medieval capital of Portugal and an ancient university town.
Evora walking tour
Discover the charming medieval village of Evora with a guided walking tour of the town. Learn about the history of the region and this ancient town as you admire the picturesque architecture and surrounding Alentejan scenery.
Horse riding at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal
Explore the scenic Sao Lourenco do Barrocal estate on horseback, with a private guide leading you through the beautiful landscapes. Discover nearby villages such as Monsaraz, ancient monuments, and picturesque vineyards as you ride.
Private bike tour of Sintra
Explore the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra by bike, admiring the unique palces and intriguing landscapes as you travel through the National Park. You'll then visit Cascais and explore this charming coastal town with your private guide.
Stargazing at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal
Experience a night sky like no other at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal. Within the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, here you'll have the opportunity to stargaze far from the light pollution of large cities.
Wine tasting at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal
Learn about Alentejo's winemaking traditions with a tour of Sao Lourenco do Barrocal's winery. Discover the techniques of the production process before sampling some of the local wines.
Extraordinary Spain & Portugal
Lisbon, Monsaraz, Seville & Montecorto
from SGD $10900 pp 14 nights
- Get off the beaten track in the idyllic countryside of Alentejo
- Discover traditional Spain in Seville, the birthplace of flamenco
- Explore Lisbon's bustling neighbourhoods and enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere
Family Fun in Portugal
Lisbon, Alentejo & the Algarve
from SGD $5500 pp 10 nights
- Children can have fun at Pine Cliffs in the exclusive Scott Dunn Explorers kids club
- Explore Lisbon on one of its iconic yellow trams or roll up your sleeves with a hands-on cooking class
- Venture out at night to see the stars in Alentejo, a fantastic spot for stargazing
Location & directions
Monsaraz, Alentejo, Portugal
São Lourenço do Barrocal is located in Alentejo, the rural heartland of Portugal, a two hour drive east from Lisbon. A patchwork of medieval villages, farms, olive and wine estates, Alentejo is one of Portugal's most picturesque regions.
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