Virtuoso Life - January/February 2018 - 106
Inside the Convento do Espinheiro's fifteenth-century church and (right) rustic beauty at São Lourenço do Barrocal.
Into the Alentejo
Set a course for Portugal's countryside.
STAY The quiet courtyards of a fifteenth-century
monastery await travelers at 92-room Convento do Espinheiro, set on a country road
just outside the historic city walls of Évora. Opt
for one of the Heritage rooms in the old wing
of the property. Doubles from $195, including
breakfast daily, a $100 spa credit, and a bottle
of the hotel's olive oil.
São Lourenço do Barrocal is a gem with 40
rooms and cottages on a Portuguese family's
vast estate just beneath the hill town of Monsaraz. Guests can enjoy its Susanne Kaufmann
V I RT U O S O L I F E
spa, exploring the estate by horseback or
bicycle, hot-air balloon rides, archaeological
walks, guided stargazing, and winetasting.
Doubles from $200, including breakfast daily
and a $100 spa credit or a one-hour horseback ride.
GO Bikers on Backroads' new Portugal trip
spend six days exploring the Alentejo with
a group of 18 to 26 people. The journey
includes rides through vineyards and olive
groves (with multiple route options each day
ranging from 25 to 50 miles), punctuated
by farm lunches, winetastings, and plenty
of pool time each afternoon. Departures:
Multiple dates, April 8 through October 28;
Butterfield & Robinson's new six-day Alentejo biking itinerary is a private trip for groups
of four or more. It includes local guides during
the day; at night you're free to explore on
your own. Departures: Private tours available
year-round (April through June, and September and October are recommended); from
$4,995 per person for a group of four.