Exploring Portugal by Bike
Vila Vita Fine Wines & Food Fair The Countdown To Portugal´s Anticipated Event Has Started, With A Line-Up Of Stellar Chefs

The curse of the forest

Buçaco is a fanatic forest in the Centro region, about 30 minutes from Coimbra.  In its heart is the Bussaco Palace Hotel, built in 1906 by the Portuguese Crown as a royal lodge. It is a neo-Manueline-Gothic masterpiece with all sorts of whimsical details, and the forest is home to some of the oldest trees in Europe.


Benedictine monks first settled this forest in the 6th Century. A Papal Bull of 1622 declared that any woman entering the forest would be excommunicated. In 1628 the Carmelites Order built a monastery and surrounded the 250-acre forest with a wall, where over the centuries monks planted nearly 400 Portuguese varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers while importing some 300 species from all over the world. Part of the convent was incorporated into a palace in the late 19th century and the only parts of the original building that remain are the cloisters, the chapel and some cells. The charming rural convent has a number of hermitages and chapels scattered throughout the forest, which, together with the numerous lakes and crosses, lend this place its magical quality. Bussaco also houses one of the country’s finest restaurants, boasting a superb wine list. A meal in the palatial dining room is sure to be a memorable occasion. The Bussaco is one of the best-known

hotels in Portugal and it has become a tourist magnet in its own right.




Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)