For most visitors in a hurry to discover the country of the greatest explorers the world has ever known, Portugal is Lisbon in the east and Porto in the north. And you can’t really blame them since these two cities possess a warm atmosphere and exceptional places to visit.
But for those who want to see another, more picturesque side of the country, just 50 kilometers from Porto, Guimares is the place to go. This city is very special for the Portuguese people since it participated in the founding of the country and its monarchy. It was inside the walls of the city’s palace, which is still magnificent today, that the first king of Portugal, Alfonso Enriquez was born. It was here as well that he confronted his mother’s troops and founded the kingdom of Portugal. Guimares was also the capital of the country until the 13th century, just before Lisbon, and today is reputed to be one of the region’s most beautiful cities. Its historical center, a UNESCO world heritage since 2001, is filled with narrow, winding streets bordered by centuries old houses. In addition to visiting the palace, which is an absolute must, tourists can also walk up the few kilometers to the summit of Mount da Penha and enjoy the superb panoramic view.
To the north of Porto, a few kilometers from the city of Guimares, world travelers have for centuries been invited to stop over in a magnificent casa antigua, a large luxurious house called Paço de Sao Cipriciano. This 15th century residence, which has undergone several modifications over the centuries, especially in the 17th century, offers its guests a warm, family like welcome in a traditional décor. Almost everything has been left intact here since the time when pilgrims would stop here for the night on their way to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, which is why, once they walk through the door, visitors have the feeling of having traveled back in time.
The hotel has only seven rooms. Like the rest of the house, the room décor is traditional and typically Portuguese. The period furniture is in wood, with magnificent four-poster beds and refined cupboards and commodes, beautiful carpeting and a few paintings. In the crenellated tower with embattlements in the center of the building, there’s a romantic room, ideal for couples.
The garden with the exquisite fragrances of its flowers, and its numerous trees is enchanting, and an invitation to take a pleasant stroll before or after enjoying the relaxing and invigorating moments furnished by the swimming pool. It’s impossible to be disappointed by the charm of the Paço de São Cipriano where hospitality is a tradition.
Since 1446, this magnificent residence has belonged to one of Portugal’s oldest families, the Santiago Sottomayors.
Four stars / 15th century residence located on the old pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela / Warm atmosphere / Period furniture / Chapel / Park / Historical gardens, orchards & vineyards / Living rooms / Outdoor swimming pool / Wine tastings / Guided walks
Closed in winter - opens as of March
Double occupancy from 86 euros
Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport (OPO) - Porto
PAÇO DE SAO CIPRIANO
Approximately 2 hours
- 1 hour all year round
Mild winters, hot, dry summers
No visa required
No required vaccinations
The euro (EUR)
English spoken in most hotels and shops
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Paco de Sao Cipriano
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+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).