Casas do Côro
Casas do Côro is located in the heart of the Medieval Marialva, a historical Portuguese village, in a region where the signs of man reach as far back as the Palaeolithic era. The refurbishment of these century old houses and the harmonious combination of the structures’ granite with the refined decor are an astonishing surprise. The feel is rustic, yet doesn’t compromise the comfort demanded by the times and afforded by the surrounding space. Carmen and Paulo Romão, the owners, have fulfilled their dream of transforming Casas do Côro into a magical hotel in harmony with nature. The rich heritage and the beauty of the historical village Marialva are excellent reasons to discover the silence you thought no longer existed, but also to dream, to dare, to feel and to experience.
The Casas do Côro opened its doors in the 2000. Carmen and Paulo always loved receiving people and so decided to renovate some houses in the village and now they have 31 rooms and a little shop for their guests. This very touristic area is known for its beauty as well as the Carmen’s excellent food. Casas do Coro is a collection of granite houses and eco cabins, with a shared pool, garden and restaurant. A couple are cosy hideaways for 2 but most are bigger and split into self-contained rooms with kitchenettes or have a shared kitchen for a group rental. This sophisticated hotel have 31 rooms of 6 different accommodation categories: 4 standard rooms, 1 single standard, 4 superior rooms, 7 suites and 4 villas with 2 and 3 rooms and 5 villas with 1 room.
Have a candlelight dinner in a magical ambiance. Challenge your palate with the best gastronomy of the region of Beira, a traditional and genuine cuisine always reinvented in refined and contemporary ways by the hands of Chef Carmen. The restaurant Casas do Côro does not have a fixed menu. Daily menus are presented in accordance with the suggestions of Chef Carmen. All delicatessen is accompanied with the precious wine of the region and by the wine from de vineyards of Casas do Côro. The dinners with Carmen’s cuisine and Paulo’s wines are a feast for the senses and offer the opportunity to taste many flavours and aromas.
Casas do Côro boasts living rooms and reading rooms and a cosy bar. The outdoor swimming pool with bar serves light lunches in summer and guests are welcome to enjoy the two lounges Refúgio dos Fragas and Refúgio da Vinha and the biological and educational garden. Relax at the Spa which features a Jacuzzi, a sauna, a Turkish steam bath as well as an interior swimming pool and a Spa lounge and bar with fireplace. From the panoramic terraces the region’s landscape may be appreciated, replete with hills, deep valleys and meandering rivers, a constant invitation to the practice of sports or the enjoyment of unforgettable walks. Marialva is a listed National Heritage site and a good base for hiking, biking and boat trips.
Marialva is amazing. The crenellations of its lofty fortress, narrow cobbled streets and cluster of granite-built houses feel strangely out-of-time, harking back to an age when this was the frontline of battle between Spain and a newly born kingdom of Portugal. Nowadays the spirit of the place is far less aggressive: with a population of few souls when Casas do Côro is at full tilt, the village is dreamily peaceful and conducive to quiet contemplation of the soaring vistas out across the surrounding plain. Marialva, the local village, is currently being classified as one of Portugal’s 10 most historic villages. Beyond Marialva there are four more historical villages not to be missed, several castles, archaeological circuits and the Côa’s famous Palaeolithic rock engravings. It is also perfect if you want to combine Portugal and Spain since it is quite near the border on the way to Salamanca.
Casa do Côro
Casa do Côro works as the main house and it is the only house that can not be totally rented, only room by room. Like a small hotel, it has four double rooms, a single room and a junior suite. All rooms have central heating, private bathroom and a superb view over the houses of the Historical Village. It has also a magnificent dining room, as well as a cosy living room with honesty bar and fireplace, TV and reading area. Here lies all the comfort and the basis of tourism of excellence, ideal for shorter stays. Ideal for shorter stays of couples with no kids or individual travellers.
Casa da Vila
Casa da Vila has a kitchenette, a room with fireplace, a twin bedroom, a double luxury room (with a 2×2 mt bed) with dossal, and a twin double room (with access to the house only through the outside). Every room has private bathroom, an outdoor grass patio with almond trees and olive trees and 2 fantastic outdoor sofas with fluffy cotton pillows, offering a view over the imposing castle and the surrounding village houses. This is the ideal place for friend couples and parents with children.
Casa de São Tiago
Casa de São Tiago has two double rooms with central heating and air conditioning. One of the rooms is fully covered by beech wood, providing a unique sensation of absolute cosiness. It has a common bathroom, a living room with schist floor and fireplace, a kitchenette, and an outdoor patio with almond trees opposite to the castle. It is an ideal house for a couple with children.
Casa da Pipa
Casa da Pipa is the proof of memory and of dream. A further building was born here with 3 superior rooms, all of them with private bathroom with hydro massage, a generous area, centralised air conditioning, a room with fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen. Casa da Pipa has also a junior executive suite that can be linked to the house or it can be independent. Pipa suite has a 1,80×2,00 bed with a great amount of pillows made of Egyptian cotton, cashmere coverlets, a living zone with fireplace, a chaise longue and supporting table, a bathroom in onyx gold stone with hydro massage tub and a privileged view over the Church of São Pedro. This is the ideal place for couples with children, several friend couples or just a couple in the independent suite, wishing to celebrate or not a special date.
Casa da Torre do Relógio
This house was created to accommodate couples with 1 or 2 kids, sharing the same space as their parents, but with their own privacy. This was an evolution, because the re was the need for more spaces. This solution is designed for an ancient village house with a privileged view over the mountain. Its interior design was thought to the smallest detail by architect Pedro Brígida. It has a suite room with a 1,60 x 2,00 bed and a great amount of cotton pillows and lambs wool coverlets, a small living room with LCD and hi-fi, a fully equipped kitchenette, air conditioning, a bathroom covered in chocolate-brown glass with an hydro massage tower, a common area, but sufficiently independent, where you can place a child’s bed.
Casa de São Pedro
This is a house with 2 superior rooms. All of them have a private bathroom with hydro-massage, a spacious area, central air conditioning, a room with fireplace and a fully equipped kitchenette. Casa de São Pedro has also an executive junior suite that can be connected to the house or independent. São Pedro Suite has a 2,00 x 2,00 bed with a lot of Egyptian cotton pillows, cashmere coverlets, a living area with fireplace, sofas and supporting table, a bathroom in white marble of Vila Viçosa with a hydro-massage tub and an outdoor patio of olive trees, an ideal place for a quiet reading. This house is ideal for parents with children, friend couples or only a couple in the independent suite that wishes to celebrate a special date or not.
Casa Nossa Senhora de Lurdes
This house is equipped with a double twin room with private bathroom, a double room and a single room with common bathroom. It has also a living room with fireplace and kitchenette. It has an outdoor patio with olive trees practically attached to the ancient wall. This house is ideal to share with friend couples or parents with children.
Casa Palhal da Torre do Monte
This house was designed for couples with 2 or 3 kids, sharing the same space with their parents, but with their own privacy. It has two bunk beds, duly protected for children. It is a contemporary solution with a privileged view over the mountain. Architect Pedro Brígida thought its interior design to the least detail. It has a suite room with a 1,80×2,00 cm bed, a lot of cotton pillows and lambs wool coverlets, a fireplace facing the room and the living room, a living room with slim-TV, Hi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchenette, air conditioning, bathroom covered by chocolate-brown glass with hydro-massage tub, a common are, but sufficiently autonomous with 2 bunk beds duly protected for children and an outdoor patio turned to the castle with almond trees.
In a world filled with stress, tension, and an endless race against time, it is vital to escape every so often to truly relax and give yourself over to be pampered with an endless variety of Spa treatments. Enjoy all the Spa facilities like double Jacuzzi, panoramic sauna, panoramic Turkish bath, indoor pool with 4 lumbar and cervical treatment zones and waterfall, pool bar, aqua gym (water bike, treadmill and elliptical), two double suites for massages one with possibility of being outdoors, relaxation Room and Lifestyle Spa room with ambient lounge music, bar and fireplace open fire suspended. The Spa at Casas do Côro is just the relax.
Ideal for swimming and sunbathing and with breathtaking views of the landscape. In a hot summer afternoon leave the house barefooted along the green grass and take a refreshing dive in the swimming pool.
Ateliê do Côro
Ateliê do Côro is the privileged location for creating businesses. This is a versatile space also used for meetings, conferences, events, parties, wine tasting and olive oil tasting or theme dinners. This is a cosy multipurpose room, equipped with all necessary technological devices for an enterprise meeting, a workshop, conferences or a business dinner.
This is the ideal place for breakfast, light lunches by the pool and dinners under the moonlight in the hot summer nights with the wall of the imposing castle as unique magical scenery.
Everyday the team of Casas do Côro gets down to business and works on the biological garden that keeps growing everyday. Apart from being a biological garden, it is also a source of learning. Both children and adults can take part on those daily tasks and pick up with their bare hands the fruits for refreshing smoothies by the swimming-pool of a colourful salad for a light lunch in the middle of a hot Summer day.
“Chave de Ouro 2015” – awarded by Boa Cama Boa Mesa Expresso
“Melhor Turismo em Espaço Rural 2015” – awarded by Portugal Trade Awards
“Certificate of Excellence 2015” – awarded by Trip Advisor
“Melhor Turismo em Espaço Rural 2013” – awarded by Portugal Trade Awards
The history of Marialva:
Situated in a region whose origins date back to the Palaeolithic era, the town of Marialva has played a very crucial role in the beginning of the Portuguese nationality. Nowadays it is one of the ten Historical Villages of Portugal. In 1179 Marialva was given the Royal decree (“foral”) and it has several buildings evoking a distant glorious past, such as: the birdcage style pillory; the portals of Santiago Church; Town Hall; the jail; the wall and the watchtower. Casas do Côro are located at the heart of the town, which in 1179 allowed “a person who kidnapped a girl from outside the town and who found shelter there to pay only 300 soldos” or “who came to the town with debts, 6 months later they would be due.”
When to go:
A weather map of endless suns sums up the situation across the whole of Portugal in summer, certainly between June and September, when usually the only daytime variation across the country is a degree or two further up or down the scale from 30°C. In July and especially August (the Portuguese holiday month), the coastal resorts are at their busiest and prices reach their peak. It’s also too hot to do much exploring, if you want to do any serious hiking, or even just walk around the cities, towns and archeological sites, you’re better off coming in May or October. Most of the rain falls in winter, from November to March, though you can just as easily experience bone-dry winter months and downpours in May and June. The crisp, sharp sunshine makes winter an appealing time to visit central Portugal, while in the south, especially on the coast, it is mild all year round. In the north, on the other hand, it’s pretty cold, especially inland where snow is common along the mountainous border areas. Perhaps the best times of year to visit are in spring, when dazzling flowers carpet hillsides and the almond blossom lights up the countryside and early autumn, when the weather is warm but not too hot and the summer crowds have thinned out. The sea, too, is warm in autumn, though the official swimming season only lasts from the beginning of June to mid-September; outside these months, no matter how lovely the weather, outdoor pools and river beach facilities close.
Ateliê do Côro
This is the breakfast location where you will find everything we have selected to surprise you: a rich assortment of bread baked in wood oven; jams; honey; natural juices (orange, apple and carrot juices, as well as other season’s fruits directly from the biological garden); cured cheese; the most fresh curd cheese; typical sausage and loin; homemade eggs baked in the hour as you like them; cakes; freshly made apple pie; toasts with olive oil; tuna and home chicken pie, among others.
Casão do Largo
At dinner in a magical ambiance full of candles, the best of their gastronomy is also what moves to provide you a special moment. Just to mention a few, they prepare the following specialities: deboned kid with roasted potatoes; chestnut and vegetable roll; codfish puree roll with crispy bread; partridge pie in the cocotte; coriander rice with stewed grouper; roasted octopus with green sauce; mix of tomato, asparagus and chitack; codfish with eggs Benedict; game meat sausage “alheira” with eggs and blood sausage rice in a cabbage bed with Port wine reduction. Joana’s desserts, traditional convent-made desserts, village desserts, ancient desserts, pumpkin tarts and ice creams. The typical Freixinho cookies “cavacas” covered by sugar or that pure sheep cheese that keeps on pouring out of the dish, along with pumpkin compotes with or without almond or red pepper compotes.
Casas do Côro is situated in a region whose origins date back to the Palaeolithic era, the town of Marialva has played a very crucial role in the beginning of the Portuguese nationality. Nowadays it is one of the ten Historical Villages of Portugal. Apart from the town of Marialva, the visitor of Casas do Côro can enjoy a vast region full of attractions, such as: the Archaeological Park of Côa Valley, situated 20 km away from Marialva; as well as the four surrounding Historical Villages (Almeida, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Rodrigo and Linhares da Beira), located in a distance of 90 km. Apart from the archaeological importance, Marialva is located in a region whose natural setting has not yet been touched by Man. This region offers its visitors images of unique beauty, a truly rich natural heritage with mountains contrasting with deep-reaching valleys and rivers that have shaped plateaus.
Visit Marialva – Thanks to its strategic location high on a mountain, Marialva was well known for its military moorish castle. When you enter the gates of the castle and the castle yard it feels like transforming back in time, as you can clearly see the remains of what used to be an old city. If you want to experience a different way of traveling, Marialva village is an oasis of calmness and tranquility, surrounded by wall nut trees and vineyards.
Discover District of Guarda – Originally founded in the 12th Century by the second king of Portugal, D. Sancho I, the capital of Guarda lies in the mountainous landscape of Serra da Estrela and is regarded as the highest city in the country. Known for its vital role as a frontier during the Middle Ages, Guarda (meaning guard) still holds many of the colossal castles that once fortified the country. These can be visited in towns such as Figueira do Castelo, Pinhel and Almeida. Make sure you see the Castle of Sabugal and the Castle of Sortelha, excellent representations of the powerful military-inspired style that characterises these monumental structures.
Explore Douro Valley – Since 2001, the Alto Douro Wine Region is a Unesco World Heritage Site, being the oldest demarcated Wine Region in the World. Visit vineyards, go to a wine tasting, go on a sail boat or go trekking in the area of Pinhão. Admire the beautiful ancient tiles in the train station of Pinhão; which portrait the landscapes and customs of the wine region. In Penafiel, you can visit an award-winning museum.
Visit Capela de Sao Pedro de Balsemao – This beautiful little chapel dates back to the 7th century, making it the oldest surviving church in Portugal. The Corinthian columns, round arches and added 14th-century decor make it a must-see, along with its mysterious symbols, which look like they ought to spark a sequel to The Da Vinci Code.
Walking or Bike Tours – Apart from being a very affordable way of staying fit, walking from your house door also enables a bigger interaction with the surrounding environment or use a mountain Bikes perfects for all terrain trails. There are trails with several difficulty levels, previously programmed GPS and personal guides.
Tourists heading straight to Lisbon or the Algarve are missing out an enchantingly diverse country filled with gorgeous Mediterranean beaches, rolling hills, dramatic mountain scenery and a myriad of charming towns. Portugal brims over with beauty, both in its natural and urban spaces. Here we list 10 of the most unmissable towns to visit in Portugal, each unique and beautiful in its own way.
Nicknamed the Venice of Portugal (picture above) for its beautiful network of canals that wind their way through the city, Aveiro is at once unique and typically charming. Every street is lined with wonderful examples of Portuguese architecture, from idyllic white-washed Mediterranean houses to traditional azulejo façades made of glazed ceramic tiles painted in an astonishing variety of colours and patterns. The town is a perfect walker’s paradise, with small bridges, quaint courtyards and inviting beaches around every corner, waiting to be discovered. Central to the town is the Cathedral of Aveiro, a masterpiece of Portuguese Baroque architecture, and well worth a visit.
Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Coimbra has been one of Portugal’s key centres for arts and culture for over 500 years. Located on the picturesque banks of the Mondego River, the city cascades down the hillside towards the water, with each level revealing a new architectural treasure, from Renaissance and Baroque cathedrals to the Moorish-inspired palaces. The university is a key part of the fabric of the town: and comprises of richly decorated courtyards, college buildings dating back to the 16th century, and the Joanine library, an extraordinary blend of elegance and decadence, and a true bibliophile’s paradise.
The historical city of Guimarães was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2001, both for its extraordinarily well-preserved architecture and history, and for the key role it has played throughout Portuguese history and in the formation of the Portuguese nation. Guimarães is striking for its numerous examples of buildings typifying architectural developments from the Middle Ages to the modern day: crumbling medieval archways intermingle with traditional 16th-century half-timbered houses and small Gothic chapels. Overlooking the town is the monumental Guimarães castle, a unique marriage of Romanesque and Gothic styles, and one of Portugal’s most impressive castles.
When you travel to Central Portugal don’t miss some of the beautiful Historical Villages of this region such as Trancoso, Viseu and Marialva. The historical village of Marialva received the charter of the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, and was once upon a time a busy military stronghold. Thanks to its strategic location high on a mountain, Marialva was well known for its military moorish castle. When you enter the gates of the castle and the castle yard it feels like transforming back in time, as you can clearly see the remains of what used to be an old city. Marialva is an oasis of calmness and tranquility, surrounded by wall nut trees and vineyards and here you can stay at Casas do Côro, a magical hotel in harmony with nature, which is also sophisticated and irreverent. Located between the Douro frontier and the cosiness of the Beira region, Casas do Côro is where the soul that they give to each detail does indeed make the difference.
Located next to the Portuguese-Spanish border, Monsaraz is a charming hilltop village surrounded by its original medieval walls and miles of beautiful Portuguese countryside. The area has been settled since prehistoric times, evidenced by the unusual Megalithic monuments carved from rock, and today bears marks of the successive periods of history it has been through, from the fortifications built by the Knights Templar to the Moorish influence throughout the town’s architecture. The surrounding landscape is as picturesque as the town itself, with typical Mediterranean scenes of rolling hillsides, olive groves, and the sparkling river Guadiana which runs past the Spanish border.
A quaint hilltop town on the west coast of Portugal, Óbidos has developed over the years from a small Roman settlement into a beautiful, thriving town. The town is surrounded by its original medieval walls, and most visitors enter the town through the unique city gate, decorated with intricate tile work and painting. The town has largely retained an unspoilt, historic ambiance: cobbled streets wind past white-washed houses covered with sweet honeysuckle and colourful flowers, and lead up to the impressive Moorish castle which crowns the town.
The second-largest city in Portugal, Porto has nevertheless retained its unique charm and fascinating culture despite its growing size. Colourful buildings jostle for space among baroque mansions and crumbling medieval churches, while underneath parts of the town lie the cellars which store the city’s most famous export: port wine. The historic city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its beautiful period buildings and winding narrow streets overlooking the picturesque river front, adding a touch of romance to the ancient city.
It is a small and very charming village lying within the Douro demarcated wine region, in the county of Sabrosa (northern Portugal). Sabrosa incidently is the birthplace (1480) of the famous Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first person to circumnavigate the world. Provesende’s history dates back to Moorish times when Zaide, brother of King Jahia of Toledo, lived in the castle of São Domingos in the vicinity of Provesende. It is said that one day the castle was attacked by Christian forces and the moors perished but Zaide escaped only later to be captured, tortured and eventually murdered. Provesende is said to have derived its name from the fact that during Zaide’s last moments of suffering, it was exclaimed “Prove Zaide, Prove Zaide” (meaning taste Zaide) hence the resulting homonym “Provesende”. Exploring the village on foot is the best solution as it is very quiet and almost untouched, boasting numerous historical sites such as its pillory (1573), Baroque church (1720), fountain (1755), as well as an array of very beautiful XVIII stately manor houses which attested to the economic strength of the region’s fertile land at the time.
Nestled on the foothills of the Sintra mountains, on the edge of steep cliffs dropping down to the Atlantic Ocean, Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town taken straight from a fairytale. Despite its relatively small size, Sintra is home to numerous castles and palaces, lending the town a magical feel. The Castle of the Moors is grand and imposing, situated on the summit of the hill and composed of various turrets and battlements, while the Pena National Palace is emblematic of the Romanticist revival that took place in Portugal in the 19th century, and is iconic for its colourful architecture and blend of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Islamic styles.
Located on Portugal’s famed Algarve coast, Tavira sets itself apart from the other seaside resorts thanks to its unspoilt architecture and deep historic roots which reveal themselves throughout the town. In particular, the town’s Moorish influence is abundant, from the traditional white-washed houses, iconic roofs and archways of the period, to the seven-arched Moorish bridge which links the two parts of the town. Tavira is also known for the stunning natural beauty which surrounds it, with soft, white sand beaches sloping gently down to the warm, clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.