Lunch at Palacio do Estoi

Sometimes being in Portugal with Kevin feels like being on a non-stop field trip. That is to say, he’s always cooking up new ideas and trips and adventures to keep me entertained. Back in February, Kevin planned a whole-day outing for us to see the Palacio do Estoi (aka the Palace of Estoi). Our drive to Estoi wasn’t your regular ol’ highway drive. Kevin chose the most scenic route possible, and included a stop in the nearby town of Salir, where a sign promised us castle ruins.

Salir really was beautiful, and as it sits on a top of a hill, it cuts a lovely view. The ruins were a bit disappointing, but as you’ll see below, meeting a cute cat more than made up for it.

Our next stop was the Palacio do Estoi. It’s a palace built by a rich guy in the late 1800s and it’s a great example of the Rococo style. It’s also probably one of the only examples of Rococo style to be found in the Algarve.

Recently, it was acquired by a hotel chain that specializes in unique properties. They’ve added an expansion to the palace that contains a pool and accommodations. As for the original palace, they’ve kept it mostly as-is, operating 2 restaurants out of the building. As a guest or a visitor you can explore various gardens and sitting rooms, all of which maintain their original beautiful style.

The patio outside is part of the restaurant, and that’s where we sat, enjoying a light lunch, a bottle of “vinho verde” (green wine), an ocean view, and a stunning sunset. Despite being an old beautiful palace-turned-hotel, it maintains a casual atmosphere that makes anyone feel welcome.

It was a simple day, visiting a simple site, and it was all wonderful. If you make it to Portugal, this is a site worth seeing.

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