Official UK partner to the Paradors, Pousadas, Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Les Collectionneurs (Chateaux), and European Hotels Collection. Keytours International, formerly Keytel International, your agent in the UK.

What is a Pousada?

Portugal – ‘Europe’s last best-kept secret’ – is proud of its history and traditions, many of which are associated with the Pousadas. The formerly state-owned ‘Pousadas of Portugal’ form a network of more than 40 establishments spread across the country from the green and rustic valleys of the Minho to the luxuriant mountains of the Peneda/Gerês National Park to Alentejo’s golden plains and the Algarve coast with its fine sand and warmer waters. 

In 2003 Pestana Hotels and Resorts, a well-established Portuguese hotel group, took a majority stake in the network which ensured Pousadas kept true to their historic foundations and could maintain a good quality of service throughout the chain. This merger means that, in addition to the historic Pousadas, Keytours also has access to the wide variety of Pestana Hotels and Resorts across Portugal and Spain.

Over half of the Pousadas are historical buildings: palaces, monasteries, castles & convents all meticulously restored & converted into comfortable hotels. These reflect Portugal’s rich history from the times of Magellan and Vasco da Gama, through the Golden Age, to the arrival of the Duke of Wellington and beyond. The remainder of the Pousadas are country house hotels exemplifying the traditional architecture of each region, and contemporary hotels with excellent facilities set in stunning locations.

Since the first Pousada was opened in 1942 the network has developed to encourage tourism to some of the less frequently visited areas of Portugal. They have really opened up the country and inspire people to get off the beaten track, to explore the untouched and undiscovered regions. Best known for the glorious beaches of the Algarve and for the port produced in the Douro valley, Portugal has much more to interest you, from the metropolitan centres of Porto and Lisbon to its small medieval villages with narrow cobbled streets and traditional architecture.

The Pousadas encourage you to experience all of this: Queluz and Cascais are close enough to visit Lisbon; the stunning Palacio do Freixo is located on the Douro bankside just 10 minutes from the Porto city centre; the charming castle of Óbidos is ideally located to breakup journeys between Lisbon and Porto and for visiting the pilgrimage town of Fatima; Gerês Caniçada is set in stunning mountain scenery; Viana do Castelo, with its spectacular views is located next to an ancient Celtic village in the Minho region; the 12th-century convent at Guimarães (Santa Marinha) is great for exploring the Douro valley; Arraiolos is a 16th-century convent on the Alentejo plains and Estói is perfect for exploring the cultural side to the Algarve along with the golden beaches for which it is famous.

Pousadas are strategically located across Portugal to allow visitors to discover so much of this wonderful country. They are ideal for stopovers, touring holidays and business trips, attracting tourism to each region and exemplifying the culture, tradition and cuisine of this fascinating country. Indeed the restaurants at the Pousadas are a great way to sample the local culinary delights and a stay in a Pousada is a chance to uncover the ‘real’ Portugal and to discover the gems it has to offer. The magical buildings blend perfectly with the enchanting towns and villages that they dominate and the relaxed way of life that continues to this day in the unspoilt regions inland.

Useful information
  • Wifi: All Pousadas provide wifi access. Some provide wifi throughout the hotel, whilst others provide wifi access in at least their main public areas.
  • Restaurants: Pousada restaurants offer insight into traditional cuisine featuring local ingredients and recipes (and international fare). To accompany this delicious is a varied option of Portugal. You can add dinner onto your reservation from 40€ per person at most Pousadas (3 course table d’hôte menu without drinks). Advise with your agent when requesting a quote. 
  • Tea and Coffee making facilities:  Bedrooms do not have tea and coffee making facilities but these drinks can be ordered through room service or at the bar.
  • Parking: the vast majority of Pousadas are set in grounds with space for parking, or offer nearby public parking. Parking is often free in more remote locations, but there is occasionally a charge for parking in the car parks and garages of those Pousadas located in town or city centres, in line with local parking charges.
  • Accessibility: Pousadas are usually well marked and very noticeable, and road signs generally indicate their location well.
  • Swimming pools: We suggest checking with us about the opening and closing dates of external swimming pools should the availability of the pool be of great importance to your stay. However, as a general rule Pousadas open their pools during peak summer months when ambient temperatures regularly exceed 25-28 degrees.  Towards the south of of Portugal the pools open earlier in the season and close later, but we advise checking with your agent if access to a pool is an essential part of your trip.
  • Language: Staff in receptions, bars and restaurants are multilingual and often speak good English.
  • Disabled access: Some Pousadas offer accessible rooms and can be accessed via wheelchair, however due to the historic nature of the properties, few are fully accessible because of structural restrictions such as narrow corridors and stairs in medieval buildings. If you are concerned about accessibility or require adapted rooms, please check with one of our agents. More information on accessible Pousadas can be found here.
  • Pets: Some Pousadas now permit dogs (with daily charges), for more information click here.


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