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.
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.