Found the amazing castle town of Marvao completely by accident on Google earth when researching, a totally enclosed walled castle on top of a 900 metre high hill, it was unbelievably pretty with tiny narrow cobbled street to drive through to the hotel, perfect photo opportunity. No-one around town and therefore pics were empty of people. So much better than Obidos which was crammed to bursting with tourists.
Marvao itself is well worth a visit although it’s a little out of the way of normal touristy things, has some interesting Roman ruins close by.
The Hotel Dom Dinis came out top on Trip-advisor and no wonder. The rooms (only 6) were half the price of the nearby Pousada. We arrived early afternoon and found Jorge in his bar across the street (O Castelo), rushed off his feet serving lunch, so we had a beer and a sandwich which he encouraged us to eat on the hotel terrace rather than a very full cafe.
What a view back across Portugal! The castle is on the edge of the Sierra da Estrela Park and just 3 kilometres from the Spanish border.
So we sat for an hour enjoying a beer and the view before he proudly showed us our (superior) room, with the same view and a terrace too. A huge four poster bed, flat screen TV and wireless internet (free) Breakfast was basic but tasty, cereals, yogurts, ham and cheese and lovely local bread and jams, coffee and lots of information from Jorge. He couldn’t have been more helpful, the superior room with breakfast was 65 Euros and we had the few early evening beers from O Castelo added to the bill for our convenience.
Unfortunate timing meant the hotel restaurant was closed that night so he sent us to his mothers (not a surprise there) the Varanda do Alentejo just down the hill, it had an inside restaurant as well as a rooftop restaurant, plastic chairs and wonky tables but a great menu and great rustic food, My wife had bbq'd Dourada and I had a regional speciality of lamb stew. Good wine list and good coffee, all for 40 Euros.
I cannot recommend the Dom Dinis enough. If you are in the area its a must (both town and hotel)
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