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- Very near Coimbra, the 5 star Quinta das Lagrimas is part agroturismo, part Royal Palace and part luxury spa hotel, and had been a quiet sanctuary for Kings and Emperors for centuries, before recently opening its doors to paying guests. It is also the place where one of Portugal’s most infamous love stories took place; the story of Pedro & Inês. This was the XIVth-century love affair between Prince Pedro and Inês de Castro which lurched, as they all do, from deep romance to deep tragedy when Inês was murdered on the orders of King Alfonso, Pedro’s father. This famous story inspired the name of the property; Quinta das Lagrimas/The Estate of Tears, and these days it offers superb luxury in a setting that is uniquely atmospheric and compelling. THE ACCOMMODATION: There is a great choice of B&B rooms and suites, ranging from more standard doubles to superb, top of the range, suites. Even the most ‘basic’ of rooms though are lovingly styled and come with a real touch of class. It is a five star hotel and you can expect the best in comfort and facilities but Quinta das Lagrimas differs in that it is a grand, stately property with a romantic, cultured, air that is impossible to find in more modern hotels. It is a joy to just wander around and soak in the atmosphere. Add to that the extensive botanical gardens outside with so many rare plant species from around the world, the excellent spa facilities, the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the nine hole on site golf course and the two award winning gourmet restaurants, and you really have a break to remember. The seasonal restaurants serve up organic food that is locally sourced as much as is possible, ‘ Market Cuisine’ they like to call it here, but with much of the herbs, vegetables and fruits being sourced even closer, on the grounds themselves, picked fresh from the organic ‘Chef’s Garden’. THE LOCATION: Quinta das Lagrimas is just outside the charming university city of Coimbra, in the centre north of Portugal, roughly half way between Lisbon and Porto. Coimbra was once Portugal’s capital and has an enormous READ MORE