The region surrounding the hotel água d’alma
Ocean Beach (Foz do Arelho)
The ocean beach is located in the town Foz do Arelho and it is renowned for its natural beauty, the quality of the water and sand. On the horizon you can see an enormous and lovely massif known as Gronho. To the right you can also see the archipelago Berlengas. The sandy coast is vast and wide and it blends with the water of the ocean and the Lagoa de Óbidos in various areas, depending on the opening of the mouth of the lagoon.
This beach differs from others because of its excellence, not only of the quality of its natural resources, but also of the quality of the services rendered to the bathers. It has been awarded the Quercus Gold Quality Flag.
The Lagoa Beach (Foz do Arelho)
The Lagoa beach has a breathtaking landscape. It offers a magnificent sandy coast located in the confluence of the Lagoa with the sea and its coastline has a green landscape. It is renowned as a summer holiday destination for families because it is safe for children and it has been awarded the Blue flag.
In the Lagoa you can practise many different water sport activities all year round, mainly: Sailing; Windsurfing; Canoeing; Rowing; Kite boarding; Jet skiing, Nautical Skiing and Stand Up Paddle. The Lagoa is the longest coastline lagoon system on the Portuguese coast. Its fauna includes various species such as clams, cockles and mussels.
The Beaches Praia del Rey and Praia do Bom Sucesso
The Praia del Rey beach has an extensive sandy coast with dunes that spreads out for kilometres in both directions. To the left it extends to Baleal and to the right it extends to the Lagoa de Óbidos. Once you are there you can find the beach Praia do Bom Sucesso that is opposite Foz do Arelho. There is an islet of sand as well as the surface of the water of the lagoon separate these two beaches. You can see the town Foz do Arelho from Praia do Bom Sucesso beach.
Both of these beaches are great for taking long strolls during low tide and they are excellent for sunbathing.
Peniche is the furthest western city in Continental Europe. It is on a peninsula with a perimeter of ten kilometres. Pencihe has extensive beaches in the north and south for example, the beaches of Supertubos, Molho Leste and Baleal.
The point furthest west on the Peninsula of Peniche is Cabo Carvoeiro and to its left there is the archipelago of Berlengas. This archipelago is currently a natural reserve where you can find rare species of flora, birds and fish.
The beach Supertubos is internationally renowned for the great conditions to practise surfing and body boarding. Since 2009 it has been one of the ten events of the surfing World Championship Tour.
What is fascinating about this fishermen town is the row of white houses, the traditional costume, signs of local and cultural aspects and the maritime landscape. The beach of Nazaré is a seaside area and it is one of the most traditional Portuguese fishing towns. Nazaré is great for swimming and sunbathing. On the sand you can still find a few women wearing the traditional costume — seven skirts. They tend to the fish that is all lined up on stakes drying in the sun. Sítio is at the top of the town and this is where you can find the best viewpoints. You can get there by following the road or on the centenary lift.
During the winter you can see the gigantic waves known as “Nazaré’s cannon”.
What to do with children
Royal Ice Factory (Montejunto - Cadaval)
It is believed that this factory was built in 1741. The increasing consumption of ice in the 18th century by the nobility and the middle and lower strata lead to the construction of the Royal Ice Factory in Montejunto because this was the only mountain range near Lisbon that had all the necessary requirements for freezing water during the winter.
Once removed from the conservation wells, the blocks of ice were wrapped in straw and hessian and were transported to the bottom of the mountain range and placed on the donkeys’ backs. The ice would continue its journey on oxcarts until it reached the river Tejo where it would then be transported on board “snow ships” to Lisbon.
The Monk Park (Alcobaça)
The Monk Park is made up of two components: the Environmental Park and the Cultural Park. Here the public comes into contact with many different kinds of equipment and activities with the aim of creating unique experiences for tourists by recreating the way the monks of the Cistercian Order lived. This complex combines tourist animation with a strong pedagogical attitude towards environmental awareness education.
The Centre of Interpretation of the Battle of Aljubarrota (S. Jorge)
At this interpretation centre you can cover the field of the Battle of Aljubarrota and learn about the decisive facts of this important episode in Portuguese history. This centre includes an exhibition area, a multimedia show that reconstructs the Battle and the events that lead up to it, temporary exhibition areas and a park with medieval devices.
It is also possible to verify not only where the Portuguese army and French / Spanish armies were in 1385, but also the English archers and the position of the bombards used by the Spanish army and the cavalry of King D. Juan I.
Places to Visit
The Monastery of Batalha
The Dominican Monastery of Batalha is one of the most important Portuguese gothic buildings with the memorial monument of the battle of Aljubarrota and the royal pantheon, which began its construction at the end of the 14th century with the sponsorship of King D. João I. The monastery is located in the centre of the town Batalha and it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 28th of May 1983. It is unique for its hydraulic infrastructures and medieval buildings of the monastery.
On the side of the square of the monastery we can find the Equestrian Monument of the Constable Nuno Álvares Pereira. The 1968 statue reminds us of the heroic commander that defeated the invading army at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
The Medieval Town of Óbidos
This town has always been inhabited due to its excellent location near the sea and the lagoon. Here a Celtiberian old castle facing west was built and it is where the Phoenicians traded and the Romans settled. It is likely that the Facho south tower might have been a Roman watchtower as an advanced viewing post of the city of Eburobrittium.
On 11th of January 1148 the first king D. Afonso Henriques conquered Óbidos from the Arabs. Óbidos belonged to the defensive pentagon (of the five castles) in the centre of the kingdom which was idealized by the Templars. Most of the Portuguese queens went through Óbidos.
The Monastery of Alcobaça
The Monastery of Santa Maria of Alcobaça, also known as Royal Abbey of Santa Maria of Alcobaça or simply the Monastery of Alcobaça, is the first work entirely gothic to be built on Portuguese soil.
It is one of the most important abbeys of the Cistercian Order in Europe. At the Monastery’s church you can find the tombs of the two main figures of an unmatched love story: Pedro and Inês. Their story is told in the rich ornaments that decorate their tombs.
The Park D. Carlos I (Caldas da Rainha)
The Park D. Carlos I is one of the highlights in the city of Caldas da Rainha. It is the ideal place to go for a stroll or see the architectural elements of Naturalism and Romanticism in Rodrigo Berquó’s design of the end of the 19th century. You can do many things in the park, for example, you can go boating in the lake, play with the children in the playground, see the excellence of the construction of the park’s pavilions, play tennis, visit the Museum José Malhoa or just watch the magnificent diversity in flora, just to mention a few.
Nature lovers must visit the woods Rainha D. Leonor where an invigorating walk can stimulate your senses.
Buddha Eden (Quinta dos Loridos - Bombarral)
25 km from Água D’Alma Hotel, at Quinta dos Loridos, there is Buddha Eden – Garden of Peace. Here you can find the largest oriental garden in Europe, the impressive Bacalhôa Buddha Eden. With about 35 hectares, this garden was created as a protest against the destruction of the Gigantic Buddhas of Bamyan, which was one the greatest acts of cultural barbarity because it erased the masterpieces of the art period of Gandhara from our memories. Among the buddhas, pagodas, terracotta statues and many other carefully placed sculptures, it is estimated that more than 6 thousand tons of marble and granite were used to build this monumental work.
Thermal Hospital Rainha D. Leonor (Caldas da Rainha)
The Queen D. Leonor founded the Thermal Hospital of Caldas da Rainha in 1485 and it is the oldest in the world as it has been around for five centuries. In the 15th century (1485) the Queen D. Leonor founded this building of baths and a thermal hospital in Caldas da Rainha.
In 1484 the Queen went through this area, where later on the city of Caldas da Rainha would be built, and saw the poor bathing in “those hot waters that sprang out of the steaming fountain”. She was told that those people were sick with “frailties” and that those waters could cure their illness.
The Square Praça da Fruta (Caldas da Rainha)
Known as “Praça da Fruta” (Fruit Square) by the locals, it is an indispensable place to visit during your stay in Caldas da Rainha. It has beautiful cobbled pavement that dates back to 1883 and it was recently revitalised. It has great examples of the architecture in Caldas da Rainha as the highlight is the façades covered in tiles.
Since the 18th century it has been the oldest outdoor daily market in Portugal where you can find the best regional products such as vegetables, smoked sausages, sweets among many other delicious things.
During the daily market (in the mornings) the Square “Praça da Fruta” is one of the main tourist attractions in Caldas da Rainha.
Cultural and Conference Centre (Caldas da Rainha)
Cultural and Conference Centre in Caldas da Rainha, or CCC, is a place in Caldas da Rainha where many different cultural activities and conferences take place. It offers a diverse programme including shows, concerts, plays and exhibitions.
It catches our attention because of its impressive bold lines and avant-guard architecture and it captivates the audience, the culture lovers, due to its cultural programme that is known for bringing the best national and international shows and artists to the west region of Portugal.
The Café Concerto is the meeting point of the CCC and it offers a personalised bar service and a place for leisure.
The Caves of Alvados and Santo António – Natural Park of Serras de Aires and Candeeiros
More than 50,000 years old, the Caves of Alvados were discovered in 1964 and the Caves of Santo António were discovered in 1955. Even though they are both located in the Natural Park of Serra de Aire and Candeeiros and they are both part of the massif limestone of the region of Estremadura, they are quite different and have specific features that distinguish them. For that reason, the public that visits them almost always choose the special programme “the joint visit”, allowing you to visit both caves.
The Caves of Moeda (São Mamede - Fátima)
This cave, which is full of wonderful calcareous formation, is World Natural Heritage of rare beauty. There are several natural galleries that were named according to the images that they evoke: the Lake of Happiness, the Christmas crib, the Shepard, Waterfall, Red Cupola, Imperfect Maritime Chapel, Red Vault and the Fountain of Tears.
It has a visiting area of 350 metres in length and 45 metres in depth, below the entrance elevation, with the temperature of 18ºC that is constant throughout the year.
The Caves of Moeda and the Centre of Scientific and Environmental Interpretation are open to the public every day.
The Sanctuary of Fátima
The Sanctuary of Fátima is located in Cova da Iria and it is one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world. In 1917 Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto and Lúcia dos Santos, also known as the three shepherds, said that they saw six apparitions of Our Lady on the 13th of every month from May to October except in August it occurred on the 19th. During one of these apparitions, Virgin Mary asked them to build a chapel there and today it is the central part of the Sanctuary where the image of Our Lady is kept.
Over time, the Sanctuary has been expanded and therefore has been able to welcome more and more pilgrims.