Take home a piece of their world-renowned pottery from the Bordallo Pinheiro factory
Whose Name Was Writ In Water
Caldas Da Rainha is a city in the province of Estremadura in Western Portugal. By Portugal’s standards, Caldas da Rainha was a late-bloomer, only founded in the 15th century by Queen Leonor. As the story goes, one day in 1484, while traveling between Óbidos and Batalha, she came across a bunch of peasants bathing in foul-smelling waters by the roadside. They told her the waters were curative; she tried them, and seems to have been relieved of some mysterious affliction, since she was quite taken with them!
Largely absent from tourist itineraries, Caldas da Rainha is a perfect place to enjoy the best of Portugal without the crowds. Its warm-summer Mediterranean climate is divine, allowing lots of sun without sweltering heat. Make the most of its lovely park, bustling farmers’ market, excellent seafood and prized ceramics. Be sure to visit the museum named after José Malhoa, the famous Portuguese painter who was born here and has many works on show in the city.
Beyond its healing waters, Caldas da Rainha makes an excellent base for exploring this delightful region of Portugal. From there you can easily drive to Alcobaça, a medieval town renowned for its monastery and the great love story of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro. Another town, Batalha, is home to a cathedral that is among Europe’s finest examples of High Gothic architecture, sprinkled with Manueline decorative motifs. Aside from the church towns, Caldas da Rainha is also only five kilometres from some of the region’s most beautiful beaches and fishing villages.
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