During any meal in one of Lisbon’s wonderful restaurants, when a bottle of water is ordered, this is often what arrives on your table.
One day I decided to ask the waiter where this Luso water came from. I was in store for a tale of the origins of Portuguese spring water, and a town which has one of the best reputations as a piece of Portuguese paradise, LUSO….
The prefix Luso- indicates a relation to the Lusitania, Portugal or the Portuguese people. The word is derived from Lusitania, the Latin name for what would be modern Portugal. Lusitania was an ancient Roman province including approximately all of modern Portugal south of the Douro river.
The town of Luso, Portugal was formed in the 11th century. During the 1800s, the hot springs of the village of Luso became known throughout Portugal due to their healing properties. Soon after, spa resorts were developed, and tourists came flocking into town during the summer months. We enjoyed a morning in the Termas do Luso, their spa facility. It was a wonderful experience and one of the best massages I have had in a long time…Currently, Luso spring water is being marketed as one of the best in Portugal.
Driving up a small windy mountain road out of Luso, we arrived in Buçaco, one of Portugal’s antique royal spots, where the king Luis I had his hunting lodge. The Palace Hotel do Buçaco is located in this spot, the mountain range of Serra do Buçaco. The Palace of Buçaco was built between 1888 and 1907. It was designed as a Romantic palace in Neo-Manueline style, evoking the 16th-century architectural style that characterised the peak of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. The Buçaco Palace is inspired in iconic Manueline buildings like the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, both located in Lisbon.
A weekend in this Palace was an experience, not to be missed. Beautiful setting, great food and a chance to stay in a place that was truly part of Portugal’s history…