If you happen to be in the area of Vila Real
spending your money in wine visiting the city you might want to visit Casa de Mateus. No it’s not the home of someone by the name of Mateus. In fact, it’s a palace that was built in the first half of the 18th century and has always been in the hands of the Sousa Botelho family. Casa de Mateus includes the palace (where people still live), the chapel, the gardens and a cellar.
Today, Casa de Mateus in known mainly for three reasons: it’s one of the most active cultural institutions of the country, it produces wine (Mateus Rosé) and… jams. Yes, jams. You can easily find them in Portuguese supermarkets or maybe even in your hotel breakfast.
Why should I go there? Visiting Casa de Mateus is a journey to the 18th century and you get to see some beautiful objects from that time, ranging from things which belong in any family’s daily life to works of art. Besides, the garden is gorgeous and there’s a big linden tree.
Where is it? As usual, Google Maps knows. Casa de Mateus is 2 km away from Vila Real, 90 km from Porto e 410 km from Lisbon.
What can I do there? You can visit part of the palace, the library (with some rare books), the chapel, the cellar and the gardens. You can choose to visit only the gardens on your own or you can have a guided tour to all the other things. There’s also a shop and a small café. Tickets are a bit expensive, though, and no pictures are allowed inside the palace or the chapel.