A national treasure. In 2017, the Bussaco palace will be celebrating 100 years since the former royal retreat was turned into one of the country's foremost hotels. It may be showing its age in places, and service and furnishing can be a tad creaky, but the shortfalls will be forgotten among the splendor of the architecture, decoration that includes splendid azulejos, paintings by some of Portugal's best 19th-century artists, colonnaded verandas, monumental staircases, gloriously lit dining room, and more. Outside there are formal gardens, pools where swans glide by, all surrounded by the tropical majesty of the Buçaco forest. For a really special occasion, try the royal suite decked out in a sumptuous Louis XVI style, complete with 1920s marble bathroom.

Your best dining bet is also in the hotel. The restaurant of the Bussaco Palace Hotel was once a royal dining room and it is a glorious setting for any meal. The Moorish-inspired ceiling glistens with countless small lights; ornate, horseshoe-shaped windows look out on a romantic terrace and the forest beyond; walls are lined with epic paintings by João Vaz, a 19th-century artist. The cooking is rooted in classic French and regional Portuguese cuisine. Notable dishes include salt-cod slow cooked in local olive oil with celery purée and sautéed cabbage, or duck in Calvados sauce. The wine cellar is legendary, with vintages dating back to the 1940s. A unique, fine-dining experience.