Villas in Caldas da Rainha | Search guide
Caldas da Rainha is a medical spa town established by a queen. In the 15th century Eleanor of Viseu discovered locals bathing in the strange-smelling springs, and so began Europe’s first hydrotherapy resort! Individuals descended on the town from everywhere in the 1800s, when it was furnished with a classy park and medspa complex, now restored as a museum.
And you will never ever lack for things to do, with the ancient village of Obidos nearby and two of Portugal’s best beaches minutes away. Let’s take a look at the graceful Parque Dom Carlos I, called after King Carlos I, who ruled Portugal at the turn of the century. It includes a Romantic garden with statues, a boating lake, yards, a sweet bandstand, a picnic area, bar with terrace and courses twisting through forest. The old health centre pavilions complete the scene and are reflected in the lake’s waters. Jos Malhoa was a prominent Naturalist painter, born in Caldas da Rainha and active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum named after him in the park has a statue of the painter in front and a handful of his works in its galleries.
To begin with the setting is a dream, on a Romantic 19th-century estate, built for the second Viscount of Sacavm, who was a passionate ceramics collector, maker and customer. He even initiated his own workshop on the estate in the 1890s. Now it’s an unmatched summary of the town’s ceramic tradition, with examples going back to the 1600s, however has also brought together pieces from all of Portugal’s significant factories and overseas.
In a beautiful Art Nouveau townhouse facing Parque Dom Carlos I is a complimentary museum mapping the history of biking in Portugal. This is managed by the city and a handful of national biking associations. If you enjoy competitive cycling you’ll be enthralled by the exhibitions from the Porto to Lisbon race in 1911, and the very first 5 instalments of the Volta a Portugal from 1927 on; there are jerseys, posters and numerous vintage bicycles, among which are several models from the legendary Spanish Zeus business.