In the hills above Guimarães there’s a hidden garden.
Flicking through old holiday photos, the mossy greenness of the grounds of the Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães in northern Portugal is the perfect antithesis to the unrelenting greyness of January.
Today the former monastery is a hotel, but wannabe Indiana Joneses can pretend they’ve discovered a forgotten civilisation in its grounds.
In early autumn, the stone steps leading to the algae-filled pond are covered in crunchy leaves and acorns cover the benches.
Roses are still in bloom in the manicured gardens closer to the hotel, where statues look on.
The monastery is full of staircases leading to all sorts of interesting places, from the grand dining room to the bedrooms in the former monks’ cells with views over the valley.
We stopped off on our roadtrip through Northern Portugal, but Guimarães is an easy day trip from Porto by train.
Is anyone else scrolling back through holiday snaps from the last 5 years while the wait for January to finally finish?