The serene Almáa Sintra Hostel in Portugal is an eco hostel set amidst 8.6 acres of forest and gardens. Situated not far from Lisbon, the hostel is built inside and around a historic home dating from the 12th Century. Guests can wander the lush grounds, hike the area's trails, swim in an Olympic-sized irrigation tank, or visit the nearby Pena National Palace, which dates from the 18th Century.
The hostel is set on the idyllic grounds of an ancient fresh water spring, for which it is named (Almáa means water in Arabic). The spring supplies water to the hostel, irrigates the landscaped gardens and waters the organic vegetable field, which supplies fresh veggies for breakfast for the hostel’s guests.
Almáa operates with sustainability and ethical principles where possible. The original 12th Century house has been almost entirely renovated from reclaimed materials. Much of the furniture is either second hand, or made from recycled materials in the main living area and the rooms. The hostel has also enlisted local artists to create works from recycled materials, which decorate the interior. Each of the beds are custom made from recycled shipping pallets, in sturdy individual beds.
The hotel offers 35 beds, in dorm-style and private rooms, for enjoying the beautiful Portuguese countryside high in the Sintra Mountain Range. The historic and culturally rich area was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and continues to attract tourists seeking an ecological and archeological getaway.