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It’s a huge occasion, drawing sellers and buyers from all over the Alentejo region and beyond. It’s outstanding all the same, with the Alentejo countryside to the west and the many lakes that make up the Barragem da Alqueva reservoir system to the east. Yet again, we would have loved to stop, but this would also have to wait until another time. Finally, if you are a wine lover, do not miss a stop at Herdade do Cebolal, in Santiago do Cacém, very close to Sines. Much of the Alentejo landscape is agricultural, dominated by gentle rolling fields full of flowers, with groves of cork or olive trees and crumbling old farm buildings. It is tricky to explain to you without showing in a video the feat of the man when descending the steep rock wall in jumps to just arrive down there and perched himself on top of any boulder to fish. Once there, let yourself be surprised by the cuisine of Silvia and Ana Maria, who, I’m sure will suggest the best catch of the day. It’s a site that you can’t really appreciate from down below – you need to visit the Castle itself to get the full effect. Auf Ihrer Reise genießen Sie einsame Strände und die spektakuläre Felsküste Portugals, entdecken den ursprünglichen Charme verträumter Orte und unternehmen Entdeckertouren in das Hinterland des Alentejo. This is a small travel diary that will serve you if you want to visit this area, with some unique directions for eating and sleeping as well as the seven essential stops if Portugal’s Alentejo road trip is on your list. No reproduction, publication, or rehosting of any content on this site without express prior written permission. Die alte Königsstadt Évora. He tipped us off, telling us that the door wouldn’t be locked overnight so we were able to sneak in for an unforgettable sunrise the next day. En route to Estremoz, we saw the impressive castle and battlemented town walls of Evoramonte, but sadly didn’t have time to stop. It had always fascinated me. I feel this is one of the such a lot significant information for me. The rest of the town, especially the citadel and castle, looked wonderful, and the Pousada Castelo de Estremoz must be a stunning place to stay, with great views over the town and the plains of Alentejo. Our sole objective was to remain on the N255 and continue south, which we duly did. Bring your camera along! The next morning, we went for a wonderful sunrise walk outside the village walls before breakfast at Condestavel, and a browse around a couple of souvenir shops and a great coffee near the main gateway to the village. We now had a long journey, running roughly parallel with the Spanish border, to our next destination, the mountain-top village of Monsaraz, which has recently been voted the most beautiful village in Portugal. There’s always a plus side in situations like this – if you miss one thing, there’s a good chance you’ll see something else. Evora is one of the more popular destinations for day trips from Lisbon, which is under two hours away. Last January, Aptece and Turismo do Alentejo invited me to explore Alentejo’s ‘rota do peixe’ (fish route). Copyright 2020 DELVE INTO EUROPE – No reproduction, publication, or rehosting of any content on this site without express prior written permission. Monsaraz has just been voted the most beautiful village in Portugal. The old city is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Coming back soon with more unique destinations meanwhile here’s a bit more Portugal goodness for you! This coastal area, its long beaches of fine sand and the traditional port ‘Cais Palafitico da Carrapateira’, built entirely in wood and very unique will make you fall for the Alentejo’s coast at the beginning of this road trip. After this, we had a clear run down the N255 to Reguengos de Monsaraz, before taking the M514 the last 15 kilometres (10 miles) or so to our final destination, Monsaraz. You pass three sets of walls before entering the main body of the castle, which has great wall walks on both sides. The next morning, we squeezed our little car out through the cramped cobbled streets to resume our journey. To lower your meal, after enjoying a leisurely meal in Porto das Barcas, there is nothing better than to venture into one of the coastal paths of the Vincentina Route. The restaurant – the only one there – is called Sacas. We joined the N246 just to the west of Castelo de Vide, heading south from the hilly Serra de Sao Mamede to the more typical Alentejan countryside we had seen the first few days of the trip, driving past flower-filled meadows dotted with partly-stripped cork oak trees. As map reader I realized that one possible route passed right underneath the mighty Elvas aqueduct, and Faye agreed to the detour. Castelo de Vide Portugal is a small medieval town in north-east Alentejo, clustered around a castle on a hilltop, and much as we wanted to stop to explore, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. The Rossio is huge, and the market fills most of it. I arrived just before sunset, and I could see that it was still as wonderful as I remembered it. We made straight for Marvao Castle, an imposing sight above a pretty formal garden at the summit of the mountain on which the village is built. We loved wandering the streets between our Evora accommodation and the cathedral, and sitting outdoors at a table next to a kiosk across the road from the Roman Templo da Diana. Taking a road trip to Alentejo will expose you to the beauty of nature and the power of the Atlantic Ocean. Yet Alentejo Portugal also has a long and fascinating history, going back to prehistoric times. We managed the tight squeeze out through the gate, bidding farewell to Evora and finding our way onto the E802 road heading north-east towards the border. It’s a gorgeous whitewashed town, way, way off the tourist trail, and the longer we spent there, the more we were taken with it. Talk about responsible consumption. The drive down from Monsaraz and across the Barragem da Alqueva lakes was a pleasure, crossing the water and seeing little flower-covered islands scattered across the landscape. We slowly ambled up through the higgledy-piggledy backstreets, totally forgetting the time, probably because we felt we had stepped so far back in it. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, the ‘pinhon torrado con ovos’ paired by a good Moscatel from Setubal is a delight. The coffee and accompanying pastry was delicious, and boosted by the sudden sugar and caffeine rush, we decided to have a quick walk down the hill to the Juderia, the Jewish district. Not only are the wines exquisite, but the farm itself is also a wonder! We planned our Portugal itinerary so that we would explore some of the most beautiful towns in Portugal, and see some dramatic mountaintop border villages. It had always fascinated me. We passed and noted a couple of Castelo de Vide hotels, thinking that we must come back and stay there for a few days. Three and a half hours later, after exploring many a tiny cobbled backstreet – many petering out into private courtyards – and gradually ascending the steep hill to the medieval castle, we made it back to the car, in the knowledge that we wouldn’t have time even for the most cursory glance at Elvas, which was very sad. Your email address will not be published. To eat in this area, try Arte e Sal. Our route took us from Faro airport on the Algarve coast up through the country’s rural hinterland to the region’s capital Evora, where we stayed for three nights. The grand town of Vila Vicosa was somewhere we didn’t plan on passing, but we got a good view of the town’s famous marble quarries from the road, so here was another discovery to be revisited in the future. Évora, die größte und wichtigste Stadt in der Provinz Alentejo, ist ein … One of the smallest ports with which I have ever drop by, Porto das Barcas serves the local fishermen and community. The massive Amoreira aqueduct (Aqueduto da Amoreira) was built in the 16th century to bring water to the fortified town. The village is essentially two long streets, with a few narrow streets and alleyways connecting the two. It also presented us with our first logistical challenge, as we had somehow mislaid our printout of our map of the approach into the city. Last January, Aptece and Turismo do Alentejo invited me to explore Alentejo’s ‘rota do peixe’ (fish route). We had to press on. Évora is an ancient city with some incredible sights and the intimate feel of a small country town rather than a provincial capital. Quiet, with its charming squares where the terraces overflow with life and its whitewashed streets, where, fortunately, no construction stands out in height or style. We could have happily stayed in Evora for a few more days, and had a couple of drives out of town to some of the prehistoric sites nearby, including the Cromleque dos Almendres. Commercial and editorial licenses available; please email for rates. Portugal Road Trip Alentejo – Driving in Portugal, Portugal Road Trip Alentejo – Faro to Évora. An alluring coastal town that has one of the most active fish markets in the region and where it is possible to get close and see how the boats unload fresh, fresh fish. It is largely rural and remote, and gets very little of the tourist … Learn how your comment data is processed. His travel lover chef, Carlos Barros, has brought many ideas of his adventures around the world. No wonder cremation’s so popular these days. We have always gone with the one driver, one navigator set-up, with Faye driving and me reading the map and directing accordingly. After zig-zagging up the east of the mountain to reach the entrance to the village, we thought for a moment or two that Marvao might also be impregnable to hire cars – the cobbled streets were among the narrowest we’ve ever driven, and we didn’t think our humble little vehicle was going to make it through the archway, but we did, just about, with wing mirrors still attached and intact. We’ve yearned to be back there ever since. Portugal - Porto in Richtung Süden • die Eventfotografen, Gewinnspiel – Erlebnis-Wochenende in Willingen, GEWINNSPIEL – LUXUS-WELLNESS-WOCHENENDE IM HARZ, Träume in türkis – Wo Kärnten (fast) karibisch ist, Wilder Kaiser – 8 Tipps für den perfekten Aktiv- & Genussurlaub, Schöne Kleinstädte und Dörfer in Deutschland, Toskana – schöne, unbekannte Orte der Etrusker. This remote mountain fastness looks impregnable, and indeed was never captured. We’ll be publishing a much more detailed feature on things to do in Évora in the near future, so won’t duplicate content and go into much detail here. We quickly realised that our car wasn’t going to be able to get down some of the tangle of tight streets, so we extricated ourselves from possible difficulty and parked just outside the old town, around which we walked for half an hour. Required fields are marked *. Several Marvao hotels are spread around the village, with the Marvao pousada occupying a commanding site on the western side, at the opposite end of the village to the Castle. It is a spa town, and you can sample some of the refreshing clear water in the Fonte da Vila, down in the Juderia. On the other hand, for sleeping, I recommend that you take a look at the design suites of Monte do Zambujeiro, where I stayed and felt like a modern princess for a couple of nights. We were soon into the familiar Alentejan landscape, with its cork and olive groves everywhere we looked. We went by the navigator’s nose, and found our way to the old city, where we were staying – just the wrong part, a minor detail we were soon able to rectify. Portugal Road Trip Alentejo When planning our Portugal road trip Alentejo – the region covering much of the south and east of the country – was top of our list. Estremoz is a fine town, much of it built from locally quarried marble. The abrupt Alentejo coast offers a myriad of fascinating spots. The N256 took us to the outskirts of Mourao, another beautiful medieval whitewashed town with a castle guarding against incursions from across the border. Thanks a lot! Anmelden. If you are looking for a superb destination for a short break, today’s post will charm you. Our next destination was Marvao, 75km to the north along the E802 followed by a cross-country short-cut. The website taste is ideal, the articles are really excellent Good task ! zu Évora und dem Alentejo habe ich hier verfasst. When you visit, do not forget to check the tide schedules in advance and try to match your visit with the high tide and, if possible, the sunrise or sunset. We had pencilled in a stop in Estremoz well before the trip because we knew we would be passing through on a Saturday, when a huge open air flea market is held in the Rossio, the town’s main square. At Santa Eulalia we opted to add the best part of an hour to our journey, taking the left fork instead of the right and heading to Elvas. The most difficult part of driving around Portugal for us was getting around warrens of narrow medieval streets built 700 years before the advent of the motor vehicle. Nearby Comporta, A Escola is a restaurant where you can enjoy an extensive menu of fish, such as ‘açorda de tomate con enguias’. Roadtrip Alentejo Teil 1: Beja & Évora Der Alentejo grenzt direkt an die beliebte Urlaubsregion Algarve an und reicht mit seiner nördlichen Grenze sogar bis in den Verwaltungsbereich Lissabons. The sign above the door says something to the effect of “We bones await your bones”. Try searching for ‘Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, 7630-734, Portugal’ . Wonderful dishes such as prawns with cilantro sauce have sprung up, inspired by a trip to Goa, India. We chatted with the custodian on the way out, asking about access to the castle for sunrise. We soon found our Évora hotel, down an impossibly narrow street with an equally tight entrance. So, while you get ready to explore Portugal’s Alentejo fish route, here I leave some snapshots for you to get an idea. And as it was predictable, I came across three of them. On the whole, we found driving in Portugal no different to anywhere else. Somit gehören etwa 30 Prozent des portugiesischen Festlands zu dieser vergleichsweise wenig besuchten Region. Although it is inland, this small town whose Historic Centre was declared of interest by Unesco, was my starting point. The fourth recommended stop is Sines. A Portugal coast road trip is all you need! The middle-finger-toting granny who got irate at us for being unsure which roundabout exit to take is another who sticks in the mind. Just for a few minutes. This whitewashed village and castle enjoys a beautiful setting, the scenery gentler, and less dramatic than that around Marvao. The most impressive aspect is its location on such a high precipice, perched in dramatic border country. We got by without any dints and dents, but we had no space either side of the car in some places. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The interior is decked out with skulls and various other bones – a grisly but compelling sight. It is largely rural and remote, and gets very little of the tourist traffic that its southern neighbour, the Algarve, gets. Also, I recommend you to have lunch or dinner at Cafe Alentejo, a restaurant in the old area where you must try the ‘sopa de caçao’. However, we made a wonderful discovery in Castelo de Vide. There I learned that the fishermen begin their daily duties when the rest of the world goes to bed. Let us know in the comments below. It runs for around 8 km (5 miles) from a spring to the west of the town, and it’s hugely impressive. Commercial and editorial licenses available; please email for rates. From the walls of Monsaraz Castle, at the southern end of the village, you have a glorious view of Monsaraz in one direction and the lakes in the other. We also encountered the occasional driver quite happy to take unnecessary risks. Bitten by the travel bug for a while now.. After negotiating both Faye awarded herself a couple of days off the road, which I was more than happy to go along with. Estremoz market is amazing. We stopped just below it, with uninterrupted views across the park and valley. And so we set off on the last day of our Alentejo tour. Most of it is a long way off the regular tourist trail, and it often seemed that we were the only visitors in town. Take for instance its coves, cliffs, and beaches where you feel like stopping every ten minutes and simply getting lost for a while, exploring its beauty. I went through a section of the so-called Fishermen’s Trail. Apart from the castle, the village is fascinating to explore for a few hours, with amazing walks along the walls and the narrow cobbled streets. We were only halfway down the lakes. For us, Alentejo contains many Portugal highlights which are scattered all around the region, and it made sense to devise a Portugal road trip itinerary in order to see them all. At Serpa we joined the N265, which took us to the more mountainous country of the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana, before one final brief stop in the Alentejo region, at the enchanting medieval town of Mertola, on the banks of the Guadiana. At Tasca do Celso, a local restaurant whose decoration will make you feel at home, the grilled robalo and the ‘açorda de camarao’ are two great choices. It’s a medieval masterpiece, its stout, solid walls built on cliff edges with sheer drops either side. I’m used to Faye picking up all sorts of items at markets around Europe, and wondered what she’d find this time. We had arrived an hour before sunset and wandered the streets and alleyways until well after nightfall, by which time the Monsaraz restaurants had closed, and we were left sharing the streets with a few cats. The E802 continues past Vidigueira, joining the N256 for the final run into Evora. It’s one of the last undiscovered regions of Europe, and this won’t probably last forever. The skyline of whitewashed towers, turrets and chimneys is stunning in the late evening light. If you go through Évora, do not miss a visit to its Roman temple and cathedral, near a viewpoint that will undoubtedly delight any photography lovers at sunset. Do you have any South of Portugal tips? Our Marvao accommodation was in a beautiful medieval house with a sublime view over the border to the vast western Spanish plain to the east. Monsaraz Alentejo is a long way from anywhere else but has been fiercely fought over in the past, and at various times has been under the control of the Moors, the Knights Templar and the Earl of Cambridge, as well as the kingdom of Portugal. But time was short, we had to continue, with great reluctance. A day doesn’t do Evora justice, but it’s worth coming to see the sights we’ve mentioned, and the remarkable Capela dos Ossos, the Chapel of Bones, next to the church of Sao Francisco. Photography and travel writing team from Galicia, Spain. The journey was taking longer than anticipated, so we decided to abandon our original route down a minor road to Alandroal was going to take too long if we were going to reach Monsaraz before nightfall, so we would stick to the main roads for the rest of the way. We departed Faro in light rain, and as we headed north into the hills of inland Algarve, we had to stay cautious as a murky mist descended. However, not long after we crossed the provincial border into Alentejo, the sun emerged, and accompanied us for the rest of our journey. Marvao, Portugal is one of most special places we’ve visited in Europe, a tiny whitewashed village straddling a narrow mountain-top ridge in the Serra de Sao Mamede mountains, with precipitous views down from either side, and Marvao Castle, the Castelo de Marvao, one of the most impressive of all Portuguese castles. We had a choice of routes from Castro Verde to Evora, and opted for the slightly longer route up the E802, which passed Beja, the provincial capital, though we didn’t have time to stop there. I came back from my walk wondering whether we had acquired any new furniture or small livestock, but Faye was more than happy with several boxes of vintage buttons. A short while later we reached Moura, at the southern end of the lakes. Some people swear by satnav when travelling abroad. This was going to be a largely backroads run, so we had to allow around four hours for the whole trip. However, we will say that this is one very special city which totally captured our hearts. Our Monsaraz accommodation was in the Casa Rural Santo Condestavel, a beautiful townhouse on Rua Direita, close to the main square and church, with an amazing view out over the Alqueva lakes from the terrace to greet the next day, just before dawn. When planning our Portugal road trip Alentejo – the region covering much of the south and east of the country – was top of our list. passed the village of Almodovar, eventually reaching Castro Verde, which is significant in Portuguese history as it’s close to the site of the Ourique battlefield where Afonso Henriques defeated the Moors in 1139, paving the way for his declaration as the first King of Portugal. Where is the little place called Porto das Barcas? 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