The places to explore
Originally an Arab settlement, Evoramonte was taken over by King D Afonso Henriques in around 1166. And since then it has seen its fair share of fortification and remodelling. The building of the castle and the perimeter walls was carried out by a chap called King D Dinis in 1306. He probably didn’t actually do it himself – but would have got a crowd of his folk to get amongst it. They did a fine job. Discover more about the castle.
Artesanato Celeiro Comum (Craft shop)
Just a short walk down from the castle heading towards the church, you will come across Artesanato Celeiro Comum. A wonderful craft shop that is run by Inocencia and Jose Lopes. Discover more.
The Café Restaurante O Emigrante
If you are after a delicious meal in a restaurant frequented by genuine Evoramonte folks, then Restaurante O Emigrante is the spot for you. There is an appetising menu with everything prepared and cooked fresh to order. But best of all, this family run place is hosted by Natalia who simply epitomises the warmth and friendliness of everyone you will meet in the area. Discover more.
The numbers on the map correspond to the numbers listed on the places below.
2. The town of Evora
A Cathedral, a Roman Temple, a Chapel of bones! A busy town square. Dozens of restaurants. Festivals. Views in all directions. There is so much to this UNESCO World Heritage Town. Travel in easily from The Place at Evoramonte. See the sites. Enjoy the action. Then return for peaceful sundowners and recharge for everything tomorrow has to offer.
3. The town of Estremoz
A town that is best visited on a Saturday morning because of the wonderful market that is held there. You can spend a few hours picking through the bric-a-brac, or focus on the food section. This is what makes life in Alentejo so wonderful – the range of fresh foods that will make you wish for simpler times before supermarkets and “food-miles”. Fresh vegetables, cured hams, cheeses, breads, cakes and even live chickens and rabbits if that’s what you are after. Make a point of sampling the local donut-like delicacies sold from a van half way up the street.
The town also boasts a good few restaurants, supermarkets, chemists, banks and all the other things you may need. All served with wonderful coffee available at a range of different coffee shops.
And if you feel like a walk, wander through the cobbled streets until you get to the top of the hill. Your reward will be a fantastic view over the valleys towards Evoramonte, some really unique spots for a bite to eat, and the satisfaction of knowing that the way home is all downhill.
There is no better way to spend a Saturday.
7. The town of Monsaraz
Just a few kilometres from the Spanish border, this is a great place to go for a lunch or dinner with a view. And also a fine way to while away an afternoon looking at a selection of crafts from the area. There are no cars in the town, so you can walk freely among the cobbled streets, visiting the shops that sell everything from carpets, to pottery and textiles and local foods.
9. The marble-production town of Vila Vicosa
The town of Vila Viçosa is well known for the marble it produces. Another great walled town with so many great old buildings to visit – but here they have used marble to build so much of it. (The marble in our bathrooms and on the stairs all comes from a factory working in the area.) So if you are interested in seeing where this marble comes from, or maybe owning a few keepsakes – this is the spot for you to visit.
10. The carpet crafting town of Arraiolos
Sometimes you can find a place where beautiful, detailed carpets are crafted. We have a whole town where this is the focus. Wool carpets and tapestries have been woven here since the 16th century – and are still hand-woven here today. You can wonder from place to place and see if a carpet or wall hanging might add that little extra to your home. Spend a morning wondering through the shops, take in the views, enjoy a beer and some lunch at one of the cafes. Perfect.
11. The pottery town of Sao Pedro do Corval
If carefully crafted pottery is what you are after then we have an entire village for you. In Sao Pedro do Corval nearly every establishment is involved in the making and selling of pottery. You can visit the shops for the whole morning – and even see the crafts people at work. The ceramics and pots you see throughout the country are usually made right here in this wee village.
12. The megalithic stones
The area is also home to some of the oldest megalithic stones. As the guide book says, the standing stones of the Almendres Cromlech are regarded as the finest example of Neolithic structures that remain on the Iberian Peninsula. Thankfully, the local government has not cordoned or fenced off the stones and visitors are free to wander around the entire site and even touch the stones. This relaxed approach extends to the management of the site, there is no entrance fee and the stones are open to visit at any time. Go on your own or go with a tour guide, we can recommend one.