Trade in Elvas supplied in previous years a significant amount of coffee, woolens, linens and china from Macao to Spanish tourists. Succulent menus offered at affordable prices. Today, Elvas has no major movement of the past but remains in good condition and its historic center, especially, its medieval castle. The aqueduct is still an impressive image on the outskirts of town.
Happening across the Temple of Diana ruins in the evening fog was, for me, otherworldly. Something out of a storybook. I took the opportunity to enhance that vision by creating a ghostly backlit image of a person at the base of the Temple. That person was me! A true photographer "selfie" that I will never forget.
Marvão is a medieval village in Portugal. It is located on the border close to Valencia de Alcantara, Cáceres. It is a very quiet town, located on top of a mountain, where the views are wonderful. You can see it from the road, it's amazing. Originally arable, every year there is the festival of Al-Mossassa where its Islamic origins are remembered. The festival runs from October 1 to 5.
"Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos" Over 5000 skulls from various churches and cities line the walls of this Portuguese chapel. The Franciscans during construction by the sixteenth century wanted the place to "sirva de cosolaçao nóticia à curiosidade doutros". Curious tourist or need a place to meditate? Upon entering the chapel we see our future, immortal phrase depicted in the entrance and it's something that gets into your head. "Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos"
The city was almost empty at night. this photo was taken from an abandoned church there in front. This village is a Templar castle which contains houses, seven churches and three main streets. There is nothing more. Just silence making it an excellent place to rest. The stars are brilliant in the sky and the greatest places to visit are the megalithic monuments in the Iberian peninsula. A marvel with excellent gastronomy.
In the small town of Campo Maior Portugal, 14 kilometers from the border with Badajoz, every four years is held a colorful traditional party in honor of San Juan Bautista: The flower festival. Campo Maior is a small village and old building in which its neighbors, in late August and early September every four years, begin to decorate the streets with paper flowers that they have been preparing for all year. Every street is different, with a theme, decorations and different colors! Not only flowers are used, but anything imaginable - a whole house, animals or Adam and Eve! But everything is built with the typical "crepe paper". In addition, neighbors, that are very friendly and outgoing in nature, offer a booklet in which you can go to visit the flowers in the streets.
In the south of Alentejo the villages are different. They're more, shall we say, Extremaduran, or almost Andalusian. In fact, Mertola is a village that's surrounded by the Guadiana. And it's a very pretty village. It's on top of a hill and has a wall that protects it. I love how the white color reflects the light and makes for some great pictures. It's also a town that's known for its sale of shoes and sandals. It also has a church/mosque that has some of the most original things I've seen in recent times.
Evora isn't only riddled with megalithic monuments, even though it's the area with the highest concentration of them. I recommend that you quietly visit the city and its surroundings, and if you have time, go to Monsaraz, near the border with Badajoz. In the whole area, there are many "dolmens", "menhirs" and "cromlechs". Besides, the hilltop village of Monsaraz is a real beauty, with stone streets and incredible views with the river on one side and the Alentejo plainon the other. Close to Monsaraz, there are several enclaves that are also very interesting to visit.
Evora Cathedral is on top of the old town, and its two tall towers can be seen from various points in the city. It was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries in Romanesque style over an old mosque. It was built by Bishop D. Paio, although it has Gothic parts, which are the result of subsequent expansions during the Middle Ages. It's a building of enormous proportions. In fact, it's considered one of the largest temples built by medieval bishops in Portugal, and has been declared a [b] National Monument [/ b]. It's quite similar to the Lisbon Cathedral, following its architectural and fortress-like style. The facade is of pink granite, and the main entrance is the highlight. It's flanked by two unequal towers, the facade has a pointed arch and Archivolts that are supported by the sculptures of the Apostles. It has a Latin cross, divided into three naves of seven sections, a transept, an outgoing and a header. There are several chapels. You can also visit the cloister, the museum and climb the towers. The hours are from 9:00-12:30 and from 14:00-17:00. The entrance is 1 €, the cloister is € 1.50, and the museum and tower are 3 €.
The lighthouse in in an area of beautiful cliffs and protected vegetation. It was lit for the first time on April 15, 1915. In 1950 and was electrified with generators, which increased its range performance up to 42 miles (they originally uses oil). In 1984 it was connected to the public electricity network, changing the halogen lamp with a 1000 watt, which reduced its scope to the current 23 miles. It is in Cape Sardão in the Costa Vincentian [37 ° 35.8 'N, 08 º 48.9' W].
Estremoz is a special wine village. Surely the blame lies with its location on top of a hill and surrounded by walls that were a castle. It is from these towns almost film in which is entered through a winding road that you have to go under an arch that looks that once was closed. One imagines invaders trying to tear down that gate with battering rams and catapults. It is a tiny town but charming. At the top is a lovely square, with a church and a great pousada if you want to get away there. The views are fantastic.
Praca do Giraldo is the heart of Évora, is a rectangular square surrounded by arcades, home to cafes and restaurants. It is lovely with outdoor seating to take in the pulse of the city, watching people coming and going, tourists leaving the tourist information office and taking pictures non-stop f the monuments of the square, like the church of Antao and marble fountain from the 18th century.
On our recent trip to the Algarve we made a short stop to eat in one of the most populous cities of the Alentejo coast, Alcacer do Sal. It's said to be one of the oldest cities in Europe. Built on a hillside, the city rises to end at the Pousada Alfonso II, a walled fortress that dates from the city beginnings. On the way up, along the narrow cobbled streets you will see white houses with red roofs, wrought iron balconies and a beautiful view over the river Sado, and its estuary where it empties into the sea. In the midst of a great natural spectacle, Alcacer do Sal marks the beginning of the great natural reserve of the Sado Estuary extending throughout the Troia Peninsula. Two things that stood out during my visit included a visit to the beautiful bridge going over the river Sado, and eating in the many bars and restaurants right on the banks of this beautiful river.
The Alentejo beaches are tremendous. They are a mixture of wild beaches with tourist environments. The great white sand beaches with huge waves for surfers and the looming cliffs leave a silhouette worthy of a postcard. The beach of Vila Nova is beautiful especially during sunset. It is immense. There is also a snack bar to enjoy a drink and where fishermen hang out who, just when the sun sets, enter the sea for their catch.
The tranquillity offered by this small town in the south of Portugal is somewhat disturbed throughout the year due to a huge influx of tourists. We went in August hoping to experience this paradise, but there had just been a music festival.
Portel Castle is on the higher part of town, and on a special lookout you can see the white houses and the blue sky. In the distance we could see the fields, it's a special place, representing the symbolic images of the Alentejo. It's an unfrequented place, well worth a stop if you are driving. Free admission.
Upon entering the town of Elvas, you can not stop looking atop a walled castle. Now it's open to the public free of charge, with tour service, and is in very good condition. It has some spectacular scenic views of Elvas, and you can see the aqueduct. A nice stop, with a bit of history.