This is a spectacular castle superbly maintained, in a wonderful location. It is very close to Spanish border. The villa is completely walled. It is beautiful, this place is a feast for the eyes and soul.
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 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.
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.
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.
Crato is one of those typical Alentejo towns that you should visit if you want to have a typical experience in this area. All of the streets in this town look the same. In fact, it could be the streets of any of the surrounding villages, which have the same construction and ornamentation throughout history. The houses feature white walls and yellow edges which are the common denominator of this place that once had a fortress at the top. It also has a rather curious church and is an ideal place to go for a walk and discover what the people of the area are like and compare the differences and similarities with the Spanish towns of Salamanca and Extremadura, located near to the border with Portugal.
Porto Covo is a small village on the Alentejo coast, the council is Sines, and is famous for its spectacular beaches and coves, such as Praia do Cerro da Aguia, Praia Bica da Vermelha, Praia Samoqueira and Praia do Salto. There's also an island opposite the village which you can visit by boat, Isla do Pessegueiro.
Very close to the Spanish border in Portugal is where you'll find the beautiful village of Castelo de Vide. It is a small town with big charm. On one hand, you can see the church square and tourists will like it because there's room to relax. And, secondly, there's the castle. The most interesting thing is not the castle itself, but what happened in its vicinity. You have to walk up to the castle through the streets with charm and history. And getting up is surprising. For within its walls still preserved medieval town and there are many people living there in beautiful houses, at the top of the hill. A very interesting site.
Portalegre is a town in the Alto Alentejo which borders Caceres in Spain, Castelo de Vide north with its castle and Marvão with its castle and Roman ruins Ammaia. In the village visit the Casa Museu Jose Regio, the cathedral, the castle and the city museum. It is a pretty quiet place where people were very friendly. The proximity to Spain makes it a very appetizing Portuguese destination.