What to do in Évora? The ultimate travel guide

Évora

Are you looking for a place to get away from Portugal’s urban buzz? Évora is the spot for you.
With a university, architecture dating back to 16 century, and Roman Ruins; you will never regret coming here.

In 1986, UNESCO named Évora a World Heritage Site. In a rural setting, Évora is a dream
holiday spot. You get a chance to explore the entire Alentejo region. You will have enough to
see in vineyards, cork trees, and olive. It is also a great chance to educate yourself on Portugal’s
wine culture.

While you are here, you would want to go beyond the town. There are captivating villages to
quench your thirst for adventure. Particularly, Monsaraz, Vila Viçosa, and Estremoz are worth
your time. The houses here are whitewashed; the streets are narrow, and there are castles from
the medieval era.

Quick Evora Facts

  • Évora is at the heart of Alentejo’s wine region
  • It is the capital of Alentejo
  • It is home to approximately 56,000 people
  • From Lisbon, it is 85 miles or 135 kilometers to the southeast

When is the best time to visit Évora?

The summer heat of Alentejo is unforgiving. Daytime temperatures can reach 90℉/30℃.

Therefore, autumn and spring are the best seasons to visit. At this time, the flowers are bright, the earth dry, and the plains yellow.

Getting to Évora from Lisbon

The most efficient way to travel to Evora from Lisbon is by car. You have the flexibility of time.
You can also use a bus or train to get there.

Why Évora is worth adding to your Bucket list

All of Évora is a UNESCO Heritage site with global recognition. A visit here is more like walking into an open-air museum.

The town walls have done a great job preserving the ancient streets and the buildings.

The place is overflowing with history and culture from the past centuries. It is not a surprise that tons of tourists make Évora a must-visit Portugal destination.

Nevertheless, that does not mean you will find hordes of foreign tourists in Évora as it is with other attractions.

As you travel the Alentejan roads, you can tell this is a journey you should have made a long time ago.

The landscape is like a scene from a fantasy movie. On the inside of the walls, you will open ancient chapters to Roman era with medieval architecture.

There are convents and palaces; all adding to the richness of Portugal’s golden age.

Religion has had its say of influence in Évora. The churches are a constant reminder of that. Colégio do Espírito Santo translated as Holy Spirit College is the most significant evidence of how religion is at the center of the town’s progress.

In that beauty and centuries of history and culture; you will be most impressed by the warmth of the locals.

You can come alone, family, or friends, and you will make a mental note to visit again.

What to Do in Évora

There is a lot to do in Évora. You cannot do it all in a day. Stay longer, and you will find out why the Alentejo region is the tourist paradise.

1. Visit the Roman Temple

Believed to be built in the first century, the remains of this temple are still evident. It was one of
the most outstanding Roman monuments in all of Portugal. Rumor has it that it was linked to
Julius Caesar.

2. Wine Tasting

Alentejo has a rich history in wine tasting, and Évora is where all the action goes down.

Welcome to a string of global-accredited wineries ready to spoil your taste buds with the best wines from the region.

Be keen to visit Adega Cartuxa, João Portugal Ramos Vinhos, and Herdade do Esporão wineries.

They serve the best wine flavors. You should make reservations in good time.

3. Sample the Alentejan Cuisine


You cannot be in Évora and miss to taste the Alentejan cuisine. They make them local, and you will lick your fingers.

The soup is a big thing around here. There is the toucinho, which is a blend of bacon, purslane, and tomatoes. Cação made from fish is also a delicacy you must try. Acorda is the local name for broth.

However, it is not mere broth. It consists of bread, eggs, water, coriander, and olive oil. It best accompanies meals of meat, grilled sardine, or codfish.

4. Explore the Villages

There is a lot to see as well as do in the town, but it will not harm your stay to venture farther into the villages.

You will have fun and learn if you visit Monsaraz, Vila Vicosa, and Estromoz.

You will be treated to spectacular sightings with a medieval theme in everything.

If you still have more time at hand, head to Alqueva Dam. It is the largest manmade lake in Europe.

5. Take a Walk to Capela dos Ossos

It is called the Chapel of Bones. It is Evora’s most famous sight. The walls of the chapel line up with skulls and bones from not less than 5,000 people. It is the monks of St Francis Church who decided to do something about the overcrowding graveyards. The free land was put into good use by the locals.

6. Visit Cromeleque dos Almedres

The most striking sight is the 100 granite monoliths forming an impressive circular shape. The history of this monument goes all way back to the 6th and 5th centuries. However, its discovery was only five decades ago. The locals call it the Portuguese Stonehenge.

7. A tour of the Se (Cathedral)

Do you love exploring architecture from the ancient era? The Cathedral is a blend of both gothic
and Roman architecture. The first stone was laid in the 13th century and completed in the 14th
century. The portal at the entry is eye-catching with sculptures of all the apostles. Venture farther
inside, and you will come to the cloister. There is also the Sacred Art Museum that will leave
you with a dropping jaw in admiration.

8. End your Visit at Praça do Giraldo

It is the town’s main square. There are shops, arcades, and cafes. Admire the central fountain, which was built in 1571. At one time, the fountain was the source of water for the residents. Where to Stay at Évora

After long hours of sightseeing, a warm shower, a delicious meal, and a night of relaxation is
always a big welcome. Evora has some of the best hotels serving delicious meals and worth
every penny you pay. Here is our vetted list of where you can stay;

9. Alentejo Marmoris Hotel & Spa

When you find yourself at Vila Vicosa village and looking for a place to rest for the night, the Marmoris hotel will not disappoint. There are swimming pools in and outside the premise. You can take a dive into the cold water before heading for dinner. There is also a spa to work on your muscles and get rid of fatigue. At the restaurant, you will be served with the authentic Alentejan delicacies. The place is quiet, thus a perfect choice to relax and be ready for the following day’s
itinerary.

10. L’AND Vineyards

This L’AND Vineyard is a cut above the rest in and around Montemor-0-Novo village. The
serenity is something else and will give a paradise experience. Equally admirable is the
exceptional architecture. This hotel is not only your place to stay but is also packaged a visitors’
attraction. You will do well to choose the sky suite. Its ceiling opens up to the heavens. You will
fall asleep fast as you count the stars. For relaxation, there are two pools and a sauna. You have a
chance to get rid of all the day’s sweat before heading to the in-house restaurant for a befitting
meal.

11. Vila Gale Évora

From the old city walls, it is only a walk away from this quiet nest. After hours of exploring the town and villages, a heated-water swim is all you would need. Vila Gale Evora has heated pools, one at the outside and the other indoors. The rooms have simple decorations ready to lull you into a baby’s slumber.

12. Pousada Castelo de Estremoz

Exploring the Estremoz village is one of the must-do things while you are at Evora. After you are done with sightseeing and want a place to refresh, eat, and sleep; there is an ancient castle you can call home. The castle’s history began in the 13th century. It was the home for Queen Santa Isabel many centuries ago. Its décor has been upgraded to 18th-century style. At the top, you get an idyllic view of the Alentejo landscape. There is a garden for nature lovers. You also have a swimming pool when the heat is more than you can handle.

Portugal may be home to some of the best spots for sightseeing, but Évora is in a league of its own. It is a paradise offering a blend of rural-urban experience. You can plan your visit for a few hours, a day or more to explore the ancient culture and rich history of this Alentejo Paradise.

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