Beautifully Preserved Medieval Évora
Albergaria do Calvário, 2 nights in a superior room just inside the walls of Évora. Easy to see why this is #1 on TripAdvisor – Everything was a YES, the way a hotel should be run!
We got into Évora about 1:00, dropped off the luggage and got some advice on what to see this afternoon in Évora. Plenty of time for the Cathedral, including the views from the rooftop and the museum, the Saint Francis church and bone chapel, and some time to enjoy the public garden nearby.
2000 BC Megalithic Stones – the Almendres Cromlech
The next day was a drive west to the 2000BC megalithic stones called the Almendres Cromlech – the Portugese Stonehenge in a cork tree grove. The idea of these structures placed in a huge circle by ancient people thousands of years BC is boggling, but any carvings on the stones couldn’t be seen, not by us anyway.
A side benefit to coming to this site was the up close view of the cork trees – I think we both enjoyed that more than the megalithic complex, particularly since the stones were crawling with a bus load of teenagers, American kids no less!
Leaving the Cromlech complex we headed east to the hilltop fortified town of Monsaraz. Beautiful views across the Alentejo and look at all that water!
The pretty white town of Monsaraz was very quiet with only a couple of us tourists around.
Marble, marble, and more marble – Vila Viçosa
We could have ended the driving tour there, returning to Evora the way we came, but we went north on the deserted N255 through some beautiful rolling countryside to stop in Vila Viçosa, a marble town. Marble sidewalks, marble doorframes, marble window frames, mountains of marble surrounding the town, like a giant had dumped some marble detritus around at random. The dukes of Braganza had made this place their home, but on Monday the palace was closed so all we did was climb the wall of the castle for a view around, head over to the palace for a closer look and then back to Evora.
Great Eats: Dinner at Botequim da Mouraria in Évora, delicious and unique – try the Lombinhos de Porco Preto (Black Pork Tenderloin).
Travel: Drive from Évora to Coimbra – 2.5 hours.