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BEJA with extension to PISÕES, ERVIDEL and FERREIRA DO ALENTEJO
It was to Beja that Julius Caesar summoned the counsellors of all peninsular cities to celebrate the “Pax Ivlia”.
Highlights: Portas de Mértola (Gates of Mértola), Castle and Patriarchal Cathedral.

Roman village of Pisões
Occupied between the 1st century B.C. and the 4th century A.D., its main attractions are the mosaics with geometric and naturalistic patterns.

Taverns of Ervidel
The village of Ervidel is famous for its fine wine and taverns. Highlight for the Regional Museum.

Chapel of Calvario in Ferreira do Alentejo
With its circular configuration, the chapel is the Ex-libris of the village.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant. 

 
 

ALMENDRES and MONSARAZ: STONES THAT SPEAK
These gigantic stones are the work of the primitive Neolithic man, dated from about 5 thousand years ago.

Stone Circles of Almendres and Dolmen of Zambujeiro
Both located within the civil parish of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, these structures count among the most important megalithic monuments of the Iberian Peninsula.

Menhir of Belhôa, Monsaraz
Carved on this menhir are a sun-like disc, a series of wavy lines and a staff.

Sweetheart Rock
Pedra dos Namorados” is an unusal natural monolith. To this day, tradition dictates that single girls throw rocks at it, on Ester Monday. Any stone that fails to land on top of the menhir, represents a year before the girl will have the chance to get married.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

 

ÉVORA: MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS OF THE ALENTEJO BY JEEP
Set against the plains of the Alentejo, this jeep tour takes you to important landmarks of the megalithic heritage of the region. Built by the primitive man of the Neolithic, these megaliths carry a symbolic message from our ancestors, still worthy of study today.

Highlights:
Stone Circles of Almendres and Dolmen of Zambujeiro
Both located within the civil parish of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, these structures count among the most important megalithic monuments of the Iberian Peninsula.

Menhir of Belhôa, Monsaraz
Carved on this menhir are a sun-like disc, a series of wavy lines and a staff.

Sweetheart Rock
Pedra dos Namorados” is an unusal natural monolith. To this day, tradition dictates that single girls throw rocks at it, on Ester Monday. Any stone that fails to land on top of the menhir, represents a year before the girl will have the chance to get married.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: 8-passenger jeeps with driver, English-speaking guide, lunch in local restaurant. Minimum of 6 persons.

 

ALCÁCER DO SAL and MIRÓBRIGA: THE ROMAN LEGACY
Greek architecture was meant to be looked upon from the outside. Roman architecture, on the other hand, took people indoors. 
Highlights: Archeological center of Alcácer do Sal, the Roman Forum, the Main Church and the Municipal Museum.

Roman Village of Miróbriga, Santiago do Cacém

The ancient Romans developed an architecture focused on grand interior spaces, flanked by arches, domes and vaulted ceilings.

Municipal Windmill of Santiago do Cacém
Totally refurbished, it is still operating, making the grinding of wheat possible if the wind be favorable.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.
 

ALTER DO CHÃO and AVIS
The Romans founded Elteri (Alter do Chão) in 204 B.C., but destroyed it during the reign of Hadrian, when its inhabitants were accused of being disloyal. Repopulation was only to occur during the 13th century.
Highlights: Castle, Church of Misericórdia, Álamo Palace.

Royal Stables of Alter do Chão
Founded in 1748 by King D. João V, the Royal Stables recovered the Lusitano horse – a breed perfect for dressage.

Avis
The first reference to the place of Avis in Portuguese medieval documents dates from the 13th century. During the period of the Reconquista (reconquering of Portuguese territories from Muslim control), the Knights of St. Benedict settled in the village and would later change their name to Order of Aviz.
Highlights: Castle and Church of São Bento de Avis, doors in manueline style, Church of Nossa Senhora da Orada.

The Abreu Callado Foundation
The winery keeps faithful to the traditional methods of wine making and ageing. The Algerian amphoras, dating from 1956, are still fully operacional.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

 

MARVÃO and CASTELO DE VIDE: TOUCHING THE BLUE SKY
Marvão: the Roman Town of Ammaia
Built on the top of the mountain, right into the rock, its history tells us that it was difficult to populate. But in modern times, whoever enters the city walls never wishes to leave. For reasons which are yet to be determined, between the 5th and the 9th centuries A.D., the town of Ammaia was victim to a natural disaster, which buried it, thus conserving it until our days.
Highlights: old houses, Castle, Main Church.

Castelo de Vide
Military architecture sheltered the city and its inhabitants with imposing walls, ramparts and towers.
Highlights: Jewish quarters, Synagogue, Castle.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

 

ARRAIOLOS, PAVIA, AVIS, MORA and BROTAS: ROOFTOPS MADE OF HEAVEN
Pavia
Portuguese doctor and author Fernando Namora practiced here during the nineteen-forties, often including its people and landscapes in his novels.
Highlights: Chapel (dolmen) of S. Dinis, Main Church.

Village of Avis
The village developed in the shadow of the Military Order of Aviz. Remains of its influence are still visible today.
Highlights: Church of the Convent of S. Bento, Main Church.

Village of Brotas
Its origin owes much to the ancient village of Águias, with its tower built in manueline style.
Highlights: Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora de Brotas, traditional pottery.

10.00h - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

 

MÉRTOLA and the MINES of S. DOMINGOS: IN GREEN AND MANGANESE
Mértola is a “Village Museum”, which showcases 5 centuries of Muslim occupation; from tiles, lime-plaster, pottery and weaving to the name of the surrounding villages and the mosque turned church.
Highlights: Castle, Main Church, Islamic Art Center, Roman House, Paleo-christian Basilica.

Mines of S. Domingos
Before the copper ore ran out in 1965, a British company ran the mines. Miners and their families lived in one-room houses with no windows. Today, it is a ghost town promoted to industrial archeological site.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


SERPA and MOURA: HISTORY AND FLAVOURS OF THE ALENTEJO
Serpa
Behind the plains and the olive groves and the white houses, lies a naked landscape. In contrast, the village is a pleasant surprise. Surrounded by stone walls, it shelters monuments and the famous sheep cheese.
Highlights: Castle, Archeology Museum.

Moura
Pastures and wheat fields as far as the eye can see, land of vineyards and olive groves, this is the fertile soil where Romans and Arabs alike planted a strong influence.
Highlights: Castle, Church of São João Baptista, roman spa, olive press of Varas de Fojo.

Monte dos Cotéis, with wine and cheese tasting
The estate owns 2000 sheep. It produces the Serpa cheese, cottage cheese, wine and olive oil, which are on sale on the premises.
 
10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

ALVITO and VIDIGUEIRA: HISTORY AND FLAVOURS OF THE ALENTEJO
Alvito has a rich legacy from the manueline period: arch and ogive shaped doors, sunny churches and sunny houses, tiles and marble archways.
Highlights: Hermitage of São Sebastião, 13th century Quarry, Main Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, manueline gates.

Roman Villa of S. Cucufate
This villa was established during the 1st century A.D.. The first of its kind, it was owned by a rich family, judging from the abundance and quality of the building materials.

Vidigueira’s Municipal Museum
Showcases the evolution of primary education and economic development of the region from the nineteen-thirties onwards, through the display of objects related to local trades, commerce, agriculture and small industry.

Tasting of regional delicacies such as wine and cheese at Herdade Grande.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

SANTIAGO DO CACÉM: THROUGH THE TRAIL OF SANTIAGO (St. James? Way)
Many medieval men had few or little possessions and were constantly moving from place to place. Travelers holding or bending over a staff, which would later become their symbol. The hermit, the pilgrim, the beggar and the sick; travelers all.
Highlights: Castle, Main Church, Chapel of the Almas (souls).

Santiago do Cacém’s Municipal Museum
Displays include coins and other archeological artifacts since the Upper Paleolithic.

Roman Village of Miróbriga

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


FLOR DA ROSA and CRATO: MONKS AND WARRIORS
On their return from Jerusalem, some pilgrims and knights of the Order of Malta brought back a sacred relic from the holy city, carried on the back of a mule.
Highlights: Monastery, Church of Flor da Rosa.

Winery Tapada do Chaves

Crato
This village was included in a donation from king D. Sancho II to the powerful Order of Hospitallers, who established their seat there around 1350. Such was the village’s significance that kings D. Manuel I and D. João III were wedded there.
Highlights: Municipal Museum, balcony of the Grand-Prior, traditional pottery.

Horse-drawn carriage ride.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.



MONSARAZ and REDONDO: HISTORY AND TRADITION
The medieval walled city of Monsaraz was conquered from the Moors in 1167 by Geraldo “Sem-Pavor” (“Fearless” Geraldo), who offered it to the Order of the Templars. Nevertheless, its location continued to expose the city to attacks from the Spaniards during the following centuries.
Highlights: Town Cistern (reservoir), Main Church, Audience Hall, Castle.

Redondo
Located at the heart of one of Alentejo’s wine regions, this village is also well known for its traditional pottery.
Highlights: Main Church, Wine Museum.

Winery of Redondo - visit with wine tasting

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


ALVITO and VIANA DO ALENTEJO: HISTORY AND FLAVOURS
Alvito has a rich legacy from the manueline period: arch and ogive shaped doors, sunny churches and sunny houses, tiles and marble archways.
Highlights: Hermitage of São Sebastião, 13th century Quarry, Main Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, manueline gates.

Castle of King D. Dinis in Viana do Alentejo
Construction began during the reign of King D. Dinis and it was totally refurbished under King D. João II. Together with the castle of Alvito, the castle of Viana do Alentejo is a unique fortress from the late gothic period. Holes in the castle walls are vertical slit or cruciform in shape, adapted for both arrow and cross-bow shooting.

Visit to a local pottery center.

Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora de Aires
This sanctuary has been attracting pilgrims since 1743. Its inner walls are totally covered with votive offerings, which humility contrasts with the rich golden canopy of the choir stalls.
 

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


ARRAIOLOS and MONTE DA RAVASQUEIRA: A DAY AT THE FARM
Arraiolos was probably founded by the Sabines, Tusculanos and Albanos, as far back as the 2nd century B.C. According with most authors, its name derives from the Greek governor Rayeo or Rayo.
Highlights: Castle with its circular ramparts, traditional Arraiolos tapestry.

Monte da Ravasqueira
From the different types of vineyards which cover the slopes of the estate, comes one of the best wines in the Alentejo.
Highlights: Vineyards, Winery, Carriage Museum, Riding Arena for Lusitano horses. Wine tasting.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


ÉVORA AND THE INQUISITION
The Inquisition was introduced in Portugal by the Papal bull of 23rd March 1536, published in Évora, where King D. João III lived at the time. Ignatius of Loyola intervened personally before the Pope, to foster the Portuguese King’s intentions. Some of the most heinous inquisitors in history set their hands to work here. Men such as Portuguese João de Melo and Spaniard Alvarez de Paredes, to whom is attributed the invention of the “subterranean caves”, where prisoners were left to die trapped between two walls. In 1963, refurbishment work done to the Palace of the Inquisition, brought to day light this macabre discovery: human skeletons were found in the most dramatic of positions.
Highlights: Cathedral, Church of Graça, Jewish quarters, Giraldo Square, Palace of the Inquisition.

Visit to Cartuxa Winnery
250 acres of vineyard provide established quality wines such as “Pêra Manca”, “Adega da Cartuxa” and “EA”.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

 

VILA VIÇOSA and REDONDO: A WIDER PORTUGAL
Palace of the Dukes of Vila Viçosa
Inspired by Italian renaissance architecture, it is divided into three floors according with the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. It faces one of the widest squares in Portugal, which boast sixteen thousand square meters of broad unhindered space.

Castle of Vila Viçosa
There is evidence of tombstones and traces of the military route the Romans built, connecting Évora and Mérida, the then-capital of Lusitânia.

Guided tour of Redondo’s Winery and Wine Museum

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


ESTREMOZ: JUST ROSES, MY LORD
King D. Dinis and Princess Isabel of Aragon wedded in Estremoz on the 26th of June 1282. He was 21 and she but 12. Isabel was to die in the city on the 4th July 1336. Following a request from King D. Manuel I, she was beatified in 1516 by Pope Leon X. 289 years after her death, Isabel was canonised by Pope Urban VIII, and became known as the holy Queen. She is said to have turned bread into roses, in order to avoid the anger of the king who did not approve of her many charitable activities.
Highlights: Church of Santa Maria, Chapel of the Holly Queen, Palace of D. Dinis, Municipal Museum.

Winnery J. Portugal Ramos Vinhos

The building keeps with the traditional architecture of the Alentejo. Included in the wine region of Borba, the estate has 300 acres of vineyard which produces quality wines as varied as Aragonez, Trincadeira and Antão Vaz. Taste of regional wines and cheeses.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.

CASTRO VERDE: STORIES AND TRADITIONS
The Main Church of Castro Verde marks the passage of D. Sebastião through the village in 1573. The tiles which cover the inner walls are from the 17th century and depict scenes from the Battle of Ourique.
Highlights: Royal Basilica, Church of Chagas, Church of Misericórdia, traditional pottery.

Lucerna Museum – guided tour
Displays an important and unique collection of roman pottery oil lamps (lucernas) from the 1st century A.D., discovered in 1994 in the village of Santa Bárbara dos Padrões. A few hundreds are on display, decorated with scenes from the daily life of the period and mythological characters.

Ethnograpic center of Monte das Oliveiras – guided tour
Displays an important testimonial of agricultural stock-breeding over the years. An activity still at the core of life on the plains of the Alentejo.

S. Pedro das Cabeças - stop-over
According to some historians and to local believe, this is the place where the Battle of Ourique was held.

10h00 - Pick up at the hotel
18h00 – Drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees to museums and lunch in local restaurant.


ALQUEVA DAM
Water is a scarce commodity. And, in the Alentejo –the driest region in Portugal – its scarcity assumes even greater proportions. This hydric and energetic resource is stored in and made available by the Alqueva dam, an infrastructure which requires rigorous sustainability criteria. For the unique features of the Alentejo and being the Alqueva the largest artificial lake in Europe, the dam means an increase in tourism and the consequent economic development of both the region and the country.

Full day. Pick up and drop off at the hotel
Includes: Transportation, English-speaking guide and boat ride with lunch on board
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