Portalegre: Travel and tourism

Portalegre lies on one of the sides of the Serra de São Mamede, a mountainous range with a variety of fauna and flora part of which has now been designated a natural park. Eagles, deers and wild boars, for example, live among woods of chestnut trees and oaks, while megaliths indicate that it was inhabited in Pre-historic times. Portalegre itself is of Roman origin, though it is filled with fine Renaissance and Baroque mansions.

Castelo de Vide, on another green slope of the Serra de São Mamede, is known for its curative waters since Roman times and its castle, that gave the town its name and was rebuilt in 1310, was greatly damaged by an explosion in 1705.

From the castle in Marvão, spectacularly set on an escarpment facing the Serra de São Mamede and Spain, splendid views can be enjoyed over the fertile plains. This small and tranquil medieval town is completely enclosed by walls, with whitewashed houses blending into the granite of the moutains.

Near Crato, whose castle remains in ruins, the monastery and church of Flor da Rosa, built in 1356, have been turned into the Pousada da Flor da Rosa.

Other towns to visit are Alter do Chão, with its five-towered castle and gothic portal, and Campo Maior, with its rather morbid Capela dos Ossos (Bones Chapel), dated from 1766 and entirely covered with human bones.

Elvas, just a few kilometres from the border, is a busy city due to this neighbourhood, but offers a Roman-Moorish castle and an imposing 16th-century aqueduct which surrounds the old town.
Pousada de Santa Luzia Pousada de Santa Luzia
This was the first of the Pousadas de Portugal, opened in 1942, a fine example of typical Alentejo architecture. Today, it offers its guests not only all possible comfort but also the best regional cuisine, especially the renowned bacalhau dourado (golden codfish) and its famous dish of pork trotters in a coriander marinade.

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