Évora: Travel and tourism

One of the main attractions of Alentejo is that, while you can enjoy vast open spaces still unspoilt by tourism, the towns and villages offer a wide variety of architectural styles, monuments and historical sites, often inserted in landscapes of great beauty. Such is the case of this district.

Évora, the capital, declared in 1986 by the UNESCO a World Heritage Site, more than justifies this choice: an enchanting walled city, with an unique atmosphere in the streets of the old town, filled with restaurants and handicraft shops, and historical monuments like the ruins of the Roman temple, the 15th-century Convent of Lóios (now the luxurious Pousada dos Lóios) and the cathedral begun in 1186, together with houses exhibiting bright white arcades and balconies of wrought iron. In spite of its historical interest, the fact of being an university town brings it new life.

A royal atmosphere can be felt in Vila Viçosa, where an elaborate palace was begun in 1501; you can visit its rooms with rich furniture, armouries and treasury, along with a coach museum.

At Redondo, also known for its wine, the ruins of the castle enhance its medieval atmosphere, and its famous pottery still depicts Roman-style jugs and casseroles.

Arraiolos, with its 14th-century castle, is especially known for its rare handmade carpets and tapestries, while in Estremoz you can enjoy a lively weekly market, in this medieval city dominated by the Tower of the Three Castles (13th century) and the adjoining castle and palace, lodging the Pousada da Rainha Santa Isabel.
Hotel Ibis Évora Hotel Ibis Évora
$$ (30 to 50 euros)

The Ibis Évora hotel is located 700 metres away from the city centre, facing the muncipal park and close to the bullfighting ring. The hotel is a five-minute walk from the historical centre, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is ideal for a visit to the nearby Roman temple or to the megalithic sites, 12 kilometres from Évora.

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