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Travelling in Alentejo lands

A passionate testimony of a travel in Alentejo, Portugal where we have found places with an enormous diversity in history, gastronomy and nature yet unknown for us. The hospitality and simplicity from local people is also excellent.

The main visiting places with stops between the routes are: Mora; Pavia e Avis.

We have travelled from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal to the village of Mora in Alentejo, a distance of about 120kms. Mora distances to North about 60kms from Évora, the capital of Alentejo. By our experience, the travel itself has a very pleasant view, so we cross the impressive Vasco da Gama bridge to Alcochete city direction. Great part of the route is done by the national N119 where it can be seen rice fields up, flocks of sheep, herd of cows and cork trees along the beautiful landscape.

Ponte Vasco da Gama (Imagem de Walkerssk from Pixabay)
Bridge of Vasco da Gama (Image of Walkerssk from Pixabay)

Our host was Mr.Jaime manager of the Solar dos Lilazes. The hotel is in charm stylish with its walls in fresco paintings. Mr. Jaime very friendly has drawn for us a sketch to our daily tour in a hot, bright and quite Monday. As an introduction we were told we were in a rich region in fresh waters rivers with really good fish where time to time there are international fish competition.

The first point to visit was the village of Mora and its attractions surroundings. Then, in the morning, we have planned visiting the Megalithic Museum. We haven’t remembered it was Monday, day of the week the museums are closed. However, it is worthwhile to mention a visiting due its megalithic period heritage in council of Mora.

Megalithic Museum in Mora

With the tummy already giving signs, we have chosen first to eat, before we start our journey. Mr. Jaime has suggested two options where having a lunch – the Afonso or the Morense restaurants. Both are in the Mora village

Secretos of black pork meat

The Morense restaurant was closed, so we have chosen the Afonso restaurant. Our choice of the main dish has pendent to the Secretos of black pork meat, typical plate of the region of Alentejo, thereby very delicious.

After lunch, we have visited the Fluviário an aquarium about 8kms from Mora. This aquarium has surprised us in a positive way, so in this site we have found species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians and otters geographically distributed in fresh waters from the source up to the river mouth, covering Portugal, the Amazon and the great African rift lakes. To the kids, there is a didactic attractive room, with contents and scientific tools helping to discover many of the fishes species.

Exterior part of Fluviário
A view of fishes from Fluviário (I)

A view of fishes from Fluviário (II)

We, visitants in Fluviário

On the way to Pavia by the N251, we have visited the cromlech of the Monte of Fontainhas. It is part of the distribution of the megalithic monuments of the western Alentejo. The image shows the menhirs of Fontainhas

Cromeleque do Monte das Fontainhas
Cromlech of Monte of Fontainhas

Once in Pavia, we have visited the Anta-Chapel of São Diniz one of the most beautiful chapels. If we go back on time, this site was one of the megalithic which afterwards has been converted into a chapel of Baroque and Romanesque style. Access to its interior is done by an iron gate. There you can enjoy the tiles from the XVIII century and its walls with its irregulars geometries. It is considered national monument.

Anta Capela
Exterior Anta Chapel in Pavia

Anta Capela
Interior Anta Chapel in Pavia

Yet in Pavia, we have visited the church Matriz of XVI century. It was closed, and from its exterior, we have observed an architectonic style of what normally the fortress shows that is, in shape of castellated silhouette. Without entering too much into history, this church has served de guardian of the Earls of Redondo. About one hundred meters from the church we have found a fantastic sightseeing showing a typical landscape of Alentejo

Igreja Matriz
Church of Matriz

Paisagem Alentejana
A typical landscape of Alentejo

We continue to travel by the N370 on the way to the beautiful village of Avis. Before we reach Avis, we turned on into Maranhão’s dam. We were impressed by the landscape in particular with the river where in its margins stand out some rocks of large thickness. It is an excellent local to stop the car, breathing the clean air, relaxing and taking some photos across the bridge.

Albugeira Barragem MaranhãoRiver in Maranhão dam

The beautiful rocks with the rainbow in Maranhão dam

Bridge of Maranhão dam

When we left Maranhão dam in direction to Avis village, thermometers were registering 37ºC (degrees Celsius). Once in village of Avis with our bodies feeling the heat of Alentejo, we haven’t resisted bathing in one of the nice fluvial beach nearby at Nautico club. The water temperature was very good giving us too much joy.

Praia Fluvial Clube NauticoFluvial beach of Nautico club in Avis

Praia Fluvial Alentejo
Bathing at fluvial beach of Avis

Praia Fluvial Avis
The calmness of the beach

After some refreshments and a pause at nautico club, we have visited the historical area of Avis. With the car running through the narrow roads almost touching the little white houses we parked at the square of Convent. Immediately we noticed we were at one village once medieval, with the beautiful panorama of Porta da Vila at the hill. Then, we have walked around the Tower of Queen at the castle of Avis, when our eyes were surprised by a set of rivers, an picturesque image.

Largo do Covento Avis

Square of Convent in Avis

Torre da Rainha castelo Avis
The Tower of Queen from the Avis castle

Praia Fluvial Avis
A view of Avis Portal

With the Sun set on the horizon, the returning way to Lisbon was done through Mora via Ponte de Sor city by the N2 along of the extensive river of the dam of Montargil

Barragem de MontargilMontargil river's dam

We ended up our tour amazed by those places in contact with nature, history, gastronomy and by the welcoming people of Alentejo.

We believe our testimony will help whole lovers for travelling in discovering and enjoying more and better the region of Alentejo as well as bringing peace, tranquillity and wellbeing as those places offer

Thanks to Manuel Manero for his recommendations about blogging

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Rui Vasconcelos

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