Suggestions in this region 7 Regions ALENTEJO - ÉVORA
Vista do Castelo de Estremoz
Barragem do Divor, Arraiolos
Castelo de Arraiolos
Tapete de Arraiolos
Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa
Artesanato regional
Templo Romano
Sé Catedral de Évora
Praça do Giraldo


Jewels in the plain

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Urbano Tavares Rodrigues once said that there is no other so "beautifully Portuguese" landscape as the one of the Alentejo made of olive trees, cork oak and cereal fields. It is generally regarded as a dry region, but there are plenty of reservoirs here: Monte Novo, Torres, Vigia, Lucefecit, Tourega or Divor.


The region presents an endless richness and a diversified architectural, historical, archaeological and natural heritage. There are cave engravings in Escoural Cave and Megalithic constructions (dolmens, menhir, such as Outeiro menhir, Almendres cromlech or Zambujeiro dolmen), medieval and Muslim castles, churches and chapels, hermitages with Roman, Visigoth and Mudejar influences, as well as the marks of Manueline and Baroque style. The military architecture of different ages can be seen in the numerous existing castles, like Arraiolos, Viana do Alentejo or Montemor-o-Novo. In terms of handicraft, the main highlights of the district are Arraiolos tapestry, clay and marble works of Estremoz or Alcáçovas bells.


The district's capital, Évora, is UNESCO World Heritage Site. A harmoniously urban set, which has been exceptionally preserved, catches the eye of the visitor. A bike path along the old Ramal de Mora railway network is a good way to discover the region either on foot or by bike towards Arraiolos. The cities of Estremoz and Vila Viçosa are also quite interesting, as far as heritage is concern. The later is deeply related to the last kings of Portugal.


Local cuisine is based on pork and lamb meat, olive oil, bread and aromatic herbs from the surrounding fields, converting a poor-resourced cuisine in an imaginative menu deeply rooted in the popular universe. From the "açorda" (mashed bread speciality) to stews, from school shark soup to game bird dishes, all of these specialities served with regional wines. The mix of Arab and convent-based influences, which passed from generation to generation, has shaped many recipes: golden soup, "pão de rala" (bread filled with soft eggs), "encharcada" (of the Convent of Santa Clara), "barrigas de freira" (egg and sugar-based dessert), "toucinho de madre abadessa" (sweet made of eggs, almonds, butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon), "queijadas" (small cakes made of cheese), "gadanhas" (almond and egg-based sweet), curd cheese cake and sericá (soufflé made of eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon).


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