Why you need to visit Évora, Alentejo
Ah Évora! What to say about the capital of Alentejo, Évora is the first name that comes to mind as a starting point to get to know the region. With about 57 thousand inhabitants, it is a small, calm and quiet town, with typical Portuguese cobbled streets, lined with whitewashed houses whiter than snow and with yellow painted strips that lead us to an immediate feeling of joy. Then there is the gastronomy, a delight for gods and common mortals, the simplicity of the people that comfort and fill us with hope and the historical and cultural buildings that give unity to the urban fabric of the city that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. But what makes Évora even more special is the mix between the historic monuments, with the modern life of the University of Évora and its young students, and the rehabilitation of farms and hotels. It is a perfect place to get lost in the next 48 hours. To top it off this itinerary was chosen by a local, with great taste. If you doubt it, here’s the proof.
9 am Leave the Évora Olive Hotel and walk towards Praça do Giraldo to drink a coffee or simply enjoy the most important square in the city, the fountain and its shops and terraces. Then, pay a visit to the Cathedral of Évora and don’t miss its viewpoint. The ticket for the cathedral, the cloister and the tower costs: from 3.5 €.
Then, go to the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, where you can learn more about the history of Adega Cartuxa and always have art and culture exhibitions taking place, usually free of charge. If you have time, the Museu de Évora, or Museu Nacional Frei Manuel do Cenáculo, is also a place to visit with a varied collection and entrance fee of 3€ for adults; 1.5€ for young people, students and seniors; free admission: Sundays and holidays until 2pm.
One last stop before lunch, the Roman Temple or Temple of Diana for a classic travel photo and fresh water in the Garden of the Roman Temple in front of the Palace of Cadaval.
1:00 pm For a very typical lunch, the Dom Joaquim restaurant is recommended (average price from 20€ per person), where the most popular dishes are lamb in the oven and soup with dogfish.
2:30 pm Start the afternoon with a visit to the University of Évora, a place full of history, built for the religious order of the Jesuits. The most important and most visited part is the Colégio do Espírito Santo. Open to the public and free.
After visiting the university, a stroll through the Public Garden and a short stop at one of its banks is recommended. Energies replenished and head to the emblematic and sinister Chapel of Bones and the Church of São Francisco, it is an interesting place to visit that refers to the insignificance of our existence as humans. Normal ticket from 2€; 1.5€ for young and seniors.
8 pm For dinner, after such a busy day, a good option is Mercearia Eborim with sausage and ham mix and varied Portuguese cuisine (average price 35€ per person).
9h A calmer morning is reserved for today. 17 km from Évora is the portuguese Stonehenge, Cromeleques dos Almendres, this is the largest megalithic monument on the Peninsula. It is closely linked to pagan worship, in addition to observations of astronomy – which, as we know, at the time, was not a science so far removed from spirituality. Take the opportunity to do a meditation in contact with nature, listen to the noise of birds and observe the traces of the Alentejo plain.
1 pm When it’s time to eat, head to Origens, a signature cuisine restaurant where the concept is to share the food that comes to the table. (Prices: from 25 €)
2:30 pm Visit to the Adega da Cartuxa, 3km from the city, where you can enjoy the unique surroundings of Quinta de Valbom, its history, and visit the building where Adega Cartuxa was founded. It is recommended a guided tour of 1h30 with wine and olive oil tasting (prices starting from 10 €).
5:30 pm At snack time, the suggestion is «A Fábrica dos Pastéis», a pastry known for its tasty custard tarts. Another option for those who like a good snack, «Quiçá», close to Praça do Giraldo, a café with good vibes and international style snacks such as pancakes, smoothies or wraps.
Our program has ended. But have to mention that if the tour is during the week, it is worth visiting the Évora Public Library, in Largo Conde de Vila Flor, which recently underwent restoration works.
If these suggestions are more than enough to make you visit Évora, stay tuned to our blog where we will continue to give you reasons to visit Évora, among other beautiful cities in Portugal.