The Region > Places To Visit

Portalegre

The bustling town of Portalegre is one of the largest manufacturers of tapestries in Europe, and there is a modern and fascinating tapestry museum located in the old part of the town. The castle, which dates back to the fourteenth century, has been largely destroyed to accommodate the modern town, though parts can still be seen forming archways over streets or walls of houses. There is also a cathedral which was founded in 1556.
Distance from Tapada do Falcao: 8 kms

Alegrete

The pretty hilltop village of Alegrete is visible from Tapada do Falcão, and is well worth a visit. It is believed to have originated as a fortified hill town of the Iron Age and the many Roman remains that have been found indicate long Roman occupation. The castle dates from the 14th century and has recently undergone a certain amount of restoration; you can still see the medieval battlements, ramparts and tower, and Gothic doorways. Try to find Tapada do Falcao from the binoculars! The village itself is a network of steep narrow streets and quaint, traditional houses with distinctive arched doorways.
Distance from Tapada do Falcao: 8 kms

Castelo de Vide

The attractive spa town of Castelo de Vide was a border defence post for centuries, as its old walled town and ruined castle suggest, and was first fortified by the Romans. The pretty, narrow cobbled streets are good to explore and in the old Jewish quarter you will come upon an ancient synagogue dating from the 13th century. The Senhora da Penha Chapel, on the mountain peak opposite the town, is worth a visit. In addition there are many shops, bustling bars and restaurants.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 20 kms

Marvão

Marvão is a spectacular walled village perched 1000 metres above the plain, on a mountain top with sheer precipice all around. Its narrow cobbled streets are lined with whitewashed houses and lead to one of the best preserved castles in Portugal dating from the 13th century. The far reaching views from the castle in every direction are simply spectacular.

In the 1960s emigration emptied the town of most its inhabitants. To prevent an international tourist resort company from buying the town outright and destroying it, Portuguese artists and writers started to buy up the old houses themselves. Many of these houses have been restored and the town remains as it has been for centuries.

If you are there in November don’t fail to visit the Chestnut Festival when for one extraordinary weekend the quiet streets come alive with crowds celebrating, imbibing and singing!
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 20 kms

Alter do Chão

Alter de Chão is a charming old town with a castle in the centre dating back to 1359. The town is best known for Coudelaria de Alter, a vast estate which was made the royal stud farm in 1748 and was devoted to breeding the internationally famous Lusitanian horse, Alter Real, originally bred for the royal riding school. The stud is open to the public and one can see the horses and an interesting museum.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 30 kms

Monforte

Monforte was a Neolithic hill town that was taken over by the Romans so both Neolithic and Roman remains abound in the area. Nearby are the ruins of a Roman town and of a fourth century Roman/Christian basilica.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 20 kms

Elvas

Elvas is an ancient walled town whose approach is dominated by the 16th century aqueduct. The town’s roots can be traced back to the Celts and Goths. It was under Moorish occupation for 500 years from 714 and repeatedly resisted attacks from Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries and from Napoleon’s army in 1808. Wellington used Elvas as his general headquarters during the Peninsular War. The British military cemetery is in one of the castle bastions with views over the battlefields of Badajoz and Albuera. A number of Wellington’s senior officers who were killed in these battles are buried here. It is beautifully tended by The Friends of the British Cemetery, who are mainly British people living in Spain and Portugal. There are many shops in the centre of the walled town selling linen and towels in particular. The famous Elvas plums, which are similar to greengages, also originate here.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 50 kms

Evora

Evora is the main city of the Alto Alentejo and was, for a time, the capital of Portugal when Lisbon was occupied by the Moors. In 1986 UNESCO declared Evora a World Heritage Site because of its many beautiful and valuable monuments. The town has been important artistically, culturally and politically since the country’s history began and is well worth a visit. Included in sites to see are the Roman Temple, the ancient University, the Old and New Castles, the Cathedral, the Regional Museum and various churches, including the gruesome Chapel of Bones in the São Francisco Church. There are numerous squares in which to sit and good restaurants and shops abound.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 90 kms

Vila Viçosa

This pretty town, with streets lined with orange trees, contains the fine Ducal palace of the Dukes of Braganza, who rose to the Portuguese throne in 1640 and stayed until the foundation of the republic in 1910. There is also a very impressive Pousada in the old convent next to the palace, good for dining, and the old castle and Royal hunting grounds.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 50 kms

Estremoz

Estremoz is a charming walled town with white buildings surrounding its impressive castle and towers on a very high hill. Many of the older buildings are clad in marble, which is quarried nearby. Visit the Castle and Royal Palace and the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum. There is a weekly Saturday market in the Rossio, a large square surrounded by 17th century ramparts in the lower part of town.
Distance from Tapada do Falcão: 50 kms

Spain

If you want to travel further afield the town of Merida in Spain has wonderful Roman ruins (Theatre, Amphitheatre and bridge over the Guadiana river) and is well worth a visit. Also there is Caceres, Badajoz and even further afield Trujillo from where many of the greatest conquistadors came.