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Estremoz

The nearest big town (23km), is a charming city with a castle and big squares. Residence of many Kings and Queens of Portugal (namely King D. Dinis and His wife Queen Saint Isabel in the 14th century) is where stand the biggest producers of white and pink marble that is exported to all over the world. It is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Estremoz is also known by its rich craftsmanship, for instance the work on red clay which we can buy every Saturday morning in the market. We can also buy there every type of local fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices and many antiques and brick-a-brack. Gastronomy is also a remarkable element of this city. To note, the famous restaurant São Rosas by the “pousada” (in the Castle). As for wines we have several regional cellars, around Estremoz, which are inscribed in the Portuguese “Rota dos Vinhos do Alentejo”.
Points of interest: medieval castle; “Pousada” Rainha Santa Isabel (extremely rich in sacred art); historical centre; Convent of “Congregados”; Convent of the Maltese Sisters; Church of the Guardian Angel; Church of Saint Francisco.

       

Évora

The city of Évora is one of the prettiest and most emblamatic cities of the country. It lies at a distance of 40 minutes by car from the town of Cano. Its historical centre has been classified by UNESCO as Patrimony of the Humanity. Called “Liberalitas Júlia” by the romans, Évora was occupied by the Visigodes and by the Mours. In 1166 it was definitely reconquered to the Christianity by Gerald “the fearless” and it became during the Middle Ages one of the most prosperous cities in the Kingdom. It was during this period that the Jesuits founded their famous University (1511). With this past, Évora became a city full of history and a very characteristic and atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit.
Points of interest: Catedral built from 1186 to 1204; Temple of Diana – Roman temple built from the I century a.D to the III; Igreja São Francisco with its famous bone chapel, built only with human skeleton; Igreja dos Lóios (XV century); D. Manuel’s palace and the interesting “Ladies Gallery”; not to miss is the famous “Praça do Giraldo”, surrounded by arcades in Arabic style and with a fountain dated from 1571. Évora is also famous for its gastronomy and handicraft.

 

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Aviz

The small town of Aviz is of an incredible whiteness, shinning and reflecting in the waters of the damn and streams around it. It was built at the top of a 201 meters granite hillock and has many charming spots to discover. Archeologically very rich, it is nowadays the site for archeological escavations, as it is the case in Largo D. Sérgio de Castro. In it we can also find the Aviz Museum – Etnography and Archeology – which is situated since the 80’s (XX century) in the “Capitulo” chamber of the ancient Convent of São Bento de Aviz. Inside this municipality we can also point out Aldeia Velha and its surroundings, which invite us to long walks and bicycle Tours, and Ervedal, where sportsman can practice athletism, swimming, BTT, hunting and fishing. At about two Km from Ervedal, we can also find “Horta das Rosas” a space of special beauty and tranquility.

 

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Elvas

Elvas is a monumental city and few Portuguese cities have an historical centre so well preserved. The traveller that comes in sight of it from afar becomes impressed by its mighty strongholds but can’t suspect of the artistic richness of its historical centre.
The strongholds are the greatest bulkwork assemblage of the world and are a candidate of the World Humanity Heritage.
Points of interest: Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Assunção, formerlly the Cathedral; Igreja das Dominicanas (formerlly the Dominican sisters Convent); Museum of Contemporary Art of Elvas; Amoreiras Aquedut; Praça da República; Strongholds of Elvas (candidate to the World Humanity patrimony); Forte da Graça; Forte de Santa Luzia; Medieval, Arab and seventeen century fortress walls and annexes; Castle. Outside town: Ajuda Bridge and its respective natural landscape.

 

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Arraiolos

To talk about Arraiolos is to talk about its tradional embroideries which take the name of this town all over the world. Although there is no absolute certainty, studies have confirmed that the production of Arraiolos carpets is an art that started with the Arabs in the XII century. Very near Arraiolos, you must visit the nice village of Santana do Campo, built greatly over Roman ruins, in which we can find an archeological station and where we can visit a roman temple.

 

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Evoramonte

It is situated on the road that joins Estremoz to Évora and belongs to this last municipality. This village extends around the top of a small hill with 500m high which corresponds to the extreme west of “Serra de Ossa”. It was on the top of this hill that the castle was built, well in view into anyone who approaches the village, and a motive of great interest and stage of an important treaty of Portugal history.

 

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Vila Viçosa

Vila Viçosa is a lovely and ancient city, all painted in the tradional white and blue stripe, famous for having a palace, once residence of the Royal Family of Portugal, which can be visited. There is also a very ancient cathedral, where the image of Our Lady of Portugal is kept and to whom in the seventeen century the King of Portugal offered his crown. From this act on, no King of Portugal has ever again put this Royal crown on his head.

 

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Marvão

Candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status, Marvão is one of the Alentejo’s best-kept secrets. The ancient walled town of Marvão floats like an island over the vast expanse of the Alentejo plains. In fact, it is the highest town in Portugal. The hills and meadows of the Parque Natural de São Mamede only add to the village’s appeal. Almost all of the town’s whitewashed houses are enclosed by walls that have protected the village for nearly 700 years. Marvão’s noteworthy 13th century castle contains a museum of archaic weaponry but the real highlight is the breathtaking view of the Alentejo’s arid plains.

 

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Crato

Crato is a beautiful village of Alentejo, well preserved, calm and quiet of low, white houses with the Alentejo typical range to surround windows and doors. Famous for its heritage as the important monastery of Santa Maria Flor da Rosa, the beautiful Mother Church of the thirteenth century, the towering ruins of the Castle, the Chapel of Our Lady of Bom Sucesso where is the Municipal Museum and the Padre Belo’s Museum and not forgot beautiful balcony of the Grão Prior, the last witness of imposing Prior do Crato’s Palace. Many megalithic monuments are all over the region, attest to the ancestry, more than 70 Menhirs are inventoried such as the Menhir’s Tapadão and the Menhir’s Crato, the second largest of Portugal. The history of Crato is very old. It is believed that have been inhabited by Carthaginians around 500 BC. The area has also been under the Visigoths and the Arabs. Conquered from the Moors in 1160 by Afonso Henriques, later it was given by King Sancho II to the Hospitallers’ Order in 1232, becoming the headquarters of the Order in the reign of Alfonso IV.

 

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Archaeological Heritage

Sousel Dolmen (11,3 km from Cano and 3 km from Sousel on the road to Veiros). Necropolis of Herdade Grande (27,2 km from Cano and 7 km from Fronteira on the road to Monforte). Necropolis of Penas Mountain(31,2 km from Cano and 11,1 km from Fronteira on the road to Cabeço de Vide). Lusitanian-Roman Villa Torre de Palma (45 km from Cano and 5 km from Monforte on the road to Vaimonte). Carrilha's Menhir, the Sete’s Menhir, the Rabuje's Dolmen and the Old's Dolmen, all located near Monforte.

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