Travelers are drawn to Évora by its attractiveness and historical past. The city is located in Portugal’s agricultural heartland, of Alentejo. The ancient Roman temple of Évora is right in the middle of the action, and Évora’s huge Gothic cathedral is located nearby. Aside from the historical sights, the capital of the Alentejo region of Portugal offers delicious cuisine and wine from the surrounding vineyards.
Lindsay Cohn had the pleasure of visiting Évora with Jorge Martins, a wonderful Alentejo guide she met through ToursbyLocals. This information will help you prepare for an overnight getaway or a day trip to Évora.
Close to the famous Roman Temple is the Pousada Convento de Évora, a hotel housed in a former monastery. Visitors can cool off in the outdoor pool when they are not admiring the historic cloisters in the courtyard.
Envision waking up from a peaceful sleep and being greeted by the breathtaking sight of Aqueduto da Água de Prata. This is just one of the numerous advantages of choosing to stay at M’ar De Ar Aqueduto. Nestled within a 16th-century palace, the accommodations boast stylish and meticulously furnished rooms. Additionally, guests can indulge in the delights of an exceptional spa, relax by the outdoor pool, and enjoy the offerings of two bars and three restaurants.
The Convento do Espinheiro is a former fifteenth-century monastery that now stands as a hotel on an eight-hectare property surrounded by fig and olive trees. The sprawling property has everything you could want for an ideal vacation, including gardens, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, and large rooms. Alentejo cuisine is offered, as well as wine tastings in the cellar where the monks once stored rainwater.
Imani Country House, one of the most enticing destinations for agritourism in the Alentejo region, enchants its visitors with suites with fireplaces, swimming pools, gardens and farm-to-table cuisine. It’s a casual, rural retreat where guests may unwind, interact with nature, and enjoy hyper-local ingredients such as olive oil produced on the estate’s 100-year-old olive trees.
Best Things to Do in Évora
Cathedral of Évora
Évora Cathedral, standing on the highest point of the city, is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal. This imposing, fortified Gothic structure features massive towers, a central barrel vault decorated with gilded carvings, and a magnificent organ. To understand the sheer size of this undertaking, you should know that construction began in 1186 and did not reach its culmination until 1250.
Chapel of Bones
Located on the grounds of the Igreja e Mosteiro de São Francisco, the Bone Chapel is a captivating sight in Évora. The Franciscan monks decided to use the skulls and bones discovered in nearby cemeteries to recreate the space and commemorate the passage from earthly existence to the afterlife, where heaven awaits.
The Roman Temple of Évora
Using granite and marble, the Templo Romano Évora was built to pay homage to Emperor Augustus and has a remarkable history spanning over 2,000 years. Throughout the centuries, it has served various purposes including that of a temple, fortress, and, surprisingly, a slaughterhouse, before being designated as a significant historical landmark.
FitaPreta, the brainchild of renowned Portuguese oenologist Antonio Macanita, is a heartfelt project that captures the essence of Alentejo’s winemaking heritage. Housed in a 14th-century medieval palace, the winery exudes a rich historical ambiance, while the wines themselves reflect the region’s distinctive terroir. In addition to cellar tours and tastings, FitaPreta also offers delicious picnic experiences and gastronomic adventures that immerse visitors even more deeply in the flavors and delights of the estate.
About 30 minutes from Évora is Ervideira, a renowned family-run winery known for its exceptional wine selection. Guests have the opportunity to participate in guided tours and enjoy wine tastings accompanied by delicious regional delicacies such as meats, cheeses, breads and olive oil. For those who do not have time to visit the winery, there is a conveniently located bottle store in the town center that offers a convenient alternative.
How to Get There
Évora is about 90 minutes from Lisbon, providing convenient travel options. Renting a car and driving or arranging transportation are both straightforward options. There are also direct bus and train services that provide convenient connections between the two cities.