Alentejo is, at our scale, a large province that stands in the way to Algarve. Most people coming from the north cross it without stopping, anxious to relax by the sea. But that is not a wise solution. You may, as we say, "join the useful to the pleasant", and make a "technical stop" al Mertola. The town is small but wonderful. Depending on your...more
Coming from the 9th century, this Muslim castle was conquered by the Portuguese in 1238. The successive enlargements and reinforcements gave it a different look. Abandoned in the 18th century and ruined, it was partially recovered in the 20th century and today is part of the historic ensemble, also exposing some roman, visigothic and muslim carved...more
Pomarão is a very small place, not more than 2 or 3 streets, near the river bank. While the S. Domingos Mine was in activity, Pomarão was the harbour from where the major part of the production was transported. Nowadays, it´s almost deserted. Hopefully, the new international bridge that was built nearby, will bring back some life to this beautiful...more
Included int he City Museum, but a bit away from the town centre (but very easy to reach). This ancient burial ground was used by the early Christians and later on also by the Muslims. You can see some graves still in their actual location, and quite a number of tombstones.more
This small restaurant, owned by Mr. Sebastião, is a bit off the beaten path, but it´s a must. If you can't find it, just ask a local and probably everybody will know how to guide you there.Don't be put off by the outside appearance. Go right in, say hello to Mr. Sebastião and taste the codfish "A Bras" or the meatloaf. Ask for the daily dishes, and...more
The small restaurant "Pensão S. Domingos" maybe modest. But if your looking for a place where you can taste local dishes at a great price, and 100% homemade cooking, and if you don´t care for luxury, this a very good option. Black Pork and Perca (a river fish)more
Incrementation of local textiles and pottery gives more and more people a job.
The site listed down has a directory of all regions of Portugal's artisans.
A natural accident, south of Alqueva dam, was almost unknown until the day when the prime-minister (actual President), to evade a question from a journalist, said that he had been out with the family visiting Pulo do Lobo. After some kilometers in a dirty road (either from Mertola or from Serpa) it provides two kinds of show - a vigorous waterfall...more
The first photo shows the view that we had of Mertola's "backside". We had to do a small amount of driving on some dusty dirt tracks, but as you can see for yourself it is a view that is worth the effort.To find it, just before you get to the city of Mertola, coming from the south, you can see the sign that is shown in the second photo, turn off...more
Outside views of the surrounding countryside and seeing Mertola from outside its ramparts.Just shows that beauty is not skin deep, or in this case, the beauty does not stop at the walls of the city. The first photo shows the city from the access road, below the city...there is also an explanation sign there to help.The second shows along the...more
We often enjoy just driving or walking in a city/town, like Mertola, with no specific destination or historical object in mind, just wandering as the streets take us. We often get "lost" this way, but it often brings us surprises when we end up in neighbourhoods very often not seen by tourists. This sometimes gives us a small glimpse into the lives...more
Driving around Mertola is an adventure in itself, there are three things that make it "interesting"...First is the cobbled streets, when they are wet they turn slippery and when you brake....Second is the narrowness of the streets, they were built for donkeys and carts, NOT modern cars, so trying to slip by the parked cars that seem to have been...more