Monsaraz Travel Guide

  • Monsaraz - Portugal
    Monsaraz - Portugal
    by solopes
  • Monsaraz - Portugal
    Monsaraz - Portugal
    by solopes
  • Monsaraz - Portugal
    Monsaraz - Portugal
    by solopes

Monsaraz Things to Do

  • Main door

    Cars are not allowed inside the walls, but parking is easy near the main door of the walled village. To preserve the village most of its live and development was transferred to Reguengos de Monsaraz, in the plane and not too far. Monsaraz lives to and from tourism, and passing the main door is really a sensation of entering the past.

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  • Christmas peace

    Tourism in winter decreases, and imagination is needed. In Monsaraz, they decided to create a nativity scene, at human scale, and spread it all over the city. We were there in a cold night, and got impressed by the calm an silence surrounding the presentation.

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  • The Castle

    At the very end of Monsaraz main street there's the castle. It has a particularity - I think that it is the only one that houses... a bullring. Funny detail, in a building that dominates a very beautiful small city inside its walls.

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  • Church

    Built in the 16Th century, during the black pest, because the older one couldn't receive all the dead needing sepulture. It has a heavy and strong look, almost Romanic, but it was built according to Renaissance plans. It has a gilded altar and some tombs

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  • Governor's house

    All houses in Monsaraz respect the general medieval look. Some of them are really old and classified, as, for instance the Governor's house, used in the old days by the military governor and the out-coming judges, nowadays belonging to Evora university.

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  • Typical Town

    In a plane and dry area called Alentejo, some hills are usually chosen to concentrate the small towns. In the plane, Reguengos de Monsaraz is a new town that became capital of large scale wine producing, but atop the hill, inside the medieval walls, the old town has been preserved, and keeps the look of the traditional villages of Alentejo. Though...

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  • S. João church

    Discreetly lined with the white houses, there's a small church that (it seems - I couldn´t read much about it) is dedicated to St John. It was closed, so I don't know how to visit it (and if it deserves to be visited or not)

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  • Antigos Passos da Audiência

    By the church, in the northern side of the small square, there's an interesting building called "Antigos Passos da Audiência". I tried to read about it, but, so far, I couldn´t find much. It is a building from the 12th to the 14th century and its name suggests that it was used as a local court.

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  • Castle Gate

    To help maintain its medieval character, Monsaraz is off-limits to cars within its walls during the daytime. The road that winds up the hillside from the Alentejo plains ends at a large parking lot, from which entrance can be gained on foot through this gate in the walls that surround the village. The two tower gates seem oddly out of balance with...

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  • tourist house

    .side by side with the church a beautifull building, used as a tourist house.there you can get informations about the castle and the main buildings inside. a complete information about the region and best sights.

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  • inquisition house

    being an european country, obviously portugal were right in the middle of those spooky times. the inquisition house is the living proof of their presence. maibe because of that the house for years were abandoned. now is being refurbished.i believe we shouldn't forget IT.

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  • the town itself

    fortifications and walled town of Monsaraz. the main fortress has a trapezoid shape flanked by four square towers. the mediaeval wall dates from the 7C and consists of fortified ramparts. from the top of the keep, there is a panoramic view over the surrounding Portuguese and Spanish countryside. a overall charming villa inside it s walls. one of...

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  • parish church

    nossa senhora da lagoa is the only church inside monsaraz walls. beautifull and gorgeous one. at night the lights facing the church makes a wonderfull view of it. gold and yellow lights towards the fa?ade is a night feature when visiting Monsaraz..

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  • View

    The view from Monsaraz to the surrounding plains and lakes is fantastic. While in Monsaraz, be sure not to miss the views from:- the entrance door: before entering the main door to the village, there are a few spots from which you may enjoy a breathtaking view, both over the planted fields and lakes, as well as over the neighboring villages. - the...

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  • Small streets

    Wondering through the narrow streets of Monsaraz is one of my favourite activities each time I visit this village. The side streets are so pleasant to visit and observe the small houses, built side by side and with backyards where inhabitants proceed with their peaceful daily life. If visiting these streets, notice that some houses seem to be built...

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Monsaraz Hotels

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Monsaraz Restaurants

  • quartinb's Profile Photo
    monsaraz

    by quartinb Updated Oct 11, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a nice with good ambience restaurant. the alentejo gastronomy at it's best and a charming panoramic view.
    very small with a 40 person capacity, and well atendant staff.
    one of the 4/5 restaurants in the premisses and the favorite to choose.

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Monsaraz Transportation

  • By car

    Traffic is restricted within the village. You must park your car outside the walls, on a free parking. The park is very near the entrance door, so you won’t have to walk for a long time. The road to arrive in Monsaraz, driving from Reguengos, is winding and very scenic, so be sure to enjoy the pleasant drive up the hill. The village is small and...

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  • The Passing Countryside

    I don't think that I ever got over my enjoyment of cruising along the rolling Alentejo countryside with beautiful vistas of cork oak trees dotted here and there! The shape of the trees themselves was so pleasing to my eye, as well as the spread out look across the hillsides, that I kept wanting to stop to take a photo to properly catch the...

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  • Hired Car in a Farmer's Lane

    This was our 4th day on the road since we had left Lisbon and, having enjoyed ourself in Monsaraz in the morning, as well as doing a bit of shopping in Redondo, we were now getting ready for some serious driving north along the Spanish border to reach Castelo Branco.Our little rented Fiat Punto now had about 1000 km (600 miles) on it and we were...

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Monsaraz Shopping

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Hand-Crafted Dishes

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 13, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After finishing with Monsaraz, on our drive north from Reguengos de Monsaraz, we passed through the small town of Redondo. In addition to being located in a wine-growing area, this town is also famous for its local pottery. The pottery is done in Roman style and is painted with various colourful motifs, as on these plates on display outside the door of the non-descript shop that was selling the goods.

    What to buy: Inside the shop, the various types of pottery for sale were spread across the floor and also hung from the walls - some unpainted and some finished in brilliant colours. We had a good look around and my wife picked out three nice plates (10 Euros) and a single jug (5 Euros). My Portugese was not very good, so I did not have much luck at beating the price down! However, when the potter handed me back my change, he accidently gave me an extra 5 Euro bill. He looked a bit sheepish when I handed his mistake back to him in front of his wife!!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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Monsaraz Local Customs

  • bullfight arena

    i am totally against bullfighting. and i don t like to see it. thou' the sight of a bull fight arena, inside a mediavel castle caught my eye. off course then this was a kinda of a gladiator arena, on ancient times, and is now used by locals as a bullfight arena, a very apreciated spectacle in portugal.

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  • Bullfight

    Bullfighting is a traditional custom of Alentejo. Although bullfighting in Portugal is different from the one practiced in Spain (in Spain the bull is killed on the arena and in Portugal it is forbidden to kill the bull as part of the show), there are some villages near the border which practice the same bullfighting as in Spain, meaning: they kill...

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  • Hand crafts

    In Monsaraz there are several tourist shops which sell hand crafts. One of them, situated by the main entrance will let you see some ladies do some weaving on the machines. It is surely nice to observe the old traditions being kept alive.Apart from weaving, the terracotta products (painted) are also very typical of this area of Portugal.

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Monsaraz Off The Beaten Path

  • reguengos

    Reguengos de Monsaraz is a wine-making town. Here, as in Monsaraz, blankets are woven and furniture painted in the traditional style.The name Reguengos signified a parcel of land on which the tenant owed dues directly to the crown. if you are in the area and you want more offers shoping wise or restaurant otherwise just go down the hill towards...

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  • Reguengos de Monsaraz

    Reguengos de Monsaraz is a small town situated near Monsaraz. The center of the town has an interesting church to visit (the one on my photo).Reguengos might be an option for having a meal or doing some shopping, as this town provides a wider choice of restaurants and shops than Monsaraz; also not being so touristy, prices are not as high as in...

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  • By the water

    As a consequence of the inauguration of the dam, a village “drowned” (Aldeia da Luz) and its replica was built on a higher spot. A lot of people visit this new replica nowadays. I have been there but I won’t recommend as a must see if you are short of time while visiting this area – there are for sure other places which are much more interesting...

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Monsaraz Sports & Outdoors

  • The View From the Stands

    If you get a little bored with the action in the parade ground, whether it be football or bullfighting, you can always admire the view! We had a really fantastic day to enjoy this beautiful village!

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  • Bullring

    The courtyard of the castle 'keep' at Monsaraz was converted many years ago to a bullring - making it the oldest known one in Portugal. Although the fights are only held infrequently, the tiny village is quite a festive place when they do take place. In the meantime, this area also serves as the local football pitch to make sure that the young...

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  • Monsaraz Hotels

    5 Hotels in Monsaraz

    11 Reviews and Opinions

Monsaraz Favorites

  • Monsaraz, a town of stone

    During our circut of the entire village of Monsaraz we found almost no shade at all. In the following photos you can see that it is as if the entire village was carved out of the stone of the mountain upon which it sits. No trees, no shrubs, no gardens, no water....nothing, just bare stone walls and cobbled pathways. In the first photo you can see...

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  • Monsaraz Castle

    Yes of course, like any decent self sufficient village there MUST BE a castle, and sure enough there is. Found at the extreme end you can climb the walls and have great views both back into the village that supported the castle, or out into the surrounding countryside. The village and castle were there to protect the Portugese border from the...

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  • Igreja Matriz on main square

    This was the largest church we saw on the main square and it was closed. But as you can see from our photos we found no people outside on the streets, almost as if the entire village was a musuem.So, while we could not get in to see the interior of the church, I did find this link on the internet that has a panoramic...

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Explore Deeper into Monsaraz
Things seen around the village of Monsaraz
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Anta (Dolmen) Olival da Pega
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Monsaraz is HERE
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top of the world
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roofs
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stone paths
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doors doors
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windows windows
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straight paths
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Alqueva
Off The Beaten Path
Arena
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The castle
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Location
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Tourism Office
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Mercy Hospital
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Parish church
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Porta da Vila
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A Useful Post Office!
Off The Beaten Path
Narrow Streets
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Azulejos
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A World Leader in Marble
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The Castle Keep
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Cork Trees
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A Commanding Position
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Pretty Streets
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The View from the 'Keep'
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Eagles Nest
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Christmas Day Shopping!!
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Empty Streets
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Monsaraz
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Hill Walking
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Countryside Views
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Walking the Streets
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Monsaraz Fortress
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Spanish Views
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XII Century castle
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Igreja de Santiago
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Igreja Matriz de Santa Maria da Lagoa
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Map of Monsaraz

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