Elvas Travel Guide

  • Elvas
    by Cristian_Uluru
  • Things to Do
    by Cristian_Uluru
  • Store in Elvas
    Store in Elvas
    by J_Antunes

Elvas Things to Do


    "Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications." That is the way UNESCO lists the amazing and completely impressive fortress walls of Elvas. I stumbled up the walls in my guidebook when i was preparing for a driving holiday of Portugal. The book fell open to a small map of what I thought was a large castle. Then I realised it was not a...

  • Nossa Senhora da Conceição Door and...

    Nossa Senhora da Conceição is a beautiful and picturesque chapel on top of the city walls of Elvas and over the door of the same name. It is believed it was built in the XVII century and is a charming rounded church.

  • Elvas Castle

    The old castle has a long history. It is believed it was built over an old hill fort (castro) that was later romanized.It was after the recovery of the town from Moorish occupation that the current castle was built.

  • Santa Clara Square

    Elvas is the newest World Heritage site in Portugal. It has one this status due to the extensive and impressive set of fortifications that protected this city from foreign invasions. One of the most interesting places in Elvas has to be the old Santa Clara square. In here is the “pelourinho”/pillory the symbol of independence of a community but...

  • Elvas Castle

    The castle of Elvas is one of the National Monuments of Portugal and in fact the first building ever declared into this state in Portugal (1906). This oldest military structure of the town was built on roman remains, but after the Christian recapture of Elvas from the Moors the castle was newly set up (1228). Later in the 14th century improvements...

  • Forte da Graça

    Outside of town you will find two protecting fortresses that were part of the massive city fortifications that make Elvas to one of most fortificated towns in Europe. One of the two fortresses is the Forte da Graça which sits on a hilltop overlooking the historic Elvas. Its military concept was made of Count Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst zu...

  • City Gates

    Elvas is a very fortified town and therefore also the city gates are slightly different to those of other towns. I was really impressed of their size, the length and narrowness. Even more surprising was that through it the traffic was going. In front of the gate (outside fro where the photo was taken) the moat is crossed by a bridge.Find the...

  • Touristic Spots

    Keep your eyes open when walking through town. There are signs around that tell you information about touristic sites and with it about the history of Elvas. Have a look at the photo to know how the signs look like.

  • Elvas Commune Coat of Arms

    On the side of the Aqueduct you will find a huge coat of arms of the commune of Elvas. I found it very beautiful as it is made of azulejos (tiles). Check out the photo to compare the size of it with the pigeons sitting there.

  • Arco Santa Clara

    The Arco Santa Clara was built in the 14th century and integrates structures of the first islamic periode. It is a beautiful building and kind of unusual.

  • Praça da República

    In the center of the historic Elvas you will find the Praça da República. This is a beautiful town square where you can have a rest of your touristic activities or start off for new explorations in town. Just at the square you will find the Antiga Sé (Old Cathedral). I like the pattern of the pavement on the square. The history of the Praça da...

  • Pelourinho (pillory)

    In case you did something bad in Elvas' past you would have found yourself at the Pelourinho (pillory). Nowadays it is an interesting example of manueline style. The iron bars are said to be the originals dating back to the 16th century!

  • Aqueduto da Amoreira

    The Aqueduct Amoreira was designed by Francisco Arruda. It is not of roman origin, but built between 1537 and 1620. With its length of 8 kilometers and a maximum height of 31 meters it supplied water to the fortified town. This building is really impressive!

  • Antiga Sé (Old Cathedral)

    The old cathedral is dedicated to N. Sra. da Assunção and was built in the 16th century. Inside there are some very beautiful golden baroque altars. Impressive is also the golden organ.Beside the church there is the museum for sacral art.Opening hours:10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:30 (closed on Mondays and the mornings of Tuesday)

  • Igreja das Domínicas

    The Igreja das Domínicas is one of the sacral highlights of Elvas. It was built in 1543 and belonged to the monastery St. Domingos which was destroyed in the 14th century. The inner shape is octagonal and the walls are entirely covered with azulejos (tiles) of the 17th century.Opening times are 10.00 to13.00 and 15.00 to18.30 (closed completely on...

  • A break on main square

    This is the main square in Elvas. After having visited the town, have a drink sitting at the outside tables of the square cafés. It's not a bad idea to order a pastry. Just have a look around: mainly locals and Spanish people doing some shopping (Elvas is located about 10 kms far from the frontier). You will be surprised when you ask for the bill:...

  • castle

    Elvas Castle was rebuilt for King Sancho III in 1226. A walk around the top of the town's battlements gives a fine view of the old town and a vantage point from which to appreciate the ingenious design of the fortifications.The origin of the castle within the old town is remote but it recorded as being rebuilt in 1226 and later subject to further...

  • aqueduct of Amoreira

    .The Aqueduct is in origin as the need to supplement the original town`s water supply was already acute in the 15th Century. Work was started in 1498 but it took over 124 years to complete this 8 kilometers long construction with 843 arches that in some places reaches 30 metres in height.

  • Rennaisance architecture

    As this city was very important to the young Portuguese state, it was greatly expanded following its reconquest, and one can see many buildings built in the Rennaisance style around the main plaza.

  • ancient alleys of the old city

    The core of the city dates from the Moorish times, as this was one of the last cities in Portugal to be reconquered, which happened in the XIII century. The style is enchanting, and most houses are in decent shape.

  • Torre Fernandina & Misericordia

    This is a pretty square with a fountain, old church and a large watch tower, which has sirvived many centuries.


Elvas Hotels

See all 9 Hotels in Elvas

Elvas Restaurants

  • One of the Best Restaurant near Elvas

    One of the Best Restaurant in Portugal, is located in a Village named Terrugem. Is about 17 km of Elvas, and is fast and easier to get there.

  • Cafes at the Plazas

    While in Elvas you can enjoy a nice lunch at a cafe. There are many outdoor cafes located in the plazas of Elvas, as well as many great restaurants around the plazas. At the Plaza Das Banderas there are some good cafes and restaurants. The pork is very good here.

  • Elvas Hotels

    9 Hotels in Elvas

Elvas Transportation

  • by car

    By car, Elvas is about 3 hours from Lisbon. You will need to cress Tejo, head to Setubal and then follow signs to Evora & Spain (Espanha). Tolls add up to almost E15, which is a lot, but in my opinion are worth the independence from public transport. Roads are incredible, speed limit is about 120 km (80 mph). Gas is VERY expensive.I rented from...

  • Bus in from Lisbon or Spain

    Elvas is quite easy to reach, eithor going from the west or east. From Madrid, Spain take the bus to Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, and from Badajoz just take a taxi through the border to Elvas. From Lisbon just take the bus to Elvas (or Evora and then to Elvas). The Spanish border city of Badajoz has trains and busses to all different Portuguese...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Elvas Shopping

See all 2 Shopping in Elvas
  • Stores

    There are many traditional stores around Elvas. I found this one particularly interesting. I am not sure exactly what it is but is filled with local products organized, or should I say desorganized, in a very particular way. Wines, for instance

  • souvenirs

    The abundant folklore of this small town might whet your appetite for souvenirs. Take a stroll along the town's best shopping streets.. Rustic artifacts appear on all sides, allowing you to choose your favorites. If you want to target your destinations in advance, consider the handcrafts as souvenirs,to remember and not forget Elvas.

  • Ask a Question

    Got a question about Elvas? Get an answer from our Location locals and frequent travelers

Elvas Local Customs

  • berenices's Profile Photo

    The small doors of Elvas

    by berenices Written May 3, 2010

    A quaint thing we observed walking around the streets of Elvas was the size of the doors -- a lot of those in old reconstructed houses were small! We have never heard of an explanation for this, but it seemed odd that anybody who goes in would have to bend down, and considerably so, to enter.

    Also, note that no matter how small these doors are, the upper half of it can be opened inward, so that it serves like a balcony or window where the owner can look out, or where the neighbors can look in for a bit of gossip.

    This is exactly what we found as we were walking down a street, a neighbor having a friendly chat through this "window-door". Note the door's size by comparing it with the neighboring building's entrance which is of normal size.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?


Elvas Off The Beaten Path

  • santa eulália

    the Pousada de Santa eulalia, a hacienda-style building just outside the city walls. the bone-white stucco villa faces the fortifications. the ground floor holds a living room, an L-shaped dining salon, and a bar, all opening through thick arches onto a Moorish courtyard with a fountain, a lily pond, and orange trees.

  • tapirs

    on the outskirts of Elvas all around the country there are several especies of tapirs, pre-historic buriel ground, for important and high positioned rulers of that time.

  • Write a Review

    Have you been to Elvas? Write about Elvas to help travelers.

Instant Answers: Elvas

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

42 travelers online now


Explore Deeper into Elvas
Things to Do
Things to Do
City Walls
Things to Do
Things to Do
Praca da Republica
Things to Do
Things to Do
Pelourinho and Porta do Templo
Things to Do
Explore the beautiful city
Things to Do
Old Elvas
Things to Do
Map of Elvas

View all Elvas hotels