Marvão Things to Do

  • Santa Maria Church
    Santa Maria Church
    by J_Antunes
  • Marvão
    Marvão
    by J_Antunes
  • Marvão
    Marvão
    by J_Antunes

Most Recent Things to Do in Marvão

  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The castle

    by micas_pt Written Jan 14, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The castle walls overlooking surrounding plains

    Marvão is dominated by its castle. It is a military construction dating from the 12th century. It has always represented a major defensive point in our nation's history.

    The castle is built on top of a 800 metre high rock and with fabulous views over the surrounding plains; on clear days, one may see till Serra da Estrela and Serra da Gardunha. This characteristic together with the fact that Spain is only 13 km away make its location unbeatable. One must keep in mind that for centuries Portugal fought with Spain about the conquer of lands and this point was one of the main entry points in Portugal, which was protected by the construction of this fortification.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    The narrow medieval streets of Marvão

    by jorgec25 Written Jul 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Marv��o
    4 more images

    Walking in the the narrow medieval streets of Marvão takes you back in time. Visit the small shops aroun the town, stop at the local cafes and bars, and just chat with the locals. They love that and they have so many stories to tell.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    The Toll Tower

    by jorgec25 Written Jul 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Toll Tower
    1 more image

    The Toll (Portagem) Tower is what gives the name to the village. It's located right next to the roman bridge. And it was an important transit route in the middle age.

    It was also an important entrance point for runaway jews from Spain, during the late 15 th century. There's a plaque remembering this event.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    The Castle

    by jorgec25 Written Apr 8, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castle
    4 more images

    the castle of Marvão provides spectacular views, due to it's location, 850 m above sea level.

    It has a well preserved central tower (menagem) and water deposit, and we can stroll along it's walls, enjoying the views of the town and the landscape around them.

    the castle was already known in the Xth century, being refered as the Fortress of Amaia.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • dcwizard's Profile Photo

    Hilltop Castle in Marvao

    by dcwizard Updated Jul 12, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Castle on the Hilltop at Marvao

    The castle at Marvao was built by King Denis around 1299. Inside are two cisterns and a keep, as well as a lovely garden nestled inside the walls. The castle buttresses blend seamlessly into the granite of the mountains, making it an impregnable stronghold. You can climb along the castle walls and up the towers. The views of the town of Marvao and the surrounding valley are amazing.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The First View

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Dec 3, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Main Fortifications of Marvao

    Located atop a 2830 ft (860 m) peak in the Serra de Sao Mamede mountains of central Portugal, Marvao has been used as a defensive fortification for thousands of years. First used by the Romans and then held by the Moors, this village is believed to have been named after Maruan, one of those Arab horsemen. Finally wrested back under Christian control in 1166, the fortifications were built up over the next hundred years by the Portugese. Being located only 4 miles (6 km) from the Spanish border, this became one of Portugal's main border defense posts in later years as Portugal sought to maintain its independence from its larger neighbour.

    This photo show the main defensive towers, at one end of the village (including the high 'keep'), with the castle walls stretching off into the distance toward the village located within its protective embrace.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Houses of Marvao

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Traditional Alentejo Houses

    The narrow streets of Marvao are lined with the traditional houses of the Alentejo, mainly constructed of clay and with few openings to ensure that both the cold winter and hot summer temperatures are kept out! Also visible are the traditional blue or yellow decorative stripes on the white-washed walls, seen so often in this part of Portugal.

    The problem with building a village on top of a peak as high as this is, how do you keep the people there? It was always a long walk up and down to any sort of fertile ground and a fresh water source was always a problem until relatively recent times. Over the centuries, the village has been populated with fugatives or special incentives were given to live here in order to keep the numbers up. Today, only 185 people live within the walls, but the growing popularity of tourism is giving the village a new lease on life!

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Village 'Garden'

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Village Gardens & Castle Fortifications

    Once you have parked just outside the village walls, you can wander up beautiful narrow steets with whitewashed walls until you arrive at the top of the village part of Marvao. From here, beside the Santa Maria Church, there is a great view out over the well-kept gardens, with the main castle fortifications in the background. To the left of the gardens, is a smaller wall that surrounds the entire village but is not part of the main defenses. The shrubs in this garden have actually been shaped to spell out the name of the village!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Town View

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Marvao Perched on its Peak

    Walking through the botanical garden and entering the main part of the castle, not far from where two large water cisterns are located to help over come any problems during a prolonged siege, it is possible to mount the walls and look back toward the village. Here, the garden is seen from the other direction and it also offers a good view of the Santa Maria Church built in the 13/14th Century. The small wall around the village itself is meant more for safety reasons rather than as actual defensive fortifications.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Solid Walls

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Typical Portugese Defensive Turrent

    The main walls of Marvao were built in 1299 by Dom Dinis to increase its defensive strength against any counter-attacks by the Moors who had been evicted about 100 years earlier. Later on, when things between Spain and Portugal heated up, several large buttresses were added in the 1600s at crucial locations along the walls.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    It's a Long Climb Up!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built into the Granite Mountain

    Making full use of its dominating position, the walls of the castle use the natural rock formations to impede the progress of any attacker. By the time you have climbed that high over the rock face, you still would have to face the defenders on the walls and in their protective towers.

    There is a beautiful view out over the countryside and toward the Spanish border from high up here!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Main Fortified Area

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Interior Courtyard of the Castle

    This view was taken from the main 'keep' at the far end of Marvao, looking back over the main fortifications of the castle. At the far end are the towers that defend the entrance gate leading to the village, and the top of the white church tower is just visible over the walls. Located inside these main walls are two smaller white buildings.

    At the far left, just visible below the wall, are some tour busses in the parking lot where we left our car as well - going the rest of the way on foot!

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ncfg's Profile Photo

    View of the Convento da Nossa Senhora da Estrela

    by ncfg Updated Nov 23, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Convento da Nossa Senhora da Estrela (Convent of Ours Lady of the Star ) was instituted in 1448, associated to the memory of a "appearance" of the Virgin, it was constructed inside of the gothic sytle.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ncfg's Profile Photo

    View from the Castle to the Municipal Museum

    by ncfg Updated Nov 23, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a view over the Municipal Museum; we had it from entrance of the Castle which is not far from there. But after walked a more and more on the walls we could see the entire village from the top.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ncfg's Profile Photo

    Pelourinho

    by ncfg Updated Nov 23, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This little monument (pillory) is from XV century .
    This jurisdictional landmark of Manueline typology, is implanted ahead in the Square of the old City Hall.
    I think that every old town and villages has a pillory ahead the City Hall.
    Mine has :-)

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Marvão

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

96 travelers online now

Comments

Marvão Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Marvão things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Marvão sightseeing.

View all Marvão hotels