Torres Novas is a quite multifacetated municipality.In the highlights are places such as caves like the Almonda Cave (only for professionals), the castle, the churches and roman ruins... In the outskirts of the municipality there is a beautiful natural park and dinossaur tracks.
There are some old houses where you can stay such as the Casa dos Arrábidos (a former convent) or the XVIII century house Casa dos Vargos.
O manjar do botequim is one of the best places to eat in the region.
World Heritage municipality with a very strong templar history. The convent, national woods, aqueduct, the old sinagogue are some of the highlight but the city has many churches, nice squares, a river and some nice museums.
Quinta de São José dos Montes, although far from the city centre is an old and nice place to stay close to the dam.
The old restaurant A Bela Vista by the river, A Luria by the dam with mushroom stews (in the season) and sea river breadcrumb stew or Chico Elias (snails bean stew, small fishes in the oven, cod in the oven with pork meat, fricasse sea eels, pumpkin rabbit and home made) are excellent meal options.
Golegã has a long-standing and deep-rooted equestrian tradition, and is known as the country's horse capital. Every year, around November, the town holds holds a prestigious one-week fair which exhibits the best of purebred Lusitano horses, bred and raised in the country and which are sold around the world.
This all began in 1833 when the Marquis of Pombal encouraged the exhibition of horses. Today, the fair is a celebration to all things equestrian, attended by many visitors coming not just from elsewhere in the country, but from abroad as well. During this week, the center of the town becomes a big fairground and exhibition ring surrounded by numerous stalls. The horses are groomed to perfection, each attempting to outdo or outshine the other. Shows and dressage and gymkhana events are open to the public for free. The horsemen and women who come to the fair are attired in traditional dress, and maze of stalls sell various things related to horsemanship.
The festive atmosphere that all this creates also has a tinged of something romantic, of a time gone by, when horses reigned supreme.
Castles are almost always fascinating -- many are impressive, in size and girth, impregnable, and simply dominating the landscape. Some are fairytale like, and either it evokes feigned terror in the visitor because of a dark history, or it is just simply dreamlike, a castle of princesses and knights in armour. The Castelo do Almourol is the latter, and more.
Situated in a small rocky outcrop, actually a tiny island, along the banks of the Tagus river, it offers a fantastic view of both the river, in this section, here more shallow and seemingly more still, and the countryside around. If only for the panorama one sees from the top of this tiny castle, it is worth traveling to Almourol to visit. There is not much to see inside, there are the usual turrets, doors, steps...but be sure to climb up the top and enjoy the view. It is, for me, one of the most beautiful location of a castle and has the most unforgettable vista.
The castle is built on this island, at 18 meters from the level of the water. The island is only 310x75 sq m in size, and was constructed at the time of the Reconquest (the Christian kings reclaiming Iberia from the Arabs) in the early 12th century. The castle is one among the fortifications built by the Order of the Templars in Portugal.
To reach the castle, there are two touristic boats which wait on small dockside, for which one pays a minimal fee of 1.50 euros that at the time we went also allows entry to the castle. They have started to charge entry to the castle separately since then, according to the website, for 2.50 euros. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes as there is no "proper" path to the entrance of the castle. The way is slightly steep and you may need to hold on to a few branches of some huge cactuses as I did, in order to keep my balance.
In the warm months, one can see along this section of the river, many kayakers. When we were there, a large number of beginners were having a lesson, and it was awesome to see the contrast that the kayaks' colors made, and their movement, against the sharp blue of the river, and the quiet, verdant green beyond.
Many legends and stories have been spun around this castle, and it is easy to see why this place captivates the imagination without fail.
Capital of the district, Santarém is a city full of personality, and proud of his character and traditions. Without any outstanding monument, it has many Gothic examples and small beautiful details fill the city. More than to see Santarém it's important to live Santarém and its marriage to the river.
It's a world for itself, this area, dominated by the river Tejo, and where bulls are created in freedom, with a proud people very zealous about their traditions and cultural references.
Bullfight, folklore, fado and wine are the strongest of them, and everything gets its climax each June, when it occurs, always in Santarém, the National Fair of Agriculture.
If you are in this region of Portugal, you shouldn't miss Castelo de Almourol. It's built in the middle of the river, on a small island.
You go to the island by boat (0,75 EUR round trip). It's a small but enjoyable trip.
A small village (not listed in VT) where I had friends but never had visited until... dancing took me there, with time enough to a brief visit.
Sardoal is a beautiful village you shouldn't miss at all. It is one of the most well preserved villages of Portugal.
Big, stylish room, beautiful htl surrounding and view from the room, spa facilities, not that good...more
This is probably one of the nicest hotels I have stayed in this price range in Europe. The hotel is...more
Av. Madre Andaluz, Santarem, 2000-210, Portugal
Good for: Solo