Even if you do not want to stay in the Pousada, I recommend you to drive (or walk) up here to have this fantastic view over the Sado and the town. You would miss something!
Maybe you can connect it with a visit to the archeological collection here at the fortress below the Pousada.
Below the Pousada you will find a nice museum showing you findings that were made here in and around the fortress that now houses the Pousada. Here you will find exhibits from various times like the iron age or the roman periode. There even is a part of a roman street pavement in the museum. Especially if you stay in the Pousada it is a must to have a walk though the museum. You will get an idea how historic your 'home' is.
Summer: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (last entry 12.30 p.m.), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (last entry 6.30 p.m.).
Winter: 9 a.m.-5.30 p.m. (last entry 5 p.m.).
Closed: Mondays and public holidays.
The weblink below directs to the English version of the Alentejo Museum Guide (pdf direct download), which also contains information about this museum.
Above the fountain of Chafariz at the Aragão de Mascarenhas Square you will find beautiful azulejos commemorating the past of Alcacer do Sal. They might date back to 1592, but there are doubts that all the 9 x 9 azulejos are original as it is known that the panel once was broken.
In the center of town you will find the Largo Pedro Nunes. In its middle you will find the Statue that commemorates the famous child of Alcacer do Sal. Pedro Nunes was born here in 1502 and became the most famous Portuguese mathematician. He spent much effort on research for navigation, an important field in the times of discoveries and trade. If you are working in mechanical engineering you might also have used a device that he developed, the 'Nunios' or 'Vernier scale' as it is called nowadays (it got improved by Vernier).
The Igreja do Espirito Santo is located in the lower town at the Pedro Nunes Square. Nowadays it houses the Municipal Museum presenting archaeological material from the Stone Age to the Roman occupation of the region, but also relics of the Moorish period. The church used to be part of a hospital and has a nice window in Manueline style.
A metal bridge crosses the river Sado at the entrance of Alcacer do Sal. The bridge was inaugurated in 1945. Its design is orientated to the designs of Gustave Eiffel who has left several traces here in Portugal like the beautiful metal bridge in Porto. To allow boats to pass the bridge in Alcacer it can be opened by a lifting mechanism.
Located close to the Pousada you will find the church Santa Maria do Castelo. It was built in late roman style on the same spot where a temple and a mosque had been before. Have a look, maybe there are storcs sitting on the roof!
The Parish Church of Santiago is Baroque in outline with a severe facade reminiscent of the "estilo chao" (floor style) probably designed by Joao Antunes. The tiles and other decoration in this XVIII century relic are particularly interesting.
The occupation of the castle in Alcacer do Sal dates back to VII-VI BC The denomination of the town, inhabited by Celtic people was Bevipa, proved by the coins. Strategically situated on the maritime route for products entering the Alentejo, for example minerals and wool, Alcacer do Sal early established contact with Eastern Mediterranean merchants. Phoenicians and perhaps Greeks.
Today, the old mediaeval quarters and its age setts lend antiquity to a town with its centuries old streets that occasionaly widden out into small squares.
Next to the Castle stands the Church of Santa Maria. Roman-Gothic in style, it was built in the XII or XIII centuries.
Inside, the three aisles are divided by columns with Romanic decoration and by tiled friezes from the seventeenth century. In the main chapel, the Capela do Santissimo, the fine Renaissance portal is worth noting.
Beautiful storks were flying around.
The Baroque style of the igreja da Misericordia and the tiled interior of the church date from the same era even though the official date of the church is 1547. It's not easy to find this church open to public. Try Sundays.
With its calm lagoons, the blue of the river and the green of the pines, this charming natural reserve covers an area of 23160 hectares. It is truly worthy of long, enriching walks. Consisting mainly of wetlands, with their channels, inlets and marshes, the reserve also has banks interesting for their biological wealth and for the diversity of their animal life.
The village of Carradsqueira is also located within the sado Estuary Natural Reserve and is inhabited by fisher folk. A rather curious parafitte fishing harbour, providing a good view over the mudflats of the Estuary.
Graciously laid out over the right bank of the Sado river and rising up a gentle slope. from the castle, looking south, there is sharp bend in the river Sado, irrigating the smooth green plain that cuts in the middle the great Alentejan plain.
Built within the castle walls, a stone sculpture over the facade features the symbols of the Order of Santiago: the crossed-sword, shells and the hat and garb of a pilgrim recalling the holy warrior Santiago. One of the lateral chapels is of particular note with its magnificent tiles from the early part of the 17th century. In order to visit the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, a key must be requested from the castle guard.
one of the most known castle in portugal and portuguese history, were great batles took place against spain. (yes we were great enemies then). so one of the greatest battles for the autonomy of portugal were held in alcacer and i must add with a great victory to portugal. we defeated spain but nowadays it's the other way around...but that's another story...