4 May, 2024 @ 14:00
2 mins read

Must visit: The charming border ‘pueblos’ of Portugal boasting castles, white-washed homes and rolling green hills – ‘just a few kilometres’ drive from Spain

THESE are the charming border ‘pueblos’ of Portugal boasting castles, white-washed homes and rolling green hills just a few kilometers from the Spanish border. 

Portugal’s biggest region, Alentejo is a jigsaw of landscapes, nature and enchanting villages waiting to be explored. 

But where are the best places to visit? 

We begin at La Sierra de Sao Mamede, an ‘oasis between stones’ in the Alto Alentejo.

READ MORE: Five stunning National Parks in Spain that come alive in the spring

The ‘oasis’ of Portugal offers many hiking and swimming opportunities.
Photo: experitour.com

The white village is perched on top of a mountain surrounded by a sea of green and various animals including otters, vultures, eagles, wild boars and deer. 

It is also home to many fortresses, making it great for hikers and rural tourism enthusiasts. 

Visit the local chapels, churches, walls, synagogue and Castlo do Vide to immerse yourself in the town’s history with touches of the gothic, medieval and even megalithic. 

At the mountain range’s highest point you will find the Villa de Marvao, a strategic defense point and old muslim bastion.  

The castle is surrounded by rolling countryside.
Photo: Rach Sam on Unsplash

READ MORE: ‘I took the ferry from Spain to Morocco to explore the North African country- these are my top tips’ 

From the walls you can enjoy amazing views and ‘perfectly intact’ medieval architecture. 

Not only this but the surrounding buildings are historic with the old town hall, clock tower and cistern, one of the biggest in Portugal. 

After wandering around the square to complete your trip, head south to the roman city of Ammaia. 

The city is famous for its rich tapestries and cork factories as well as its medieval castle and walls. 

It is also known for its baroque architecture, captured in its cathedral, plazas, monasteries and churches. 

At around the same height as Badajoz, Spain is Elvas, a quiet Portuguese town with much history. 

The star shaped fortress and towering aqueduct will wow any visitor, who will also enjoy exploring the old town, churches and walls. 

The sunsets in this area of Portugal are enviable.
Photo: Jose Dorda/Unsplash

Going south, Alandroal is another magnificent example of Portugal’s well-preserved medieval and roman heritage.

Filled with adelpha plants, the best time to admire them is Spring or Autumn.  

However, Alandroal is always a great destination to admire the sky without light pollution as it has been granted ‘Starlight Destination’ by UNESCO. 

In the nearby beach, Azenhas d’El Rei, you can also enjoy a kayak ride, swim or boat excursion to cool off on hot days. 

Perfect for a summer dip.
Photo: cm-alandroal.pt

The lower area of the region also has many natural wonders, with the Valle del Guadiana National Park and the Alcaria Ruiva mountain range. 

It is a fantastic holiday for nature fans, with many hiking paths and opportunities to spot unique birds such as black storks, ospreys, griffon vultures and warblers.

For history lovers, there’s the dolmens, whose swamp is also open for a refreshing swim.

READ MORE: I visited Setenil de las Bodegas – a town literally carved into rock in southern Spain… these are my tips 

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 bedroom Apartment for sale in Torremolinos with pool - € 437
Previous Story

3 bedroom Apartment for sale in Torremolinos with pool – € 437,000

Next Story

Tourists in Spain are accused of ‘taking all the bus seats’ and ‘forcing elderly to stand’ as flashpoints emerge – but some locals are fed-up of ‘xenophobic’ and ‘aggressive’ anti-tourism movement

Latest from Olive Press Travel

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press