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Evora Mini Guide
Where is Evora?
Evora is a city partly enclosed by medieval walls in the centre of Portugal and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings are of various architectural styles and there are churches and palaces to visit. Explore the labyrinth of squares and streets – this city has the feel of an open air museum, there is so much to see concentrated in a small area.
How would I get There?
Trains run four times a day from Lisbon with Comboros de Portugal and there are buses from major cities. By car, from Lisbon Airport
, you can drive there using the A2 and A6, it's 140km to Evora. Once you are there, you can walk around or take a horse carriage ride around the sights.
What Will I see?
Aqua de Prata Aquaduct was finished in 1537 and now has houses and shops built in between the arches, so no space is wasted! Visit the Cathedral of Evora, it was built between 1280-1340 and is one of the most important gothic buildings in Portugal. It has statues of the apostles inside and a pretty nave and cloister. Next door is the city’s museum where you can find out more about Evora’s history and see paintings and sculptures. The incredible Roman Temple is from the 1st century and one of a kind, it has 18 Corinthian columns still standing.
St Francis Church contains chapels of mixed styles, one of the most unusual being the macabre Chapel of Bones - it is made entirely from human bones. You can also visit the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval, the façade is part of the old castle and it has a tower called the ‘tower of five shields’. On the first floor you can see portraits and 16th century religious art.
Out and About
Just outside of Evora is the megalithic site of Almendres Cromlech, an arrangement of ancient stones that are thought to have been used for religion and ceremony or astronomical purposes. Also nearby is the Cave of Escoural, take a free tour of the cave with its charcoal drawings of animals from over 15,000 years ago.
There's also the stunning mountain top fortress of Evoramonte Castle surrounded by a pretty village of the same name. The views to and from the castle are amazing and well worth the trip out.
Where Should I eat?
Have a coffee and sweet dish at the Praco do Giraldo, the main square in the city. Local dishes include lamb stews and pork with clams and coriander and with them you can try the Mourao or Borba wines. The town is famous for the O Fialho’s restaurant, guests travel from as far as Lisbon to taste the local dishes such as pork with mussels and white wine or lamb in a bread stew.
I Want to Stay Overnight…
Stay at the Pousada de Evora, a renovated convent situated between the Cathedral and the Roman Temple. Each room is individually styled and has modern facilities. The pousada has a courtyard swimming pool and a bar and you can try local dishes at the pousada’s restaurant.
- At Evora Airfield you can learn to skydive and then complete a jump either solo or in tandem with an instructor. You'll have a birds eye view of the region during the minute it takes to reach the ground.
- Evora has four weekend markets called the Feiras no Largo in the Praca 1st de Maio where you can pick up lots of interesting curios and more than one or two unusual gifts for friends back home.