Portugal
Évora

Here you’ll find travel reports about Évora. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

55 travelers at this place:

  • Day25

    Das historische Städtchen Évora

    August 16, 2017 in Portugal ⋅

    Vielleicht lebe ich wirklich hinterm Mond, oder das kleine Studentenstädtchen Évora mit seinen 56.000 Einwohnern ist wirklich noch ein absoluter Geheimtipp. Es liegt etwa auf der Höhe von Lissabon, nur viel weiter im Landesinneren und hat mich mit seinem römischen Tempel, der auf dem Berg thront, eigentlich schon von Weitem verzaubert.
    Mehr Reisetipps: www.lilies-diary.com
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  • Day25

    Art Café in Evora

    August 16, 2017 in Portugal ⋅

    Ich liebe meine Happy Cow App. Sie führt mich in jeder Stadt an die tollsten Orte. Mit der App kann ich ausfindig machen, wo es vegan, vegetarische und Vegetarier-freundliche Restaurants gibt. In Portugal sehr hilfreich. Für Évora wurde mir das ArtCafé angezeigt. Schon auf den Fotos in der App fand ich die Tische und Stühle vor den Rundbögen sehr hübsch. Das Café liegt in einem Innenhof mit Viadukten.
    Mehr Reisetipps: www.lilies-diary.com
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  • Day26

    Feira de São João & Sightseeing in Evora

    August 17, 2017 in Portugal ⋅

    Ich bin ein Naturmädel und ich finde eigentlich in jeder Stadt einen schönen Park. In Évora ist das der Jardim Público. Gleich am Anfang des Parks gibt es einen kleine Hütte, an der ihr euch ein paar Getränke und Snacks kaufen könnt, um sie dann im Park an den vielen Tischen oder auf einer Bank zu genießen. Außerdem haben wir noch das Feira de São João besucht, was wirklich, wirklich toll war! Den Diana Tempel und die gruselige Knochenkapelle mussten wir uns natürlich auch unbedingt anschauen. ;-)
    Mehr Reisetipps: www.lilies-diary.com
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  • Day24

    Our Wheels Start Spinning

    October 11, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Our first impressions of Arraiolos were rather confused. In some respects it was a bit like being transported back to the 1950s and a time when shops were only open when the owners felt like working, when people still had time to sit and talk in the centre of town and where the only two colours of paint available were blue and white.

    By 9.00 am most of us were ready to start riding. After all, that is what we had come so far to do. The only trouble was the weather was looking threatening. From time to time a light drizzle started to fall. When I spotted a tiny patch of blue overhead, I boldly announced that "the rain was finished for the day" and that we would not be needing the wet weather gear most of us had donned. It turned out to be a little bit premature.

    There was another small problem. Our guide Jorge was yet to arrive, and he was the only one who knew where we were meant to be riding. Soon after 9.30 am he arrived and proceeded to explain that he would be driving the van to each important road junction and then showing us the way. It sounded simple, but I was not overly confident that it would work.

    Actually there was yet another small problem - the road immediately climbed up at a steep angle. Since most of us had not ridden a bike for several weeks, we were soon left stretched out over a large distance. I guess that was why the tail enders took a wrong turn and managed to get lost within the first 5 minutes. It was a worrying start.

    The lost sheep were eventually located and we worked hard to perfect the system. At one point we stopped outside a very old church. If I heard Jorge correctly, he explained that it had been built in 300 BC. That posed all sorts of problems in my head, but I guess I should not get bogged down with details.

    The road continued to climb and climb, making me wonder we were ever told that this region is very flat. After our very first day in the saddle, we all know now that it is simply not true.

    Our first stop for the day was at a large cheese farm. It was quite interesting watching the cheese being made, but by far the most interesting part was when the guide explained that the large Russian female cheesemaker was a fearful woman who continually worried that someone was going to steal her husband. I must admit that I would not have wanted to have been on the receiving end of a beating by Nina. The other fascinating attraction at the farm was a beautiful (and very large) three legged dog that seemed happy to follow after us. I can't remember what name was, but I think it might have been Hoppalong.

    I was curious why every building had been painted blue and white and asked whether that was the only colours available on the Portuguese colour chart. The reply was that it was to "keep away the flies". I think she was serious.

    It was while we were at the cheese factory that the weather took a turn for the worse. With steady rain now falling, Jorge explained that our planned picnic lunch would no longer be possible. We were told that we would be able to have it in the big hall instead. It certainly was an impressive space. The fireplace was the biggest I have ever seen and the mantlepiece was large enough to accommodate two huge stiffed boars. It was that sort of place.

    None of us were sure what happened next, but somehow it seemed to take an eternity for the picnic lunch to be ready and we didn't get back underway until about 2.30 pm in the afternoon. At the least the rain had stopped by that time and the sun eve started to make a reappearance.

    Of course the only way out of the cheese farm was up the same steep hill we had arrived by. When you combine a steep slope with bone shattering corrugations it makes for a serious hard work.

    Jorge had equipped Douglas and Brian with GPS units to help them find the way through some tiny off road tracks. That move was guaranteed to inject mass confusion into the peloton. The path deteriorated into a sandy cow track (complete with real cows) that had everyone quickly trying to perfect their mountain biking skills. In spite of the difficult riding, only Rhonda managed to actually fall off, although many others came very close.

    We finally arrived at the Winery which was to be stop number two. While most of the group went into the premises for a lengthy session of wine tasting, the rest of us sat outside and chatted. The winery was also famous for its huge collection of antique and beautifully restored carriages. Apparently the entire collection is worth many millions of Euros. It certainly was fascinating, but I was really starting to worry about the time. Sunset was rapidly approaching.

    We finally headed away from the winery and started climbing more huge hills. You could only imagine my horror when I saw that we had actually ridden right back into Arraiolos. After hours of riding we were right back where we had started from. It was now about 5 pm and I knew that there were only two hours of daylight remaining.

    Normally when you hear that you will be riding on a "rail trail" you imagine that it will be a lovely smooth surface to ride on, with almost no hills. This one was more like a sand pit, with numerous patches of treacherous deep sand. On several occasions my bike almost came to a complete halt, but somehow we all managed to keep moving ahead.

    We finally arrived at our destination Evora with only a few minutes of daylight remaining. The most impressive sight that greeted us was the towering city wall that seemed to continue for ever. It was with a huge relief that we eventually reached our home for the next two nights - the huge M'Ar De Ar Muralhas hotel. It has a four star rating, but inside it had a distinct "lived in" feeling that suggested that its grandest days were behind it. Nevertheless, the room was large, clean and very comfortable. It was a pity that the towel rail fell straight off the wall as soon as I touched it, but somehow I wasn't surprised.

    The restaurant that we enjoyed our evening meal was packed. I also noticed that it had a Michelin rating. When we saw the level of service experienced the quality of the food we could see why it was the most popular place in town.
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  • Day25

    A Hot Day in the Portuguese Dust

    October 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    The notes clearly described the today’s ride in the following way – “Easy over flat terrain, some dirt roads”. I am not sure who actually wrote that description, but I can assure you that it was written by a motorist, not a cyclist. Either that or the Portuguese definition of “flat” is completely different to that used in the rest of the civilised world.

    After the (almost violent) confrontations at the breakfast buffet and the problems presented by the complete lack of cutlery and good manners, we were really all looking forward to an easy flat ride. It seemed like it would be a great way to relax and enjoy some time in the Portuguese countryside. It certainly began pleasantly enough, although the going soon started to get harder when the first of about 200 hills started to appear. The close proximity of speeding cars also added to the difficulty factor. Jorge assured us that we would soon be away from the traffic, and he was partly truthful.

    The only problem was that, as soon as we left the highway, we found ourselves bouncing along a heavily corrugated dirt road. Not only was it real boneshaker material, but in many places it was covered with a thick and treacherous layer of fine dust. This would have been a very likely place to stage a fall, but our riders are a skillful lot, in spite of their advancing years. Due to some freak of nature, we all stayed upright and managed to make it to the first check point.

    We all left the bikes and struggled our way up what appeared to be a creek bed to reach an ancient Neolithic burial place. It certainly was breathtaking to see the huge granite slabs and try to imagine how they managed to move them into position. Looking around at the parched countryside all around I had to remind myself that we were actually in Europe. It looked more like a typical Australian bush landscape in the middle of summer.

    Unlike yesterday, the sky was mostly clear and it did not take long for the heat to start building up again. I wondered if we would have secretly preferred the rain, rather than the hot sun.

    We then bounced our way over more kilometres of dusty dirt roads, simultaneously shaking every part of our bodies that could move and inhaling lungfuls of dry dust at the same time. When Jorge then explained that we were about to begin a steep climb on an even worse road I am sure that some spirits sank. Nevertheless we started well, quickly seeking our lowest gears and our inner reserves. For the next half hour we bounced and ground our way slowly up the mountain till we reached the biggest stone dolmen in Europe. It was a massive cylindrical block of stone that had been erected pointing to the skies.

    As hard as it was to complete the first part of the climb, our work was only half done. We then had to continue up an even steeper climb to reach a huge cromeleque. In case you don’t know what that is, neither did we. It turned out to be a large collection of massive rocks that had been carefully placed in patterns at the top of a hill. Although not as tall as Stone Henge, there were far more rocks, so I guess that makes up for it.

    By this time we were growing hungry and Jorge found a shady spot for us to enjoy lunch. He even provided us with picnic chairs to sit our tired bodies on. The we faced the challenge of riding back down the heavily corrugated dirt road we had ridden up earlier. Although easier on the legs, it certainly required concentration and vigilance to avoid having a serious crash.

    At the bottom we counted heads to make sure that we had not suffered any casualties on the way down and then started the ride back to Evora. Although we had been told it was downhill all the way – it wasn’t. There were several more hills to climb (of course there were), until we finally joined the main highway back into Evora. Finally we could let our hair down (or we could have if we had any) and made up for lost time. It was a good feeling to be making good progress at last and we were very glad when we rolled back to the front of our hotel at 4.30 pm.

    It had been a solid day’s ride, but I think that everyone was rightly pleased with their efforts.
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  • Day29

    We Finish the Ride and End on a High

    October 16, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    For me, the final day of any long anticipated adventure, is always a day of mixed emotions.On the one hand there is the sense of relief that everything went according to the plans and I can finally relax a little, on the other hand there is often a feeling of disappointment that it can't go on just a little longer.

    After the trials and tribulations of the previous day, it was wonderful to awake to a mostly clear sky. The local weather bureau had assured us that there was no chance of rain, and they proved to be correct.

    Because the final day's ride was the shortest of the rain, we allowed ourselves the luxury of not getting underway till 10.00 am. We well know that every day's ride begins with a high (and always ends with one too), so it was a not a surprise to find ourselves immediately working our way uphill.Just to add a new level of difficulty, someone had decided to pave all the roads with rough cobblestones. Before we left the hotel, I had likened the final day of our Portugal ride to the final day of the Tour de France, however I had not expected it to be a replica of the rough cobbles of the Champs Elysees.

    We bounced and rattled our way slowly along, while Allan Barlin spent the time cursing every cobble stone that got in his way. This region is famous for the enormous marble quarries that pock mark the landscape, but you cannot understand the true scale of the operation until you see one of these up close. We quickly decided that it looked like a mighty dangerous place to work. If you didn't get flattened by a huge slab of marble,you would almost certainly choke on the marble dust and also go deaf from the noise of the machinery.

    At one point we stopped at a marble showroom where the lady tried valiantly to explain to us how the process of mining and preparing marble is actually done. Unfortunately she only spoke 4 words of English, so it made the explanation a little difficult. When she realised that her four words of English were slightly inadequate, she recruited Mary to help with the translation. Of course Mary only spoke three words of Portuguese, so the dialogue was still a little limited. The Portuguese documentary movie she showed us made even less sense as it didn't even have four words of English. I discovered that I must be allergic to marble dust as the place just made my throat itch from the moment I walked in the door.

    We were all relieved to be free of the cobblestones and to finally enjoy some glorious riding through idyllic rural farmlands. For once the roads were flat(tish) and the progress was almost effortless. Our riders chatted happily as they rode along and nobody was in in particular hurry for the ride to finish. From time to time we stopped to look for those elusive green doors that Jorge told us about.

    After lunch in an ancient private winery, we resumed the journey to Estremoz, which was to be our final destination for the ride. Of course the highest point of the city is the royal castle, and that is where we would be staying for the night. After our amazing stay in the convent, it was hard to imagine that the standard could be raised even further, but I think it was.

    The Castelo de Estremoz is another magnificent building belonging to to the Portuguese Royal Family. The huge castle tower dominates the surroundings and the attached hotel is like a living museum and testimony to regal wealth and power.

    As the arrived at the base of the tower we all congratulated each other on the fine achievement and then posed for the final group photograph. In the centre of the photograph, in pride of place, were two scallop shells inscribed with the names "Paul" and "Jan". They had completed the final day (and every previous day) right along with us. I only wish they could both have shared that moment with us.

    After checking into my palatial room and throwing away my tattered riding gloves and cycling shorts, I decided to climb the narrow staircase right to the top of the tower. It rewarded my effort with sensational 360 degree views of the whole region. I spent quite some considerable time savouring the moment and thinking back over some of the magical moments we had shared together. When I looked down at the statue of Santa Isabel, I noticed that the two scallop shells were still there where we had placed them. It seemed entirely appropriate.

    Tomorrow morning the group will disburse and head their own separate ways, however I am sure that we will all take away a huge number of incredible memories to relive in the years ahead.

    A Final Footnote
    One matter has been an ongoing topic for discussion and confusion throughout the past 10 days. There are two words for Thank You in Portuguese - they are "obrigado" and "obrigada". Although it seemed to be very complicated as to when you should use each variant (on one occasion, one of our team got so confused she actually said abracadabra), the rule is actually quite simple. If you are a male speaker you use the term "obrigado" and if you are female it is "obrigada". It makes no difference whether you are addressing a male or female, it is the gender of the speaker that is relevant. Simples. Why did we make it so damned complicated ?
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  • Day17

    The best Estremoz has to offer

    May 31, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 57 °F

    After a few relaxing and totally enjoyable days with my friend Verner it is time to set off home via a different route.
    We stopped at Silves and walked up to the pretty castle. I got talking to a classical guitarist who was playing outside for coins. We chatted for a good twenty minutes, he is Australian.
    We stopped for lunch at MC Donald's which had about fifty motorcycles outside. It was great.
    Tonight we have ended up in a five star hotel because every other in the area is booked by the motorcyclists who are part of a ride up Portugal, there are thousands of them and we enjoyed having them going past beeping and waving to us in our little car. http://www.les-a-les.com The hotel we found is a thirteenth century castle pousada called Castelo de Estremoz at the top of a cobbled hill. Four poster beds and expensive antiques in every room.
    We walked down the hill into town for a meal and came across a religious ceremony so we joined the procession to the church then went and found a restaurant. It looks a nice town.
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  • Day18

    Vendas Novas B&B

    May 19, 2018 in Portugal ⋅

    We drove to Vendas Novas, about 2 hours North. It was a beautiful drive through hilly terrain with lots more cork trees, vineyards, and wildflowers-mostly yellow and purple-everywhere. The hosts of our B&B, Armindo and Teresa, are so nice. They really make us feel welcome. Both are police in Lisbon. They invited us to join them for supper: a lovely squash and fish soup, bread, wine, and baked apples. We visited pretty well—they understand English and can speak a fair amount. Then they brought out the port and we understood each other just fine! They even gave us a city map for Lisbon. They really are over the top hosts!Read more

  • Day10

    Day 11. Estremoz.

    August 18, 2017 in Portugal ⋅

    First off this morning we headed off to the hospital to have Shirl's arm redressed. We approached what looked like a derelict building and entered with some trepidation.
    Inside it was clean, spotless.
    I was greeted by an older woman who clearly wanted nothing to do with us and told us, in Portuguese of course, to go down the hall to room at the end.
    There were several rooms and one with a doctor. I explained our problem. She consulted her computer terminal and, of course we were not on it. She spoke to someone and told me to go back with our passport to the counter. Phew! A younger lady, who spoke a little English, took the passport and Medicare card and proceeded to enter the details, with difficulty and consternation. As usual everyone joined in giving her advice. Eventually a smile and obvious relief and the task was completed. I returned down the hall and the wound was already redressed. The doctor entered details into the system and told us to return to the counter to pay.
    I paid with many thanks to the young lady and we left, very satisfied.
    Shirl told me she nearly had a heart attack as she thought the cost was €70. It was €4-70. ($7).
    The wound is healing nicely and several of the tapes that held the skin together were removed. I think Shirl is praying all will be well so we can walk St Francis Way in Italy. I remain unconvinced.
    The Correos(Post Office) was our next port of call with me wishing I had learnt more Portuguese. All was well and the hound man spoke excellent English. The parcel of Shirl's purchases is on its way.
    A visit to the medieval part of town on the hill was next before it became too hot.
    The visit to the local museum depicted the old way of life provided some relief from the heat.
    Not much to see elsewhere ,but we came across a gallery of marble sculptures. Wonderful pieces. Several we would have bought if it was possible. A long, interesting conversation with proprietor followed.
    Returning to town for lunch and an escape from the afternoon heat.
    Surfacing in the relative cool of the early evening we copied the locals and found a cafe by the square. (In the shade)
    A Super Bock and Ginger Ale were enjoyed whilst observing the locals. A passeggiata around the square finished the day got us.
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  • Day23

    Goodbye Lisbon, Hello Arraiolos

    October 10, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    After spending such a pleasant couple of days in Lisbon, I must admit that it would have been easy to stay a little longer. Unfortunately that wasn't an option - we had a schedule to keep. Our instructions had clearly told us to be ready and waiting outside the Millennium BCP Bank, in order to catch our bus to Arraiolos at 2 pm precisely.

    That only gave me a few hours to spend my final morning in Lisbon. I first wondered along the now familiar main pedestrian street to the waterfront. It was still early in the morning for the familiar buskers to have set up shop, but obviously not too early for the gypsy beggars to be out and about hounding everyone in sight. I thought it somewhat amusing that they must have made a bulk purchase of crutches at some time. We saw about a dozen gypsy girls regularly working the streets . Each one of them was equipped with a single crutch, although even a blind man could see that there was nothing wrong with them. When they were out of sight of the masses, their limps immediately disappeared.

    One place that I had passed many times over the past couple of days was a towering iron structure in the centre of the city, with a viewing platform at the top. In order to get to the top you pay 5 Euro for a ticket to the ancient elevator. Each previous time that I had passed by the queues had been so long that I lost interest. On this occasion, however, the queue was very short so I took my opportunity and bought a ticket. A few moments later I was standing atop the structure and looking down at Lisbon. It certainly offered a great view of the city.

    After checking out of the hotel and having lunch,it was time to collect my luggage and wait for the bus. Fortunately it was only about 10 minutes late. We were also pleased that it was a very comfortable Mercedes Benz bus. Soon we were leaving Lisbon and passing over the huge suspension bridge that we had seen from the city.

    We were on our way to the small rural town of Arraiolos, about 130 km from Lisbon. Most of the trip was undertaken on a huge freeway with almost no other traffic. We were also interested to pass extensive plantations of cork trees, where you could clearly see how the bark had been systematically harvested from the trunks.

    About two hours later we arrived at our destination, although the bus driver had some difficulty navigating the narrow one way streets. Fortunately I had my Garmin GPS with me and was able to provide him with the necessary directions.

    Our home for the evening is the Casa de Platana Hotel. It was certainly unlike any hotel we had stayed in thus far on this trip. Two things it had in abundance were character and candles.

    Later in the afternoon we met our guide Jorge and collected our bicycles. The consensus of opinion was that the bikes were well prepared and very comfortable to ride.

    Our evening meal was at the Restaurante Pelourinho. I think I can safely say it was easily the best meal we have enjoyed so far on this trip. The food was excellent and the wait staff were attentive and very helpful.

    Tomorrow we start riding.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Distrito de Évora, Distrito de Evora, Évora

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