Portugal
Evora

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

39 travelers at this place:

  • Day24

    Our Wheels Start Spinning

    October 11 in Portugal

    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 in Portugal

    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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  • 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

  • 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

    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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  • Day2

    Évora

    September 24 in Portugal

    Taxistrejk i Lissabon vilket bidrog till trafikkaos i stan. Det blev ändå en rundtur med buss och promenad på stan. Varmt! 34°.
    14 mil österut från Lissabon och man hamnar i Évora där vi nu checkat in Hotel Villa Galé, det är lite varmare här +38°, +29° på kvällen vid 22-tiden. Vinprovning i Araiaolos och middag på vingården. Kommer att sova gott i kväll 😴

  • Day18

    Enchanting Evora

    May 19 in Portugal

    The 45 minute drive to Evora was lovely. More cork trees, eucalyptus trees, and storks—we even saw 13 nests on one high transmission line tower! We also saw ruins of a castle on a hill, cattle, and sheep. Evora is a city from the 1500-1700s with narrow winding streets. We parked outside the city walls, and just walked around. It was funny to see a car parked in the middle of a narrow street--they don't care that they block the road.Read more

  • Day13

    Evora

    July 1 in Portugal

    Last year the Gairs and Alice tried to visit as many UNESCO sites in Portugal as possible, and we missed Evora. The Heiners visited its Spanish counterpart, Mérida, and were amazed. Maria and Melinda decided to detour quickly into Portugal for a few days to visit Evora. The city and the streets are picturesque, from Roman times, and TINY! On the way in Maria had to turn around in a parking lot the size of a Costco pizza (and on a slope, of course), and on the way out, a Portuguese man randomly crossing in front of Maria had stop to guide her out. The street was ok, until one tiny little keyhole no wider than the car. Forget the Bible parable about the camel and the needle...try threading an Audi through a Portuguese street!

    Evora is enchanting. It has whitewashed houses. Roman temples. Churches with towers. A chapel made of bones (*highlight!*). An aqueduct. And just out of town...some ancient standing stones. We took the map, walked the town, and checked off the list...ending the day with an amazing meal for which we were squeezed into the restaurant at the end of the evening.

    Maria’s mom would be so jealous that the bougainvilleas grow like weeds there and the town is decorated with purple, flowering trees. Obrigada, Evora. We must return soon.
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  • Day29

    Day 29: Into Portugal

    March 16, 2017 in Portugal

    Exciting day today, for two reasons: firstly because we were hitting up two separate UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day, and also because we were moving into our second country of the trip! First new country for me, second for Shandos as this was her first time in Spain.

    Up at the normal time and hit the road by 11:30, heading westwards across the Portuguese border and the town of Elvas. The town itself is UNESCO listed for a well-preserved old town area, but also for the large Renaissance-era forts protecting the town. Rather than head into town, we decided to check these out instead.

    It was a little difficult finding our way around, since the time zone had changed, the language had changed, and the data on my phone stopped working since I wasn't in Spain anymore! But the forts were pretty hard to miss. We opted first for the closer of the two, which sadly turned out to be the less interesting. The caretakers kindly let us take Schnitzel in, which made sense as the fort inside was mostly grass.

    They had that class pointed star-shape (if seen from above), where ranged weapons have very distinct killing zones and approaching the fort becomes very difficult. Interested to learn that Portugal has had the same borders more-or-less since the 12th century, and that although the crowns have gone back and forth a few times, it's essentially Europe's oldest defined nation.

    After an hour or so we headed down, bypassing the town towards the larger fort on the northern side. This was a bit more touristy but also cost 5 euros to enter; we weren't keen on paying since we'd already paid 2.50 each at the previous fort. If we'd been a little more prepared we'd likely have come here first as it looked larger and in better condition (and more interesting). Apparently at one point it was considered the among the strongest fortresses in Europe, with 144 cannons bristling out of the ramparts!

    Back into the car where we continued our journey westward, ending in the small city of Evora. Again this is UNESCO listed for a well-preserved old town, but it was also very influential to Portuguese history which we knew little about. It was the capital of Portugal for a few hundred years in the early Renaissance before the move to Lisbon, and a lot of the buildings and so on date from that era.

    Made a quick McDonalds pitstop for late lunch before parking our car outside the city walls and heading to our accommodation on foot. Apartment in a nice quiet side-street, though the owner's nephew or grandson or something lives upstairs. No real problem though, seemed like a nice guy and spoke good English.

    Headed out to explore where we looked at the cathedral (at one time the largest in Portugal), well-preserved ruins of a Roman temple (there was a Roman settlement here though not particularly notable), the main plaza (or plaça as they're called here), and of course the little white-washed alleyways with wrought iron balconies.

    Found some nice gardens which we walked through, rounded a corner to find a group of peacocks. Including one who had all his feathers raised in a mating display - never seen that before! Had a coffee and a Portuguese egg tart (which are everywhere) in a bakery, though the lady eventually communicated that it was the last one, burnt on top and cracked in the middle. It still tasted the same to us, though she didn't charge us for it!

    Seems a lot more multicultural here than in Spain, though it might just be the areas we've been in. Quite a few recent-looking migrants from Africa and the sub-continent, whereas Spain seemed fairly homogeneous. Also keep making the mistake of slipping back into Spanish - it's a bit similar but still quite different to Portuguese. Most people can understand you, but I have no hope of understanding their language! It actually sounds quite eastern European to my ears.

    Headed out in the evening without much plan of where to go for dinner. Decided on a whim to head for a place with a 9.1 rating on Foursquare, which turned out to be a fantastic choice. It was a degustation restaurant, where the waiter basically said "do you want meat or vegetarian" and that was as much choice as we had in the matter! Sliced meats, soup-infused mushrooms, baked cheese, choux pastry with cheese & walnut, salad with salmon to start, followed by pork neck with rice and creamy mashed spinach. Mint sorbet for palate cleanser, then a triple dessert of egg yolk & sugar, a thin layered-cake style thing, and a couple of cheesecake squares and a glass of sweet wine. Comfortably the most expensive meal we've had so far on this trip, at 60 euros total, but considering the whole experience and that it included wine, it felt like a bargain!

    Went to bed with full stomachs, ready for another day!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Évora, Evora, Yabura/Yabora/Yabra, Эвора

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