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A guide to Évora: The capital of the Alentejo

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Evora is the capital city of the Alentejo, and a popular destination for those visiting Portugal. It’s a city that feels both modern and rural at the same time: it is nowhere near as rural-feeling as many of the other towns in the Alentejo, but it’s also not as trendy as Lisbon or Porto.

It is famous primarily for the number of historical attractions the city has to offer, which includes the Roman Temple of Évora, the Capela dos Ossos (bone chapel), Cathedral of Évora, and the Aqueduto da Água de Prata. There are also plenty of attractions that are within a short drive of Evora, including the Almendres Cromlech (standing stones) which are located around 30 minutes from Evora.

While it’s possible to visit everything in a day, it’s much better to an overnight or two in Evora in order to see everything. Some attractions shut for lunch, especially during the summer, making it difficult to squeeze everything into a shorter itinerary.

An overnight in Evora will also give you a chance to sample some of the regional Alentejo specialities, and to experience one of Evora’s many wonderful hotels.

Putting Evora on the Map

Evora is situated in the centre of Portugal, halfway between the Spanish border on the right and the Setúbal coast on the left. It’s almost level with Lisbon, around a third of the way up the country.

Lisbon to Evora takes around 1 hour-and-a-half by car, and around the same time by train. From Faro in the Algarve, getting to Evora takes around 2-and-a-half hours by car. Porto is slightly further, just over 4 hours by car.

Although there is an airport in the Alentejo, Beja International Airport, it isn’t a particularly active airport with only 259 passengers passing through in 2016. The nearest airport with commercial flights is Lisbon Portela followed by Faro Airport in the Algarve.

As well as Evora, there are several other towns worth visiting in the Alentejo including Beja, Evoramonte, Arraiolos, and Elvas. Many of these towns are quite small, and can easily be seen in a few hours, so a car is the best way to get around the Alentejo.

Hotels & accommodation in Evora

Budget

  • Good Mood Hostel – One of Evora’s most popular hostels, the Good Mood Hostel offers affordable accommodation with free Wi-Fi and a welcome drink.
  • Casa dos Teles – Offers basic accommodation in the heart of Evora with free Wi-Fi.

Mid-Range & Up

  • Moov Hotel – Modern and minimalist, the Moov Hotel offers contemporary-themed accommodation at a very reasonable price.

Splurge

  • Albergaria do Calvario – A boutique hotel with traditional features, complimentary Wi-Fi, and an excellent breakfast.
  • Vitoria Stone Hotel – Offering a rooftop bar that overlooks Evora, and a spa with a swimming pool and sauna, this hotel is ideal for a romantic break in Evora.

Things to do in Evora

  • Roman Temple of Évora – The Roman ruins offer a reminder of the different civilisations that have been a part of Evora’s history.
  • The Capela dos Ossos (bone chapel) – A very unusual and somewhat spooky chapel that’s made from the bones of more than 5,000 different people.
  • Cathedral of Évora – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Evora’s oldest and most important attractions.

Nearby Towns & Cities

  • Elvas (84 km)
  • Beja (81 km)
  • Serpa (107 km)

Events in Evora

  • Rota de Sabores Tradicionais – A food festival that lasts for several months (January – May), during which restaurants in Evora take part and put on special dishes.
  • Festival Évora Clássica – An annual music festival that takes place every year in June. Although the event originally focused on classical music, it has now changed to incorporate many different genres and world styles.
  • Feira São João – A 12-day festival that takes place every year in June. Expect local Aletejo gastronomy, cultural costumes and dancing, and crafts from local producers.

Last updated in May 2019.
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