Montalvao – fortified hilltop town on the Portuguese border

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Near the border with Spain the Alentejo is wide, open, and empty. Lush, green grass covers soft hills, and cork oaks and olive trees are everywhere. Surprisingly there are few sheep and cattle – farming here seems very ‘quiet’ and unobtrusive – … Continued

The backroads from Vila Vicosa to Flor da Rosa completed

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Early afternoon in Campo Maior felt like being in a remote and lonely part of Portugal, near the Spanish border, yet we were only two hours away from Lisbon Airport! It was raining again as we left Campo Maior but along the road to Arronches the … Continued

Castles in Portugal’s Alentejo – Terena

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The Castle of Terena was one of the chain of castles either built or fortified by King Dinis (1261-1365) to protect the borders of Portugal from Spain. The castles in this area (we were based in Vila Vicosa) are Elvas, Juromenha, … Continued

The Castle in Vila Vicosa, Portugal

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Vila Viçosa started life as a small Roman settlement which then became part of the Visigoth Kingdom, and in the 8C the Moors gained control. The Order of Avis reconquered the area in 1217 and in the early 14C King Dinis I built … Continued

Castelo de Vide – near the Portuguese border

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We set off from Flor da Rosa on a bright, cold morning to visit Castelo de Vide, an extraordinary small town in east Portugal, close to the Spanish border. The countryside was covered in dew – beautiful – but very difficult to … Continued

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