Monsaraz - a medievel village "open museum"
For three days come and discover this medieval village, with a dream castle on the top of the mountain, well-preserved schist walls, encircling white houses, sublime views over a giant lake whose blue is bordered by green and gold.... Welcome to Monsaraz. Take a trip to the past as you pass the sidewalks of the village, with a visit to megalithic sites, taste the local gastronomy and the rich and sublime wine of the region. Dare to make a trip in the Alqueva dam and enjoy the calm blue crystal waters. During these days visit local traditions – pottery or wool factory and take advantage of the clear skies and observe the stars. Visit Monsaraz and let yourself be bewitched by the village that was born in ""Monte das Xaras""!
Day 1: We invite to make a walk on this medieval village that stopped in time and find the incomparable beauty.
Admire the tones of the earth and the harsh air of the schist stone are contrasted by the whiteness and plume of the whitewashed houses. At the top of this steep slope, within walls as old as the age, there is a very own character where legends, memories, traditions and ancient knowledge are preserved. But also for the landscapes you can see from the top of the hill.
Along the way take the opportunity to see the “Fresco” Museum and the castle. Have a look into the cistern of Monsaraz - legend has it that it was built on the site where there was a Muslim mosque.
The tour of the village ends in the halls of the old preparatory school, where you can taste the famous liqueur produced in this region – the Alentejo wine. For dinner we suggest to try one the famous restaurants inside of the walls.
Day 2: Start the day, with a travel to the biggest artificial lake of Europe – Alqueva. Learn the stories, the heritage, the fauna and flora while enjoying a smooth boat ride with Filipe. After lunch, we'll take you on a tour discovering megalithic. Around six thousand years ago, the Alentejo was already inhabited by primitive peoples. The entire region around Monsaraz was an important centre of megalithic culture. Let yourself be impressed by the megalithic complex with a square layout - the only known until now. Go in search of the Bulhoa Menhir, continue to the Valentine's rock - legend has it that you must throw a stone on top of the rock if you are looking for a companion (or steal a kiss if you are accompanied). Finish your megalithic itinerary of Monsaraz in the Antas do Olival Da Pega, a 4000-year-old Dolmen right in the centre of an ancient olive grove. For dinner we suggest a restaurant located in an old olive mill, where is possible to consolidate the good Alentejo food with a museum and art gallery. End the day with an exploration of the skies of the Alentejo with a star gazing. Let yourself be wrapped by the night sky and the silent of Alentejo!
Day 3: Before saying goodbye to Monsaraz, we invite you to join us in the São Pedro do Corval. Here we will take you to visit the “Casa do Barro”, a interpretation centre that aims to promote the pottery, ensuring its sustainability, and preserve an important part of the culture and history of the region. It also aims to disseminate and promote its people and traditions, providing all visitors with knowledge and learning about pottery and clay. After, visit one of the many pottery shops, where the craftsmen work pieces in clay, continuing the centuries-old tradition of manufacturing coarse, glazed and decorative tableware, which many guarantee to have ""extraordinary aesthetic and ethnographic value"". Constituting a genuine mirror of rural life and ancestral customs. Here you can live a unique experience of watching live, clay being shaped by the wise hands of the master potter in his/hers wheel and being able to share his/hers knowledge and life experience.