We usually prefer to travel to places that have lots of active things to do, even with our three-year-old son, from hiking to surfing, skiing to parachuting we love to try new things.
This weekend though we found ourselves tired and in need of a peaceful slow-paced vibe, and what better place to unwind than Alentejo.
This big region – one-third of the country by area – is known for its relaxing environment, wine and exquisite food.
Not far from Évora is Monsaraz our chosen location this weekend.

Monsaraz

It’s a magical place that seems suspended in time from the moment you enter its walls. The entire village is located on the top of a hill with a magnificent view over Alqueva’s dam and even the Spanish border.
Being magnificently preserved you can feel like visiting an outdoor museum.

What to visit

The first thing, of course, would be to just walk around the walls and appreciate the views and the architecture.
The castle, a unique place in Portugal and the best place to enjoy a splendid sunset while looking at the impressive Alqueva Dam.
Church (Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Lagoa), built in the 16th century it’s also where you can find the pillory of Monsaraz.

The many handcrafts shop around the village
The night sky, one of the reasons we were drawn to this place.
Observatory of Alqueva Lake – really you should get there if you can. Where else can you see the stars in a unique place like this one?
Ervideira winery – Because well this is Alentejo. We didn’t go there this time but we have been there before and we love one of their wines.
Beach of Monsaraz – yes you read that right, there is a sandy beach close by, you’ll be surprised.

Where is it?