Nestled 195 meters high over the countryside, the village of Monsaraz is one of the charming medieval villages in the region of Alentejo and in whole of Portugal. The small village has a rich history which can be traced back as early as 1100s.
We have wanted to visit this tiny village early this year, but due to bad weather condition, we blasted our plan and changed out itinerary. Now that we were again in the neighbourhood (Evora), we thought maybe this time, we could visit it. And we did!
COMING TO MONSARAZ
It was early Saturday afternoon when we left the city of Evora and drove to Monsaraz. We were a bit lucky with the weather as it was good, contrary to the weather forecast for that day. It was a good drive, about 55 kilometers. But with only about 2.5 kilometers to go, we saw a beautiful river on our right side. Spontaneously, we followed the access road to the river and decided to spend the rest of the day here, just relaxing and hanging around. With nice view of Monsaraz, we thought….the village could wait one more day !
However, when it was getting dark, we didn’t stay by the river alone so we then drove up to the village. It proved to be a very wise decision, as the views from our parking area were more spectacular! We had wonderful views of the castle, and of course, the landscapes before us – the Alentejo countrysides and the huge Guadiana river.
Parking for Autocaravana
Rua Sto. Antonio
Coordinates : N : 38.44216 W : 7.37927
It is a parking area reserved for mobile homes, with at least 10 places. It has spectacular views of the surroundings and only about 100 meters to the village center. Facilities for campers are at a nearby village, about 10 kilometers further. It was full when we were here, so we just parked at the lowest level of the parking area, by the roundabout primarily reserved for long and heavy vehicles.
MONSARAZ ON A RAINY DAY
It rained the whole night in Monsaraz. And it was still raining when we woke up the following morning! Dark cloud hang on the sky, and it didn’t stop raining until 12.30. When the rain did finally stop, we immediately took the chance to go up the village.
It was quiet in the village, which was understandable because of the bad weather, and lunchtime. We first visited the parish church, the Church of Nuestra Sehnora do Lagoa , which is located at the main square. The church asked no entrance fees, but it was not allowed tot ake pictures. Then with a little rainshowers, we walked around in the tiny village. Remarkable were the cute white-washed houses which are lined up on both sides of the narrow cobbled-stones streets and alleys. Some of these houses are now converted into souvenir shops and restaurants. We walked along the Rua Dereita, the village main street, until we reached the castle.
Views with the mist
The castle was open and it was also deserted. There was nobody; we entered it, climbed up to the ramparts, and had almost zero-visibility view of the surroundings! A pity! But about 15 minutes later, it started to clear up a bit, so were still able to enjoy much nicer views! We could even see our camper parked below!
With the weather a bit improving, the village was also becoming a bit busier.
Monsaraz, without the mist
Tourists started to arrive and walked around the village too! We took another stroll around the village, and saw the phenomenal views we didn’t see an hour before.
We even walked up to the ruins of Sao benito Chapel which is found outside the village walls. There we had a very nice view of the village.
We were glad to have waited for a while and able to visit this charming tiny village of Monsaraz. It is surely one of the nicest places we have visited in the country. Though a bit touristic, it still retains its authenticity and charms! Surely, patience pays off!
Our customary picturesdtogether