Évora Tour from Lisbon – Genuine Countryside Tour from Lisbon
On this tour, we will visit a deeper Portugal with magnificent vineyards, wheat plains, cork and olive trees, from where the famous Portuguese olive oil comes from.
We start by visiting the oldest cromlech in southern Europe, more than 7,000 years old: The Almendres Cromlech. The Cromlech is a clear reflection, and one of gigantic proportions, of the era of pagan enchantment, known as New Stone Age. Built towards the sunrise and sunset, this megalithic enclosure (mega=big; litho=stone) is located on a gentle slope on Almendres Estate. A place that could very well represent the region of Alentejo.
Formed by two distinct enclosures, built between the end of the 6th and the 3rd millennium BC, this cromlech is one of the biggest and most important megalithic monuments in the world. It is much older than the famous Stonehenge. At its peak, the archeological complex of Almendres Cromlech would have more than a hundred monoliths, granite stones of various sizes. All laid in a circular or elliptical shape. Out of the hundred, ninety five are left today, in perfect state of conservation. And you can visit them every time you feel like it.
Next, we visit Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by 14th century walls. We will visit the Roman Temple and the Sé, a gothic cathedral (the largest in Portugal), that are right in the heart of the city. You will have time to stroll through the streets of Évora and get to know the local crafts before lunch. Try the very rich local cuisine mainly based on, but not limited to, pork, olive oil, soups, Alentejo bread and codfish dishes. Delicious!
In December 2022, it was announced that the city of Évora had been recommended for the European Capital of Culture 2027 title in Portugal.
Évora is the historic capital of the Alentejo region in Southern Portugal. Their concept for the European Capital of Culture year is based on “Vagar”, reflecting a way of living and a strong element in the region’s intangible heritage, and the urgent need for Europe and Europeans to transit to a “slow living philosophy”.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
“After Lisbon in 1994, Porto in 2001 and Guimarães in 2012, Évora will be the fourth city in Portugal to host the European Capital of Culture title in 2027. This is a unique opportunity for a city and its surrounding area to bring culture and Europe right to the heart of their communities. It is the chance for their inhabitants to discover the rich cultural diversity of our continent, and the common elements we share as Europeans.
European Capitals of Culture are an illustration of the EU’s willingness to create a union gathering people around cherished common values, such as freedom of speech, rule of law, democracy and peace.
I hope that Évora will reap all the long-term cultural, economic and social benefits that the European Capital of Culture can bring.”
We continue our journey in the afternoon to the Church of San Francisco and the famous Chapel of Bones, a must-see and one of the city’s ex-libris.
The chapel was built in the 17th century on the initiative of three Franciscan friars. Their goal: to convey the message of temporariness and fragility of human life. This message clearly comes across to visitors of Bones Chapel right at its entrance through the sign “We bones that are here, for yours we wait”. In fact, it shows Baroque’s men macabre taste for necrophilia. Definitely, an experience you will not forget!
It is not known for certain when olive oil began to be produced in the Alentejo, but it is an ancestral tradition in the Mediterranean countries. It was the Phoenicians and mainly the Romans who introduced improvements to planting, grafting and olive oil extraction. Writings by the Roman historian, Strabo, refer to Alentejo Olive Oil as a product of excellent quality, imported by Rome 2000 years ago.
Currently, Portugal is the seventh largest olive oil producer in the world and the fourth biggest exporter. In 2016, international olive oil sales amounted to 434 million euros and Brazil, Angola, Spain and Italy were the main destination markets. Olive oil is the Portuguese product with the highest exports to Brazil.
It is in the Alentejo, a region in the south of Portugal, where more than 70% of domestic olive oil is produced.
End the day with a regional Alentejo olive oil tasting, Portugal’s largest wine and olive producing region, before returning to Lisbon!
What’s included on the tour:
- Meeting Point – 08:00 Praça da Figueira (in front of the statue)
- Drop-off at 2 centrally located points: Restauradores / Marquês de Pombal
- Small-group tour (8 people max.)
- Professional local guide
- Transport by air-conditioned minivan
- Live commentary on board
- Entrance fee to the Chapel of the Bones with guided visit
What’s not included on the tour price:
- Pick-up at your hotel (service available for an additional fee of 15€/person)
- Drop-off at your hotel
- Meals or services not specified
- Tips / gratuities
Have any questions about this or any other of our tours?
Hit us up at [email protected] or via WhatsApp, at +351 910124199!