The Medieval Town of Monsaraz, Portugal

In En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Portugal, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A hilltop treat.

Our Portuguese road trip continues, we leave Lagos and head north-east driving through some beautiful scenery. We are on our way to Évora, however, before we arrive, we’ve read about the lovely hilltop town of Monsaraz, and it looks far too pretty to pass up a visit.

The Castle & town in the background, Monsaraz, Portugal

Monsaraz looks down upon the River Guadiana, and we are so close to Spain that you can almost smell the sherry wafting across the border.

The view across River Guadiana, Monsaraz, Portugal


Parking – There are car parks dotted along the road leading up to Monsaraz and parking is free of charge.

Ancient Footsteps

The medieval walled town of Monsaraz is incredibly charming, how could you resist the allure of wandering amongst the perfectly kept white-washed homes and along the historic cobbled lanes.

The cobbled streets, Monsaraz, Portugal
A couple hand in hand, Monsaraz, Portugal

Go with the flow

I was sceptical that it may be rather touristy, and it really wasn’t. It felt like family life was still at the heart of the town, ladies and gents chatting on street corners and locals tending to their everyday business.

Another quiet street, Monsaraz, Portugal
Through a gate, Monsaraz, Portugal

We were there on May Day, and it was relaxing just strolling along a quiet lane admiring the scenery and architecture, and so often no-one else was around.

The quiet lanes, Monsaraz, Portugal
Casa at the end of lane, Monsaraz, Portugal

Our favourite travel reads

Tempted to?

Discover more of historic Portugal and tour its picturesque countryside or even head south to the Algarve coastline. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Turbulent times

The views were incredible from the town, Alentejo countryside as far as the eye could see. It’s easy to understand why this prominent piece of land was fought over so many times for centuries.

Across the rooftops, Monsaraz, Portugal

Passing between different hands including the Moors, the Spanish and even the Knights Templar got their hands on it.

Across the Alentejo countryside, Monsaraz, Portugal

A reference guide

Our recent new found love is Portugal, it is such a beautiful country. While planning our trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Portuguese road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.

To the castle

Monsaraz is a reasonably small town as you can imagine being on a hill, perched on one end is the 13th-century castle, built by Afonso III and Dinis.

The Castle Keep, Monsaraz, Portugal

The main visible part of the castle is the keep, however, at its feet is a garrison, which on the inside courtyard almost looks like an amphitheatre. I have since found out that this small arena is still used for an occasional bullfight.

The Castle Courtyard, Monsaraz, Portugal

Something to make your travels easier?

  • 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station

  • Mini Dual USB Car Adapter

  • Portable Charger 2 USB Ports Power Bank

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve, Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • USB rechargeable LED Flashlight

  • Collapsible Water Bottle

Did you know?

The Alentejo region of Portugal is famed for its wine, touring around we saw row after row of vineyards. I’m surprised we don’t see more Portuguese wines overseas, although, perhaps they want to keep it for themselves.

Around the corners

Heading back along more lovely little lanes and squares we come across Church of Nossa Senhora da Lagoa and the white marble Pillory of Monsaraz, everything blends in so well.

The Church of Nossa Senhora da Lagoa, Monsaraz, Portugal
Casa Monsaraz, Monsaraz, Portugal

Something for the Traveller

  • Children's World Globe 3D Jigsaw Puzzle

  • Travel-Size Laundry Bag

  • Metallic World Globe

  • RFID Blocking Cards

  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

Have You

Visited Portugal and discovered any towns or cities that you really want to share with us, as we can’t wait to start planning our next road trip?

Quiet spot

Keep strolling around, and you’ll find more quiet spots. I must say it was a real treat visiting Monsaraz, it’s a town I highly recommend and certainly one I thought would have been busier.

Some Portuguese tiling, Monsaraz, Portugal

Inspired to visit Monsaraz?

Stroll along the charming cobbled lanes, amongst the white-washed walls. While you can stay for the evening in Monsaraz, we also recommend Évora a UNESCO town just 33 miles (53km) away.

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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