The Alentejo in Portugal is a thinly populated province known for its untouched nature, delicious local dishes, and characteristic hilly landscape filled with cork and olive trees. Monte Maravilhas is situated in a green valley, in the southern part of the Alentejo, Portugal, in the fertile country of the Atlantic west coast.
What to do in the Alentejo
The versatile area of Monte Maravilhas offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling, to enjoy nature, to visit picturesque villages and local markets or to sit back at the Santa Clara lake at the west coast.
There is a lot of information available at Monte Maravilhas about the area. There are several ways to explore and discover the Alentejo in Portugal by foot, by bicycle, or by car:
São Martinho das Amoreiras
Monte Maravilhas lies 1 km away from the authentic Portuguese village of São Martinho das Amoreiras in Alentejo, Portugal. The village has various shops, a post office, a pharmacy and a couple of cafes.
Restaurants in the area
In and around our village we have some nice restaurants where you can go and eat:
Our neighbour Saskia has her restaurant. In the summer you can go here and eat on her terrace and enjoy the view. If you don’t want to go out, you can also order food and she’ll bring it to your house. Reservations should be made one day in advance. In our houses you’ll find information on how to reach her.
In the village you’ll find Casa Nirvana. Here you can enjoy lunch or dinner in a bohemian atmosphere. Dishes range from Portuguese to Italian and vegetarian. There’s something for just anyone!
O Peixeiro is Portuguese for “the fisherman”, therefore, it’s a fish restaurant. If you are looking for some authentic Portuguese grilled fish, this is the place to be. You can pick the fish you’d like to eat at the counter and then you’ll get it served a bit later. The restaurant is located at Amoreiras-Gare, just a 10-minute drive from Monte Maravilhas.
Day trips in the Alentejo
There are several day trips you can take from the village of São Martinho das Amoreiras, such as visiting the old towns Odemira and Ourique, the lovely seaside village of Milfontes or the wells of the Monchique mountains.
Santa Clara Lake
Clear water and not a soul in sight. What more could you want? The Santa Clara lake is situated about 13 km from Maravilhas. The nearby Santa Clara-a-Velha is a picturesque small village with shops, an excellent restaurant and a pousada which offers an amazing view. A hike towards the Fonte takes you to a well with a barbecue site.
You can dip into the west coast beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Located 45 km from Maravilhas there will be few tourists and a clean and natural Atlantic beach. Our favourite beach is Praia do Malhão.
Cities and Culture
To visit the bigger cities you will need to drive a bit further, but the distance is still very reasonable. A couple of interesting places are as follows:
- Lisbon (200 km), with old districts, small streets, churches and museums.
- Monchique (60 km), market city in the vulcanic mountains Serra de Monchique.
- Évora (140 km), stylish city with amongst other things a Roman temple.
- Mértola (80 km), stunningly white fortress alongside a river.
- Lagos (100 km), lively seaside resort in the Algarve influenced by the Moors.
- Portimão (75 km), harbour city with character in the Algarve.
- Albufeira (75 km), charming fishing village with white houses.
Practical information of the Alentejo in Portugal
Markets in the Alentejo
Many villages in the area have a market day during which clothing, household goods and regional products can be bought. Here is a list of the monthly dates:
- São Martinho das Amoreiras: 2nd Thursday
- Santa da Serra: 12th day
- Santa Clara-a-Velha: 3rd Saturday
- Brunheiras: 2nd and 4th Saturday
- Castro Verde: 1st Wednesday
- São Teotónio: 1st Monday
- Colos: Mon-Sat morning fish/fruit/meat
The nearest grocery stores are in the village of São Martinho das Amoreiras (1 km). In Ourique (20 km) and Odemira (30 km) there are larger supermarkets such as the Pingo Doce, Ecomarché, Lidl and Aldi.
The nearest railway station is Funcheira (12 km) and the nearest gas station is in Colos (10 km). Other things in the area include a post office (1 km), a pharmacy (1 km) and various banks (20 km). The nearest ATM is located in Garvão (10 km).
Restaurants in the Area
Many cities in the area offer the opportunity to enjoy the lovely but simple Portuguese food. Cosy restaurants in the area include café ‘Bonanza’ (1 km), café ‘Beira’ and ‘o Jardim’ (6 km).
Sports Activities in the Area
Monte Maravilhas is ideally located for hiking. There are nine route descriptions available, of which seven start from Maravilhas, one is alongside the west coast and one near the Santa Clara lake. We have two bicycles available so you can cycle to the nearby towns. Ourique (20 km) has a horse riding center if you wish to go horse riding. They have guided trips of the area.