The Region

Reguengos de Monsaraz, Alentejo city, headquarters of a markedly agricultural county, framed in the magnificent Alentejo plain and the blue of the Alqueva Reservoir, is famous above all for the quality of the wine produced in this region. It is often called the "eagles nest", because it is located on the top of a hill, standing out in the Alentejo plains.

Monsaraz Village

The town of Monsaraz, still surrounded by its medieval walls, stands on a rocky escarpment dominating a vast region that includes the Guadiana valley and the Alqueva reservoir in the Alentejo.
It is one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal for its whitewashed houses, its schist streets, its walls and its castle.

From Monsaraz it is possible to see much of the Alentejo plains, now covered by water because of the construction of the Alqueva Dam, which has transformed the landscape and created one of the largest lakes in Europe.

Monsaraz Castle

It was built at the end of the 13th century at the request of King Dinis, on top of an existing defensive structure, which had begun with a prehistoric fort and later with Roman constructions.
With the extinction of this Order, the castle passed to the Order of Christ and already during the reign of D. Dinis, the Keep was built, which still today dominates the landscape. During the War of Restoration, the castle was adapted to the new realities of war, with the creation of supports for artillery.

Today, it is classified as a National Monument, and is a privileged viewpoint over the Alqueva Dam.

Alqueva Lake

The great lake that the Alqueva reservoir has become is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, built on the Guadiana River. It has a reservoir of 250 km2 and covers five counties of Alentejo, with many points of interest. On the right bank, the castles of Juromenha, Alandroal, Terena, Monsaraz and Portel welcome us and, on the left bank, Mourão and Moura are privileged viewpoints over this mirror of water.

The lake has given a surprising atmosphere to this region. Where before there were fields, with olive trees, cork oaks and holm oaks, today we see water and renewed life, with great conditions for outdoor activities and water sports such as sailing, skiing and wakeboarding, or canoeing and kayaking.

Parish Church of Santa Maria da Lagoa

The primitive gothic church was built in the second half of the 13th century, with its oldest reference to the time of King D. Dinis. The construction of the current main church is from the 16th century, based on the Renaissance style, with three naves supported by four Tuscan columns, where regional schist predominates.

The pediment is decorated with a panel of tiles and topped by a Cross of the Order of Christ, representing Our Lady of Conception. The main altar, composed of gilded wood carvings, shows two wooden sculptures representing St. Augustine and St. Monica. Its interior is adorned with artistic decorations from the 17th and 18th centuries and has eight side chapels.

Hermitage of Santa Catarina

The Ermida de Santa Catarina was built in the 18th century, probably by the Templars, to provide protection to travelers passing through the surroundings of Monsaraz. This historic building shows Templar symbols and an architectural style typical of the Order of the Temple.

Inside it has a large space with a Roman arch, which allows access to the apse. It is covered by an ogival dome, under which it has a set of arches. It is currently classified as a National Monument and is located outside the walls of Monsaraz.

Convent of Orada

Located near Aldeia do Telheiro, Reguengos de Monsaraz, in the heart of the Alentejo plain, the construction of the Convent of Orada began in 1700. This Convent housed until the beginning of the 19th century the Order of the Discalced Augustinians. According to local tradition, this Convent is linked to Dom Nuno Alvares Pereira, since it is believed that he prayed here before the battles against Castile.

The Convent of Orada is today adapted to a Rural Hotel and also has an Archaeological Museum and several rooms for exhibitions or events.

River Beach of Monsaraz

The River Beach of Monsaraz is located in the Nautical Center of Monsaraz, inserted in the Alqueva reservoir, municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz. It is the first beach of the Great Alqueva Lake and was inaugurated in June 2017. Awarded with the blue flag, it also received the classifications of Accessible Beach (access for people with limited mobility) and Healthy Beach (safety and environmental quality standards).

The water mirror offers a 100 square meter pool integrated into a floating structure, with a solarium, divided into a children's pool and an adult pool. The beach front is 120 meters long. The Nautical Center offers bar/restaurant, playground, picnic area, anchorage and ramp for boats to access the water.

Esporão Tower

The first references to Herdade do Esporão, located in the county of Reguengos de Monsaraz, date back to the 13th century, when the property was owned by João Peres de Aboim, lord of Portel and advisor of King Afonso III.

Square-shaped, the tower is divided into three registers with fenestrations on the upper floors, symmetrically harmonized. On the main façade a staircase was built over an arch. Currently we can visit, on the first floor of the Tower, the Archaeological Museum, where several finds from Esporão and pieces from the Archaeological Complex of Perdigões are exhibited

Cromeleque do Xerez

The megalithic set of the Herdade do Xerez or Cromeleque do Xerez can currently be visited in an area next to the Convent of Orada, near Monsaraz. It dates from the period between early 4000 BC and mid 3000 BC. It is one of the few cromlechs existing in Portuguese territory.

It consists of an enclosure with a regular square plan, centralized, defined by 50 granite menhirs, each between 120 and 150 cm high. In the center, there is a phallic looking monolith with a height of about 4 meters, in which a row of dimples was identified on the west side.

São Pedro do Corval Pottery

The pottery tradition in São Pedro do Corval, Reguengos de Monsaraz, dates back to prehistoric times, thanks to the existence of clay deposits with specific characteristics in this area of the County of Reguengos de Monsaraz. Among pots, potters' wheels and kilns you can find unique traditional utilitarian pieces that take us to ancient times when the clay was molded to the needs of working in the fields and humble lives in Alentejo.

São Pedro do Corval, with more than two dozen potteries in constant operation, is by excellence the largest pottery center in the country and one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula.