Please sign in to post.

5 nights: Schist villages, Marvao, Monsanto or Monsaraz?


I was wondering whether someone might have some advice or personal experiences/preferences to share with me.

I'm traveling to Portugal in mid October and I'm having some doubts about a section of my itinerary. Just to provide some context, we are a couple, have rented a car, are in our early thirties, are very active when traveling (i.e. e like to hike, walk and explore) and really prefer off the beaten track destinations.

Right after Porto, we had planed to go to Cerdeira (schist village, have read great things) for 2 nights to have a full day to hike between the villages, then 1 night in Marvao and 2 nights in Monsaraz (using it as a base to explore a bit of the area, including Évora, where we are not that interested in spending the night).

I'm having second thoughts (because I'm not familiar with Portugal not know anyone who's been in this area) - should be skip the Schist villages and add a night in Monsanto? Should be do 2 nights in Marvao to explore surroundings instead of Monsaraz? Should we just skip one of this destinations and add an extra night in Porto (we are staying for 3 nights there)? Do you think its fine?

I know this is all extremely subjective, but I would love to hear a bit more from someone who's been to this side of Portugal! Thanks in advance :) You've all been very helpful in helping me plan this trip.

Posted by
315 posts

A day trip east from Torres Novas to Castelo de Vide with the drive along the Rio Tejo and a hike between Castelo de Vide and Marvao did not go as planned. The N118 east was a slow road and so we returned the empty fast toll N3. The area is beautiful and to give it justice would require more than a day trip. It is an active area since bike clubs were staying in the area. It is a low key area. Evora's outlying sites such as the stones and cave painting were interesting. Within Evora the main church and the private museum and chapel with bones and blue tiles was worth the 14E. On our drive to Seville we planned to stop in Monsaraz but it was off in the distance and would have limited our arrival time in Seville. It is a distance from Evora. The area northeast of Evora through marble quarries to Elvas was a pretty drive. Elvas forts were cool. We formally would travel with our bikes. Our drives are looking for bike routes. We travel many slow roads.

Posted by
1168 posts

Hope this is not too late. We are traveling and just read this. We visited some of these villages and can recommend Monsanto. We spent 2 nights there but one would be enough. Some make it a day trip but that would be a lot of driving. This is a special town. Be sure to eat at the restaurant Pesticos e Granitos, which has delicious food and a giant granite boulder in the dining room.

One word about Cerdeira. If you go be sure you ask about the best roads. We visited some of these villages and even after having driven in Portugal many times as well as in Ireland, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and other countries, we found the roads connecting these tiny villages to be extremely narrow and twisty. Since you will hike, you should be ok.