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Évora! Our trip in progress...

[Our trip began in Sintra]

Évora- our second destination!

We used our Viva Viagem cards (purchase at the airport on day of arrival) for the Urbano train from Sintra to Lisboa-Sete Rios.
Note: This train does not have overhead racks for luggage so plan accordingly.

Our train to Évora was running about 15-20 minutes late but it didn’t really matter to us since we weren’t connecting with another train (more on this later)

Évora’s train station is a bit of a distance from the old city so taking a taxi to your hotel is a good idea. They line up outside the station and they’re very inexpensive;
we paid €5-6 to/from our hotel.

In Évora we had a lovely stay at Albergaria do Cálvario Hotel located within the ancient city walls near the aquaduct.

Upon entering the hotel, we were welcomed by Alex, one of the friendly hotel staff members. He offered us a drink and invited us to sit down on their comfy seating area as he laid out the city map and proceeded to highlight the route to the main sites.

Our room was clean and comfortable. There was a small refrigerator, a safe box, and complimentary bottled water that is replenished as needed. You can also ask for small bottles when you head out to explore.

The breakfast was absolutely decadent with a large selection of cereals, fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, cakes, tarts, cured meats, several cheeses, fresh tomatoes, egg and vegetable frittata, the creamiest yogurt ever, and... You can order any coffee you desire and...Egg to order too!

We also enjoyed a couple of dinners at this hotel because it was so convenient and we were too tired to go out. They offer fresh salads with delightful homemade dressings (honey mustard was my fav!),
sandwiches, and delicious homemade soups. They also have a bar with a good selection of wines.

Here are the highlights of our time in Évora:

  • The cathedral- make sure you go to the roof terrace for great views
    of the city and beyond.

  • St. Francis Church - I doubt St. Francis would approve of the
    decadent decorations!

  • Chapel of Bones- interesting artistry.

  • The Roman Temple-this monument has been standing since the second century- incredible!

  • The University of Évora- beautiful blue & white tiles line the
    hallways and classrooms in the main building.

  • The Jardím Público- (Public Garden) - there’s a nice playground for
    children.

  • The Aquaduct and the houses built into the arches.

Our favorite places to eat:

  • Our hotel, Albergaria do Cálvario, as mentioned previously.

  • ’Fabrica dos Pasteis’- a great place for a light lunch. We enjoyed the tasty chicken empanadas (mini pot pies), and some of the sweet pastries too- our favorite was the pasteis de nata (custard)
    [We bought some empanadas before we left Évora for a delightful lunch on the train journey the following morning]
    The back stone wall of this pastry shop is the original wall to the old city—pretty interesting.
    Note: The WC is up a flight of stairs.

  • ’1/4 Para as Nove’ (Quarter to Nine)
    We ordered the pork steak and fries
    and a mixed salad (lettuce, tomatoes, and onions lightly dressed with olive oil) The portions were very generous (actually huge!) enough for 3 persons!
    Please Note: The lights in the WC are on motion sensors, so just wave your hands when the light goes out!

  • Gelato: ‘Fábrica dos Gelados’- Mango was my favorite!🍦

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Continued...
More helpful tips [Thanks to Helena Andrade from Porto, a great contributor to the forum] :

  • Most restaurants will serve a variety of appetizers (bread, cheese, olives, small salad with octopus or other seafood, etc...) before you order. These are NOT free and you can decline them if you wish.
    Don’t feel bad if you send them back.
    Warning: prices range from €2-3 for bread, €3- €7 for olives, cheese, etc)

  • Tips: Most locals round up bill, or leave a couple of €.

    • Water: potable all over Portugal, however at restaurants it’s not polite to order tap water, so order bottled water. You’ll be asked if you want “Sem gás” [without gas or “still”) or “com gás” (sparkling)]

Shopping: The street leading to the cathedral, Rua 5 de Outubro, is lined with shops selling a great variety of souvenirs, many made from cork (purses, wallets, postcards, and ties!) We bought a few small ceramic souvenirs.

Tours:

We truly enjoyed visiting the megaliths outside of Évora with Mário, a very talented archeologist.
See my post here for more information.

Our hotel also offers a complimentary walking tour but we didn’t partake since we’d already planned the megalith tour.

Final thoughts...

We spent three nights in Évora. In hindsight two would have been enough.

Many visit this city as a day trip, from Lisbon, and I can see how this is certainly a possibility.

I almost forgot! This hotel offers a complimentary load of laundry when a guest books directly for a minimum of three nights.
Aw... It’s so nice to return from a long day of touring to find a basket with neatly folded clean clothes on your bed.

Next... Tomar!

You can read about the rest of our trip here: Tomar, Coimbra, and Porto...

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Great report...thanks. I am going to bookmark as I am looking at Spain/Portugal for next November. You gave me lots of ideas.