Twenty kilometres north of Portalegre, the small town of CASTELO DE VIDE throws up one of the nicest surprises in the Alto Alentejo. A castle rises up above a fairy-tale townscape of bright white houses, while steep cobbled streets and placid squares are lined with well-watered pots of geraniums, tumbling house plants and two-metre-high sunflowers. Mineral springs pepper the local hills and the town is full of public fountains in gleaming praças and shaded gardens. It’s one of those places that begs an aimless, meandering stroll, and it’s very easy to find you’ve spent a couple of days here doing not very much at all quite happily.

With a car or a bike you can also spend an enjoyable day tracking down dolmens, menhirs and antas, which are the remains of an important megalithic culture that once flourished between the modern-day settlements of Castelo de Vide, the Barragem de Póvoa and the village of Póvoa e Meadas, 10km to the north. The turismo has useful leaflets and more information.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

From Gothic monasteries and riverside palaces, to Moorish castles that loom over terraced hillsides, Portugal has a good deal of striking places to stay. Its c…

12 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Whether you want rich history or shops galore, these are the best areas to stay in Lisbon according to our expert.…

09 Feb 2016 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month