With its cosy nest of medieval lanes, a clutch of old stone houses and a church or two, the pretty town of Ourém lies 12km to the east of Fátima. From the lower new town, Vila Nova de Ourém, a winding road climbs for 2km up to Ourém castle, crowning a hill above the town. Ourém’s heyday was in the fifteenth century, when the fourth count of Ourém, Dom Afonso, built several grand monuments and converted the castle into a palace. The castle was virtually destroyed by Napoleon’s forces, but is now largely restored. You can walk around its parapet, walls and towers for a marvellous, sweeping panorama, with the basilica of Fátima visible away to the west.

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Portugal features

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