Novelty

Évora

Évora was a new place for me.

The stimulus was a good foil for the relaxed familiarity of Porto. Having said that, it was very easy to relax into my 7 days in Évora. It is a town of about 56,000 people, and the old centre within the town walls is a UNESCO heritage site.

I had an apartment just inside the walls, within a 10 minute walk of everything I needed – except the car rental place and the railway station, but that was no great difficulty.

Évora

Yes, I rented a car for a couple of days so I could explore some other parts of Alto Alentejo. I took in Monsaraz to the east of Évora and Vila Viçosa to the northeast. Driving was very easy and the roads were quiet.

Parking is almost impossible within Évora’s walls (residents only, or metered) and in any event the maze of narrow streets would be a challenge. I had no problem using the free car park just outside the walls at Porto de Aviz, and it was a 5 minute walk to my apartment.

Monsaraz

I rented the car from Guerin, which is the local franchisee for Enterprise. I booked a Fiat 500 and they upgraded me to a Renault Captur and the cost came in at €95 per day. As usual, I opted for the deal which minimises my exposure to having to pay out a large chunk of money if the car gets damaged, but of course someone with greater risk tolerance could pay quite a bit less.

I spent about €30 on petrol, with 95 octane coming in at a fraction over €2 per litre.

Vila Viçosa

I found plenty to see and do in Évora on the days when I was not away driving about. I certainly enjoyed my food and particularly the opportunity to try out Alentejo dishes and wines. A Choupana probably stands out in my mind, partly because the food was excellent but also because it is a traditional place serving mostly locals. Soup, a huge main course (roast pork in a tomato/paprika sauce with a little rice and lots of fried potatoes), a beer and a coffee cost €14.30.

A Choupana

As with the rest of Portugal (outside the resorts of the Algarve, I imagine) many restaurants close on Sunday and/or Monday. In a city that is not likely to cause much inconvenience, but in a town the size of Évora it does limit choices quite significantly.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2022

🇵🇹🇪🇺🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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