Tips for Trips – Portugal is more than just Lisbon (Monsanto)

portugal tours com pt

Nowadays Portugal is trending, but we’re not just Lisbon and Porto, there’s a lot of alternatives, and I’ll show you some of the most beautiful places around.

This time I’m taking you to Monsanto, one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal.

Monsanto is a small town, 25km from Idanha-a-Nova, and one of the oldest; our first King D. Afonso Henrique recognized it with a charter, in 1174. But there are records of people living there since the Paleolithic. It was also one of the houses of Knights Templar.

Mapa

How to get to Monsanto? It’s far from everything, and get there is not the easiest task for a foreign. You’ve two choices, a car or hitchhiking (the portuguese aren’t very used to it, but someone has to teach). And once there you have a walk up the hill, but it worth the effort.

Why going there? Is there any big monument? A very important story? The coolest bars around? Not really! But take a look at the photos and the video, and easily you’ll know why.

 

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radiomonsanto

The houses and the mountain live in a symbiosis creating an ideal world, where home and nature are connected. The center can be full of people and good energy, and five minutes from there you look around, you find no sound, and you think the world is infinite. And there are some caves you can go in, try to guess what it was used for, and rocks you can climb. And sometimes feel so small in front of the sublime.

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monsanto

Still, you have to visit the: Watch Tower, Chapel, Door of Saint Anthony, Cave, Communitarian Oven, Betrayal Door and the Pião Tower.  You can find a map using the link City Itinerary. Some of this places are part of the Medieval castle, which, as all the houses, adapts to the mountain.

What to do? Well, walk, feel, see, listen, taste. If you’re staying more than just one day or a few hours you have some options:

Penha Garcia: World Heritage, with a fossil center and natural swimming pools.

Idanha-a-Velha: with an old Visigoths’ cathedral, an archeological treasure from the Roman/Arab period, and the first Christian cathedral of Portugal and Spain.

Hiking: you can search for footpaths in the region.

Thermal park of Monfortinho.

Where to sleep? Sleep in Monsanto isn’t a cheap choice. I stayed in Idanha-a-Nova in the Youth Hostel, which I recommend (it’s not a superstar hostel, but the price makes it a good choice). In case you have a tent you can find a good spot in the embankment of Idanha-a-Nova.

Last thing: this is really close from the place where the Boom Festival happens every two years, so in case you go to the event, don’t forget to take a look around.

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13 thoughts on “Tips for Trips – Portugal is more than just Lisbon (Monsanto)

    • Hello,
      Thank you!
      I’ve been there a while ago, but it’s a small place, very high, so I don’t think it’s easy to park there, but for sure you have places around.
      There’s a lake 10 min from there, and I’ve seen some people staying there, it’s quite nice, and I checked this address online:

      Largo da Relva
      6060 – Monsanto
      GPS: 40° 2’44.71″N 7° 6’57.99″W
      (5 min by car from Monsanto)

      Sorry, I can’t help a lot!!
      I hope you have a nice staying there.

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    • Hello again….we have already visited Obidos last year..it was also a top place!!! Anymore recommendations? We’re doing Alentejo region now and later Algarve. We have seen Marvao and Elvas ans Estremoz. We are now in Evora And Monsaraz is scheduled for the weekend.. greetings☺

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      • I’ve to admit I know more the north than the south of the country. For me, the most beautiful part of Algarve is still the Atlantic coast, but I know I still have a lot to discover. This time I’ll follow your blog and check what places I’ve to visit next in south! I hope you have a wonderful trip 😊

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  1. Would you recommend going from Evora to Monsanto to Aveiro? I was thinking one night in each place. Not sure if that is too much? thank you!

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      • That is what I was afraid of, I did not realize how many places I would want to see in Portugal. We are planning 3 days in Porto, 1 day/night in Obidos and 4 in Sintra for a wedding and then another day in Lisbon which is where we will be starting out. I am arriving early and have 3 days to explore Evora to Porto. I have a place booked in Evora for the first night, tomorrow! and then the second night I pushed back in Aveiro to leave room in the case I wanted to try and go to some of the older villages. they look so beautiful. At first was thinking Piodao but then saw Monsanto and thought maybe I could make the trip there and to Aveiro. I don’t want to miss out on any of the places I have booked already and don’t mind driving as I enjoy the scenery but would rather be on foot exploring the towns and cities.

        I appreciate the advice.

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      • I think you’ll have quite an idea about Portugal!
        Monsanto is in an area totally different from Piódão. Very different from the other placs you’ll be, so I think it can be quite interesting.
        I live in the area of Óbidos. In Óbidos you have to go to JamonJamon, and if you have the chance go to the restaurant Poço dos Sabores.
        Foz do Arelho, Peniche and Baleal are also places to check near Óbidos.

        If you need any other advice just let me know.

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