Vila Viçosa
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VILA VIÇOSA

The streets of Vila Viçosa are paved with white gold, the marble found within the area has been prized since antiquity and the locals take great pride in this local treasure. The marble streets are vigorously cleaned and residents take great pride in their doorsteps. Window sills and balconies are adorned with potted flowers. History can be found everywhere in the guise of churches, convents, a castle and a royal palace. Food is prized here with a special focus on cakes and desserts, above all "Tibornas".

PAÇO DUCAL (DUKES PALACE)

Vila Viçosa - Paço Ducal

|  Paço Ducal

The main attraction in Vila Viçosa is undoubtedly the imposing palace which was the ancestral home of the Bragança (Braganza) dynasty. The site sits atop Morrish, and possibly Roman, structures. Construction began in 1501 and work continued until the 18th century. The huge façade is faced with local marble in the mannerist style.

The first Duke of Bragança to be King of Portugal was Joao IV who was crowned in 1640 bringing an end to 60 years of Spanish rule. Although the official royal residences are situated in Lisbon, the palace at Vila Viçosa was also a favoured retreat for the Braganças. Catherine of Bragança was born here in 1638 and later became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1662 to 1685, as the wife of King Charles II. King Carlos and his son Luís Filipe were murdered in 1908 in Lisbon whilst returning from Vila Viçosa. With the establishment of the Republic in 1910, the Ducal Palace closed its doors and would only be reopened in the 1940s, following the creation of the House of Bragança Foundation, reflecting the wish expressed in the last will and testament of King Manuel II.

The building spans three floors, each one corresponding to one of the classical orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Within the fifty rooms open to the public, one finds precious art collections and extremely rare books that once belonged to King Manuel II, Portugal's last reigning monarch. Amongst the treasures, you can see works by the best Portuguese artists of the 19th century, Flemish and French tapestries, frescoes on walls and ceilings, furniture, and porcelain from the Far East, Portugal and Italy. There are fine examples of armour made in the Far East, Portugal and across Europe. The library is well stocked with 50,000 books including some dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The spacious square at the front of the palace (Terreiro do Paço) has a large statue of King Joao IV mounted on his horse.

High Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 18h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 18h00
Low Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 17h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 17h00
€7.00
Paco Ducal, Vila Vicosa 7150-000 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 57.5" N | 07° 25' 17.8" W

Vila Viçosa - Paço Ducal

|  Royal Palace Interior

ABOUT TOWN

Vila Viçosa

|  Vila Viçosa Castle


Vila Viçosa Castle

The large castle that stands on high ground overlooking the centre of Vila Viçosa was built by King Dinis in the 13th Century and reinforced with bastions in the 17th. Walking the ramparts that enclose the old town is free but to enter the castle carries a small fee. The castle was the home of the Braganças prior to the construction of their palace. Inside there's a modest Archaeological Museum on the first floor which includes Roman artefacts. On the second floor, there's a Hunting Museum and a collection of trophied heads. Pointing west, the Porta de Évora is one of the five entrance gates built into the walls and dominates the wide avenue, Avenida dos Duques.

High Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 18h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 18h00
Low Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 17h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 17h00
€3.00
Rua Sacadura Cabral 2 7160, Vila Viçosa, Portugal.
38° 46' 49.3" N | 07° 24' 55.6" W
+351 214 416 068 | fcbraganca@fcbraganca.pt | Website

Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

The 14th-century church dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception is known by various names including Santa Maria do Castelo due to its location inside the castle grounds. The church has experienced reconstruction many times over the aeons, most notably following the devastating earthquake of 1755. The somewhat austere façade conceals an ornate interior. The interior's triple nave is supported by Doric columns. The walls are richly adorned with blue and yellow 17th-century azulejo tiles. The altar houses a statue of the Patron Saint surrounded by gilt carvings and oil paintings.
Rua de Nossa Sra. 2, 7160-245 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 51.6" N | 07° 24' 57.5" W

Pelourinho

On the Avenida Duques de Bragança, outside the ramparts of the castle, sits the town's 16th-century Pelourinho. Constructed in a Gothic Manueline style and stands eight metres tall on a quadrangular pedestal with menacing-looking frogs carved in the corners. The pillory is topped by a sculptured sphere. Vila Viçosa's pillory is regarded as one of Portugal's finest and is a national monument. | 38° 46' 50.4" N | 07° 25' 01.7" W

Museu das Carruagens

The Carriage Museum is spread across four buildings that once served as stables to the palace next door. The collection of 80 examples of antique coaches, sedan chairs, ceremonial vehicles and everyday carriages, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
High Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 18h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 18h00
Low Season: Tuesday: 14h00 – 17h00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 17h00
€3.00
Paco Ducal, 7150-000 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 59.9" N | 07° 25' 20.4" W


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Vila Viçosa - Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

|  Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Conceição


Vila Viçosa - Museu das Carruagens

|  Carriage Museum (Museu das Carruagens)

Convento de Santo Agostinho

|  Convento de Santo Agostinho

Convento de Santo Agostinho

Originating in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 17th the Convento de Santo Agostinho occupies the Southern edge of the Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square). From 1677 the convent was used as the final resting place for the Bragança family members. The building is a fine example of Portuguese Baroque with decorative azulejo tiles completely adorning the interior walls.

High Season: Monday: CLOSED, Tuesday: 14h00 - 17h00, Wednesday: 14h00 - 18h00, Thursday: 14h00 - 17h00, Friday - Sunday: 10h00 - 13h00,
Low Season: Monday: CLOSED, Tuesday: 14h00 - 18h00, Wednesday: 14h00 - 17h00, Thursday: 14h00 - 18h00, Friday - Sunday: 14h00 - 18h00,
FREE
1 Terreiro do Paço, 7160-255 Vila Viçosa, Portugal.
38° 46' 56.3" N | 07° 25' 12.5" W
+351 268 980 659 | info.pdvv@sapo.pt | Website

TOP TOURS

4-Day South Portugal Tour from Lisbon: Lagos, Algarve Coast, Sagres, Évora, Beja and Setúbal

Four-Day South Portugal Tour from Lisbon
Lagos, Algarve Coast, Sagres, Évora, Beja and Setúbal

Explore southern Portugal’s most epic landmarks on this immersive four-day trip, departing from Lisbon by coach. With the help of your expert guide, tour the charismatic villages of Sagres, Évora, Lagos, Beja and Setúbal. While many travellers spend their time in Portugal's famous cities, get a dose of the laid-back and beautiful south on this trip. Go with your guide to Sé de Évora Cathedral and St Francis Church in UNESCO World Heritage-listed Évora, and discover the São Vicente Fortress in Sagres. Stroll picturesque countrysides and enjoy time on your own. Admire the stunning views of the dramatic Algarve coast, including the Ponta da Piedade cliff, Praia da Rocha beach in Portimão, and Serra da Arrábida Natural Park on this unforgettable hassle-free getaway. Transport by comfortable, air-conditioned coach. Three nights of accommodation in a superior-class hotel and three breakfasts are included.

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Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve

Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve

Known for its natural beauty and excellent wine scene, Alentejo is a region worth discovering—and this full-day, private tour from the Algarve makes exploring simple. Following pickup from your hotel, head into the countryside and admire the scenery as you go. Over the course of the day, you’ll enjoy tours and tastings at two of Alentejo’s highlight wineries. In between, you’ll also enjoy a restorative, traditional meal at a local restaurant.

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Four Days in South of Portugal

Four Days in South of Portugal

Join this four-day guaranteed departure tour and discover the history and natural beauty of Portugal through the country’s medieval-walled cities, authentic villages, and fantastic natural parks. We begin this memorable Portuguese adventure in the bustling capital, Lisbon and drive southwards until we arrive in Évora, a captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the narrow streets, visit its main landmarks, and indulge in the Portuguese cuisine at the local market. We continue the tour with visiting sunny Algarve, where you can discover charming Sagres and the cosmopolitan city of Lagos. Then, prepare yourself for a spectacular route over the Arrabida Mountain Range a Natural Park with magnificent scenery and uncommon vegetation, located at the gates of Lisbon, our final destination.

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MUSEU DO MÁRMORE

The area around this region of the Alentejo has been prized for its high-quality marble ever since antiquity. Since 2012 there has been an insightful museum located on the former Raquel de Castro quarry between Vila Viçosa and Borba. There are free guided tours in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French. Learn about the history of this industry and how the marble is extracted and finished.

Daily: 09h30 – 13h00/14h00 – 18h00
FREE
Olival da Gradinha, Av. Duque D. Jaime,, Vila Viçosa, Portugal.
38° 47' 11.2" N | 07° 25' 29.0" W
+351 268 989 641 | cultura@cm-vilavicosa.pt | Website

Marble Museum – Raquel de Castro

|  Marble Museum – Raquel de Castro

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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa

Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa ★ ★ ★ ★

Formerly a convent, this hotel in the historical town of Vila Viçosa is set in lush, landscaped gardens. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a spacious terrace and a restaurant. The elegant rooms at the Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa are decorated in warm colours. They have wooden furniture, cable TV and a marble bathroom with a bathtub.

Guests can enjoy meals at the restaurant, which serves authentic local cuisine and international wines. The lounge bar offers a casual atmosphere and serves light snacks and refreshing drinks. The Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa’s outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by sun loungers and parasols. The spacious terrace is ideal for sunbathing.

Convento das Chagas, 7160-251 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 55.0" N | 07° 25' 17.8" W


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Hotel Solar Dos Mascarenhas

Hotel Solar Dos Mascarenhas ★ ★ ★

Located in the historic town of Vila Vicosa and 350 yards from the palace, Hotel Solar Dos Mascarenhas includes a 16th-century building, stables and mature gardens. It offers free Wi-Fi and has an outdoor pool with a sun terrace. Decorated in a modern style, the air-conditioned rooms are set in a new building in the garden. Each room includes a flat-screen cable TV, telephone and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Breakfast is served daily and there is a bar on site. A former residence of Portuguese nobles, the property is three minutes walk from the town square and less than ten minutes walk from Vila Viçosa Castle.

Rua Florbela Espanca, 125, 7160-283 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 51.6" N | 07° 25' 10.3" W

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 Alentejo Marmòris Hotel & Spa, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World

Alentejo Marmòris Hotel & Spa, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World ★ ★ ★ ★

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Alentejo Marmòris Hotel & Spa, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Featuring indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The hotel’s Stone Spa by Bruno Vassari provides relaxing treatments. Many Marmoris’ rooms include a terrace and all have individually designed marble bathrooms. Some rooms offer views of the swimming pool, while others overlook the street.

Guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet daily. The restaurant serves a contemporary interpretation of Alentejo’s cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients accompanied by selected local wines. There are conference rooms available for business and social events. The hotel has rooms for 10 to 250 people, in addition to the outdoor spaces, ideal for cocktails or coffee breaks.

Largo Gago Coutinho, 7160-214 Vila Viçosa, Portugal. | 38° 46' 37.4" N | 07° 25' 12.0" W

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OUR CHOICE

Safari

Safari

The close proximity to the Paço Ducal makes the Safari a popular stop for visitors to Vila Viçosa, however by no means is it a tourist trap. This family-run gem serves all the typical Alentejo dishes you would expect, and to great quality. What is surprising is the great quality of fish dishes served here considering the distance from the ocean, dishes such as Arroz Mariscos (seafood rice) and baked bacalhau are true gems. The restaurant is located in an ancient brick-vaulted cellar decorated with interesting trinkets. The portions are typically generous and prices are equally so. To accompany your meal there's a great selection of local Alentejan wines, the staff will be eager to help you choose. Bring a big appetite!

Monday: CLOSED, Tuesday – Sunday: 12h00 - 00h00
15 Largo Mariano Prezado, Vila Viçosa 7160-279, Portugal. | 38° 46' 54.3" N | 07° 25' 11.6" W
+351 68 980 091


Taverna dos Conjurados

Taverna dos Conjurados

Small, cosy and unpretentious, this delightful eatery is a great place to experience traditional Alentejan cuisine, all cooked to order. Look out for the lamb and black pork. The decor is rustic and the service is warm and friendly. Portions are huge yet prices are very reasonable. The restaurant's popularity in addition to its small size makes pre-booking a wise precaution.

Tuesday – Thursday: 19h30 – 22h00, Friday – Sunday: 12h00 – 15h00/19h30 – 22h00
12 Largo 25 de Abril Number 12 Vila Vicosa, Vila Vicosa 7160-255 Portugal. | 38° 46' 55.2" N | 07° 25' 09.7" W
+351 268 989 530


O Paco Ducal Vila Vicosa

O Paco Ducal Vila Viçosa

Good old fashioned great regional cuisine cooked to perfection. Deservedly popular with locals and visitors alike. The staff are very welcoming and the dishes are very generous. There's plenty of seating indoors and out. .

Daily: 12h00 – 02h00 | Largo Mariano Presado, Vila Vicosa Portugal.
38° 46' 52.9" N | 07° 25' 11.0" W
+351 268 881 010
restaurante.pacoducal@hotmail.com

184km (114.5 miles) east of Lisbon Airport Website

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Vila Viçosa is just over two hopurs drive east along the A2 and A6..
Latitude - 38° 46' 46.0" | Longitude - 07° 25' 09.2"

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Vila Viçosa doesn't have it's own train station, alight at Évora and then take the bus to Vila Viçosa. Regional train services (comboios regionais) run from Lisbon to Évora:
• Linha do Alentejo: Timetable | Website

• Rodoviária do Alentejo run coach services all over the Alentejo and beyond, linking the region to major cities within Central and Southern Portugal, including coaches to Évora and Estremoz: Website
• Rede Expressos operates countrywide services: Website