5 Must Do Things in Elvas, Portugal

Elvas is about 15 km west of the Spanish fortress of Badajoz, and 230 km east of Lisbon. Elvas is a World Heritage Site since 30 June 2012 and that makes it a good reason to visit the city and old town. Here is a list of 5 must do things in Elvas if you are touring it for just 3 hours.

1. Aqueduto Da Amoreira.

The foremost must see site of Elvas is the Aqueduto Da Amoreira. Located approx 2kms from old town of Elvas, it is a sight to behold! Aqueducts were used to transport drinkable water to the walled city. The 8.3kms long aqueduct has 843 arcs and has a height of 31m. Records mention it being built during the years between 1490s to 1620s. The work halted several times in between due to lack of funds and foreign invasions. Aqueduct da Amoreira, is in the Alentejo, and is located in São Brãs e São Lourenço, region of Elvas, district of Portalegre.

Aqueduct, Elvas
Aqueduct Elvas


2. Elvas Dominicas Church and Old Santa Clara Square

The chapel faces the Square.
This is a small chapel. The Church of Dominicas was originally Church of Consolation. Previously a monastery, it has its foundation on a older church of the Knights of Templar. What we get to see today is only that part of the monastery which was saved from demolition. The interiors have unique octagonal shape with lovely tile work in the interiors. These tiles are existing from 1669 and that makes them all the more precious. The columns, the arches of the altars and the architrave is decorated with paintings of reasons, a representation of the Mystic Lamb, a profusion of gilt and poly chrome.
Opening times are 10.00 to13.00 and 15.00 to18.30 (closed completely on Monday and the morning of Tuesday)

Another interesting place in Elvas is the old Santa Clara square. Centuries back the pillory was a symbol of independence of a community and also the place where justice used to be applied often in brutal ways. The iron bars are said to be the originals dating back to the 16th century! In many countries of Europe the pillories have been almost erased from the towns but in Portugal most towns still have them. From 15th century the use of the pillory for executions in Portugal was rare and was mainly a symbol of status.

3. The Castle of Elvas

The castle of Elvas is one of the National Monuments of Portugal. This monument is of importance as it was built on Roman remains. First captured from Arabs in 1166 by King D. Afonso Henriques, it was lost to Arabs a few years later. It was finally taken by King D. Sancho II in 1226. In 1226 after the Christians recaptured it from the Moors, the structure was rebuilt. In 14th century more modifications were carried out. The monument is worth a visit as it is an important part of the history of Elvas. July’s first weekend would be a great time to visit as the “Medieval fair” is on during that time. The public is allowed to visit the castle and the atmosphere of medieval times is recreated around the Castle.


4. Cathedral of Elvas

This imposing architectural monument cannot be missed. The sight of it from the plaza is outstanding! The simple plain exteriors enclose grand interiors. It can take half an hour to go around admiring the interiors. This religious monument was built in 1517 on the ruins of an old parish church of St. Maria. The construction was completed in 1537 and got elevated to status of Cathedral of Elvas in 1570.
Entry is Free.
Open everyday.
Summer: 1000hrs to 1300hrs, 15.00 to 1800hrs.
Winter: 9.30hrs to 12.30hrs, 1400hrs to 1700hrs.


5. Main Square of Elvas

The main square in Elvas is a cool place to rest your heels after walking through the up and down sloping streets of the old town of Elvas. Ideal place to do people watching too. Food is available at very reasonable price here compared to the restaurants of Spain just 10kms away. The combo kind of dish that we ordered had a soft drink, soup, main dish, dessert and tea/coffee at the end. All for 10euros! We enjoyed our food here.

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30 Responses

  1. Sylvia K says:

    Superb captures as always, Indrani!! And they do take us on a great visit to Elvas!! Thank you so much for sharing the beauty and the history!!

  2. Aditi says:

    Great post Indrani! Bookmarked this, was planning a trip to Portugal. This will really help! 🙂

  3. Beautiful photos and great tips! Love the aqueduct photo.

  4. Awesome photos , Great post

  5. magiceye says:

    Brilliant captures!!

  6. all of it sounds so exciting 🙂

  7. As usual awesome snapshots 🙂

  8. Amazing clicks, Indrani… 🙂

  9. Great shots, so interesting!

  10. Those are some nice shots. I hope you also start using a GoPro to get a different perspective ;).

  11. Elvas seems like it is wonderful place, beautiful portrait.

  12. Superb clicks… indeed a great trip to Elvas 🙂

  13. eileeninmd says:

    Hello Indrani, what a lovely place to visit. I like the castle and the cathedral. Beautiful images. Thanks for sharing your trip! Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

  14. DeniseinVA says:

    Thank you Indrani, this is a marvelous variety of sights and scenes.

  15. Prasad Np says:

    amazing place.. what beautiful buildings and blue sky

  16. Gattina says:

    Very interesting post and picturezs !

  17. I want to leave for Portugal right now! Awesome…

  18. I defintely would bookmark this page. Got every intention to return to Portugal.

  19. Portugal is an awesome place. Thanks for sharing dear 🙂

  20. I only spent two hours between planes in Portugal. Could not see much of it. Looks nice from your images 🙂

  21. Mridula says:

    What a stunning town! Happy to see it through your pictures!

  22. Great captures Indrani 🙂 The old town seems like a perfect getaway place

  23. CYNOSURE says:

    Nice shots. Noted down the places, lets see when I visit the place next… 🙂

  24. For sure I would want to visit the aqueduct. They are (to me) amazing feats of engineering for their times. PLUS this one would be so much fun to photograph.

  25. Some of the structures are amazing–esp the aqueduct.But how was water transported?

  26. So quintessentially European. Clean beautiful,streets. Grand structures. Grand interiors. Simply beautiful and pleasing to eyes.

  27. Clean streets, grand buildings, beautiful interiors. So pleasing to eyes. SomEuropean.

  28. Wow…. Exciting and amazing pictures

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