After stopping through Lisbon, we hit the road for Évora, Portugal. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site which sits in the Alentejo region about 1.5 hours from Lisbon.
We chose Évora as a pit stop because the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) sounded intriguing. There’s not much going on in the city, but it served as an interesting stop en route to Southern Spain.
WHAT TO SEE:
Giraldo Square: This is the center of modern-day Evora, named after Geraldo Geraldes who conquered Evora from the Moors. Chafariz Fountain is a highlight, with 8 spouts, each symbolizing a street off of the square. More notably, it is the location of an outdoor power strip that served as a place to charge my dead phone after the adapter debacle was solved.
Church of St. Francis: It is connected to The Chapel of Bones, as well as a museum, so you can see all three at once for the same admission ticket.
Chapel of Bones: “We bones that are here, for yours we wait”. This bone chilling chapel was created in the 17th century by Franciscan monks using over 5,000 human skulls and their associated bones. While there are various legends as to the origin of the complete corpses hanging inside, it is universally described as a place to evoke a sense of mortality and inevitability of death. Mission accomplished.
WHERE TO EAT:
Aren’t you hungry after reading all about the Chapel of Bones??
Mercearia do Largo: We stumbled across this lovely patio after my phone died, and therefore our navigating skills suffered. We couldn’t locate the restaurant I had pinned on my map, so we wandered aimlessly on the verge of hanger. Luckily, we found this just in time.
Charcuterie, cheese, olives, and good local wine made for a perfectly simple dinner.
Other options that were highly recommended include Fialho, Boa Boca, Tasquina D’Oliviera, Adea do Alentejano, Dom Joaquim, and Art Cafe for a drink.
WHERE TO STAY:
We decided to stay at an AirBnB about 30 minutes past the city in the countryside. This rural estate was magical. It is tied with Portimao for the best AirBnB experience ever.
The hostess had an amazing breakfast spread prepared for us to enjoy on the patio using ingredients from their farm and garden. The chef did not speak a lick of English, but we managed to communicate the basics, like the important details of all the pet’s names.
We also learned that Christian Louboutin is supposedly a neighbor. Pretty cool!
You need a car to get here, so if you are relying on public transportation, Sintra is a better day trip option from Lisbon.
Double check opening hours for everything since it varies seasonally.
Pack bug spray! There were these teeny tiny blood sucking flying bugs everywhere. They were vicious and attacked me relentlessly.
Stay tuned for more on our Spain adventure in Cordoba and Seville!