Estremoz – Between marble, wine and history

If you are driving from Lisbon to the Algarve, you should definitely spend a day or two in the Alentejo region. A place we really recommend is Estremoz. From the 13th century castle, today a Pousada, one normally has a wide view over the city and the surrounding vineyards …


… unless the morning fog covers the surrounding countryside with its white candy floss.


Estremoz has excellent restaurants like the wonderful Mercearia Gadanha by Chef Michele Marques (her desserts are divine!) with an innovative take on the traditional portuguese cuisine and a superbly equipped wine and gourmet shop and Alecrim where the wide variety of dishes and the extensive wine list ensure that everyone finds something to their taste. More recently, Larau Restaurante with Chefs Alex Melo and Filipe Bilro has added a much needed fish and seafood dimension to the already excellent restaurant scene while the restaurant of Casa do Gadanha by Chefs Rúben Trindade and Francisca Dias, just like Mercearia do Gadanha, may be on its way to earning Estremoz’ first Michelin star.

Every Saturday there’s a huge market with an improbable mix of antiques and local fruit and vegetables. Antique dealers come from as far as Lisbon or nearby Spanish towns to sell everything from colourful tinplate containers for olive oil to huge marble fountains. The meet with local farmers who traditionally come to town on Saturdays to sell their fresh products on the marketplace.


There are several excellent wine producers in and around Estremoz. For a premium wine try the excellent Quinta do Mouro. Júlio Bastos produces the excellent “Amantis” and “Dona Maria” wines, both red and white, as well as an excellent “Dona Maria Petit Verdot” and the more expensive Júlio B. Bastos wines. Margarida and Joaquim Cabaço produce the elegant and balanced “Monte dos Cabaços Tinto” and “Monte dos Cabaços Reserva Tinto” as well as the incredible “Margarida” (both red and white). Their son Tiago Cabaço offers a range of excellent wines from the inexpensive “.com”, through the full-bodies Vinhas Velhas (both red and white) to the wonderful white “blog” (the red blog has earned awards, but we found it a bit disappointing).

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