The culture in the Alto Alentejo
Quinta da Saimeira is a good start to explore the rich culture of the Alentejo. Nearby, at only a few kilometres, is Marvão with its Medieval castle. The village of 200 inhabitants is a candidate for UNESCO Heritage. Marvão has been part of the Roman settlement of Ammaia. The Roman influences are still visible. Besides Menhirs and cobblestone roads, there are the excavations in Ammaia, a Roman village at 6 km, comprising a theatre, bathhouse and the remains of an entire village.
Marvão is in the heart of the Natural Reserve of São Mamede. The well-preserved area is known for its variety in fauna and flora.
There are several interesting museums to visit in the neighborhood. There is in Portalegre the Tapestry Museum with a an exhibition of tapestries made from paintings of famous artists.
In Elvas there is the Museum for Contemporary Art, with a collection of work from world-famous artists, from Warhol to Picasso. In Spain you will find the private museum of Wolf Vostell, exhibiting a collection of Flux Art. Just the amazing building make it a worth a visit.
In the Alentejo people worship their traditions and culture. Pressing olive oil, harvesting cork or picking grapes for wine, every season has its traditions.
The landscape of the Alentejo varies from south to north. In the southern part you will find large estates on rolling lands with cattle on pasture lands. More to the north, where we are, it gets hillier and the farms are smaller. Olive groves, vineyards and flocks of sheep dominate the scenery; and every few kilometers white villages where time stands still.