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Mértola - Portugal B'side

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District: Beja

Trivia: Mértola is also known as "Museum Village ", featuring a vast Monumental Cultural and Historic Heritage

Some points of interest: Mértola Castle, Torre de Menagem (Keep), São Domingos Mine, Guadiana Valley Natural Park, Guadiana watermills

Some activities: Horse riding, Walking tours, Jeep tour, Wine tasting

Typical: Rag blankets of Mértola, Game meat dishes, Migas of Mértola, Costas de gila, Rosas de Mel, Nogados

Mértola Village, situated on a hill on the right bank of the Guadiana River near the mouth of the Ribeira de Oeiras, is the home of one of the largest municipalities in Portugal. In this village, the past and the present come together, creating a stunning and unrivalled heritage. With traces of occupation since prehistoric times, passed by Mértola many people like the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs thanks to the presence of the waterway and the connection with the south of the Iberian Peninsula, which was an important trading post. The history and occupation of Mértola are in fact strongly influenced by its location at the farthest navigability Point of Guadiana River, key meeting location of the Mediterranean trading routes, resulting in the intermingling of several people that over time passed by and left a vast cultural and patrimonial heritage. A sharp archaeological activity in the eighties uncovered the evidence of a vast heritage of the peoples who passed through here, originating the current label of Mértola "Museum Village."

This lovely villa combines this immense historical and cultural heritage with a vast natural beauty, framed by the Guadiana Valley Natural Park. Valleys, plateaus and plains, shape the land of great wealth and accommodate the rugged bed of the Guadiana River and its effluents. A walk through this scenario allows the discovery of a rich variety of flora like arable rainfed, holm oak groves (montados), cistus areas and aromatic herbs, as well as a huge faunal diversity like different species of fish, bivalves, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Mértola is certainly an excellent option for those who enjoy a relaxing and peaceful holiday, in a trip that will take you to a point of the country full of history, culture and natural beauty, combined with a tasteful traditional gastronomy and a long tradition of welcoming visitors.

Recommended time:

2 to 3 days