Alentejo Tour to Marvão and Castelo de Vide
Marvão and Castelo de Vide—Enchanting medieval towns and Jewish heritage in the heart of the Natural Park of São Mamede in Northeastern Alentejo
This tour invites you to explore one of the most well-kept medieval villages of Portugal. Surrounded by walls and 865 meters above sea level, Marvão surprises every visitor with its marvelous views over neighboring country Spain and the surrounding areas of Northeast Alentejo and São Mamede Natural Park. There we will be enough time to immerse yourself in the town’s rich history, visit its imposing castle, walk in its well-preserved historical center characterized by centuries-old houses with white-washed facades, and soak up the atmosphere of this little jewel of Alentejo.
After lunch facing the River Sever in the village of Portagem (meal not included in tour price), we will enjoy a beautiful sightseeing tour as we drive by car to Sintra do Alentejo on the country roads of northern Alentejo. Once at Castelo de Vide, we will walk to the top of the village and dive deep into Jewish history, visiting the former synagogue and the Jewish quarter, where you’ll see enigmatic symbols which mark the places where Jews and Marranos (Jews forced to convert to Christianity) lived. Since the foundation of the nation, Jewish communities were essential to life in Castelo de Vide and across the entire country. Jews were advisors to kings and queens, tax collectors, doctors, physicians, herbalists, naturalists (such as the Castelo-Vidense Sephardi Jewish physcian Garcia da Orta) and, on the west coast, great explorers, geographers, and mathematicians. Together, they helped to transform Portugal into one of the wealthiest nations in the world during the XV and XVI centuries.