Elvas is an amazing fortified city in the Alentejo region of Portugal, situated only a few kilometres west of the Spanish border. This Episcopal city and frontier fortress is located within the district of Portalegre, some 230 km east of Lisbon. The town can be easily reached from Evora, Lisbon or the nearby Spanish Badajoz. Remarkably set on top of a hill, it is the perfect defensive city, offering impressive views on the surrounding lands.
The old town is unique in its genre famous for being one of the most heavily fortified frontier towns in Europe. Indeed, Elvas is historically known for having some of the most sophisticated and best preserved military fortifications, completely surrounded by a series of strong walls and gates. This strategic star-shaped architecture enabled protection from most angles of possible attack. Combined with impressive fortifications there are two fortresses surrounding Elvas, Forte de Grace to the North and the more famous Forte de Santa Luzia to the south.
As for Elvas beautiful surrounding, they are mostly known for their production of olives, brandy as well as quality plums which are famously conserved in a honey mixture and exported all over the world.
Top 10 Elvas sites
The following are the must see attractions in Elvas from famous squares to known streets and churches passing by the castle with its astonishing views.
- Praca da Republica
- Elvas Castelo
- Largo Santa Clara
- Aqueduto de Amoreira
- Museu Regional
- Nossa Senhora da Assunção
- Nossa Senhora da Consolacao
- Rua do Alcomin
- Convento dos Jesuitas
- Forte de Santa Luzia
Praca da Republica
The Praca da Republica is Elvas main Square, a lovely place to take a break on one of its many terraced cafes. It is also home to the town’s main church, Our Lady of the Assumption.
The Elvas Castelo is one of the most important sites of the city, strategically sitting on the northern end of the fortified old town. It is unclear as to when it was originally built but was rebuilt in 1226 and followed numerous alterations afterwards.
Largo Santa Clara
The Largo Santa Clara is a small triangular shaped square, located on one of the highest point of the Elvas. At its heart lies the 16th century marble Manueline Pillory containing various hooks, reminder of punishment in older times. On the eastern side of the square is a10th century archway which leads to the castle and astonishing views of the countryside.
Aqueduto de Amoreira
The Aqueduto de Amoreira is the other key attraction of Alvas. This amazing aqueduct has 843 arches spread over 8 kilometres, with some places reaching up to 30 metres in height. It is said that the built started in 1498 and took some 125 years to finish. Remarkably, this impressive piece of engineering still brings water to town.
The Museu Regional is a great place to learn more about the history of Elvas with a variety of artefacts including weapons, religious paintings, Roman mosaics and even Neolithic remnants.
Nossa Senhora da Assunção
The Nossa Senhora da Assunção is a 16th-century Manueline-style Church and the main religious site of Elvas. This fortress like cathedral is located of the northern side of the main square, built on the same place where the cross of the Bishop Warrior stood. It was originally designed by the same architect who planned the Forte de Santa Luzia, but has been remodelled several times since.
Nossa Senhora da Aflitos Church
The Nossa Senhora da Aflitos originally a Templar church is a beautiful religious site with 17th Century tiles that reach into the cupola. This octagonal church is located right next to the Nossa Senhora da Assunção, and although seem unimpressive from the exterior, its interior with painted marble columns is worth discovering.
Rua do Alcomin
The Rua do Alcomin is perhaps the most known pedestrian street of Elvas. It is packed with small cafes and various boutiques, making it the ideal place to find a charming souvenir to take back home.
Convento dos Jesuitas
The Convento dos Jesuitas situated close to the town’s main square was once home to the Jesuit convent and currently host the Elvas library continuing over 55,000 volumes including a 16th century Bible. The Convento dos Jesuitas is also home to the António Tomás Pires museum.
Forte de Santa Luzia
The Forte de Santa Luzia is a very well-preserved 17th Century fortress situated south of the old town. It was designed by the French architect Marquis de Vauban which was also the man behind the Nossa Senhora da Assunção church.
Top Elvas hotels
The following are some of the best rated 3, 4 and 5 stars hotels in Elvas.
Hotel D Luis
Av. de Badajoz, Elvas, Elvas, Portugal, 3 Stars
The Hotel D Luis offers guests non smoking rooms, television, air conditioning as well as shops, 24hr room service, elevator, bar/pub. Guests seeking exercise or leisure will be pleased to find outdoor pool at the hotel. Guests will find this service-oriented hotel with superb facilities and amenities provides excellent value.
Book a room at the Hotel D Luis now, best price guaranteed.
Hotel Sao Joao De Deus
Largo São João De Deus 1, Elvas, Elvas, Portugal, 4 stars
Hotel Sao Joao De Deus offers fully equipped rooms, all including in room safe, air conditioning, television as well as other amenities. The hotel boasts an elevator, business centre, laundry service/dry cleaning, meeting facilities as part of its superior facilities and services. Unwind after your day with a choice of outdoor pool – just a few of the hotel’s excellent sporting and leisure offerings. Guests will find this service-oriented hotel with superb facilities and amenities provides excellent value. Book your room now at Hotel Sao Joao De Deus via our secure online booking form.
Book a room at the Hotel Sao Joao De Deus, best price guaranteed.
Pousada De Elvas Santa Luzia Hotel
Avenida De Badajoz, Elvas, Portugal , 3 Stars
Pousada De Elvas Santa Luzia Hotel is the perfect choice when staying in Elvas. All rooms include a desk, mini bar, separate shower and a tub. After a day of work or exploring, pool (kids), garden, outdoor pool are some of the ways to unwind. Comfort and convenience are the hallmarks of Pousada De Elvas Santa Luzia Hotel.
Book a room at the Pousada De Elvas Santa Luzia Hotel now, best price guaranteed.
Quinta De Santo Antonio Hotel
Quinta De Santo António Apartado 206, Elvas, Portugal, 5 Stars
Quinta De Santo Antonio Hotel will make each guest’s stay comfortable, with all rooms featuring hair dryer, television, non smoking rooms and shower. The hotel also features meeting facilities, restaurant, room service, bicycle rental, making each guest’s trip in Elvas an enjoyable one. The hotel provides superior recreational and leisure facilities including tennis courts, outdoor pool. This charming property has long been a favourite in Elvas for both business and leisure travellers.
Book a room at the Quinta De Santo Antonio Hotel now, best price guaranteed.