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Introducing Estremoz

Along with neighbouring Borba and Vila Viçosa, the very authentic, active town of Estremoz is one of the region’s well-known marble hotspots and is worth visiting. The region's marble – rivalling that in Carrara, Italy – is used all over the place: even the cobbles are rough chunks of marble.

Ringed by an old protective wall, Estremoz has a centre set with orange tree–lined lanes, a 13th-century hilltop castle enclosed in an old quarter, and peaceful plazas (the main one being Rossio Marquês de Pombal, or ‘the Rossio’). This simple provincial town is a busy trading centre, with lots of shops selling farm tools, though visitors can also load up on crafts, earthenware pottery and gourmet delights – all of which are available at the great market that fills the huge central square on Saturday. The town boasts some excellent eateries.