Tomar is one of central Portugal’s most appealing small towns. With its pedestrian-friendly historic centre, its pretty riverside park frequented by swans, herons and families of ducks, and its charming natural setting adjacent to the lush Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes (Seven Hills National Forest), it wins lots of points for aesthetics.
But to understand what makes Tomar truly extraordinary, cast your gaze skyward to the crenellated walls of the Convento de Cristo, which forms a beautiful backdrop from almost any vantage point. Eight-and-a-half centuries after its founding, this venerable headquarters of the legendary Knights Templar is a rambling concoction of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architecture that bears extravagant witness to its integral role in centuries of Portuguese history, from the founding of Portugal as a nation-state to the Age of Discoveries.
Tomar destination guides
Small-Group Tour: Knights Templar Historical Tour from Lisbon
On this historical tour from Lisbon, spend a lovely day in the charming Portuguese villages of Constância and Tomar, and discover the history of the Knights Templar, a Christian military order that played arole in the great battles of Europe during the Middle Ages.