Top things to do

Portuguese in Elvas

A Coluna

Fancying itself as the town’s ‘gourmet’ number, this tavern-cavern offers an elegant space with azulejos on the walls. Pork and bacalhau (codfish) dishes are its forte.
Fort in Elvas

Forte da Graça

Looming high over the arid countryside, about 3km north of town, this old military fort has a commanding presence. From the castelo, the fort is just visible on a distant hillside. Partially restored in 2015, the th…
Gallery in Elvas

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas

The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas is a must-see if the right exhibition is showing. Opened in 2007, the museum is housed in a cleverly renovated baroque-style building from the 1700s, formerly the Misericórdi…
Tower in Elvas

Torre Fernandina

The Fernandina Tower was the result of alterations undertaken in the 14th century to the second Muslim wall. It served as a jail from the end of the 15th century. These days you can climb the spiral staircase to the…
Landmark in Elvas

Aqueduto da Amoreira

It took an unsurprising 100 years or so to complete this breathtakingly ambitious aqueduct. Finished in 1622, the huge cylindrical buttresses and several tiers of arches stalk from 7km west of town to bring water to…
Castle in Elvas


You can walk around the battlements at the castle for dramatic views across the baking plains. The original castle was built by the Moors on a Roman site and rebuilt by Dom Dinis in the 13th century, then again by D…
Music in Elvas

Festas do Senhor da Piedade e de São Mateus

Elvas starts to tap its blue suede shoes in late September, celebrating the Festas do Senhor da Piedade e de São Mateus, with everything from agricultural markets and bullfights to folk dancing and religious process…
Portuguese in Elvas

O Lagar

Smart and buzzing, O Lagar dishes up excellent regional cooking, with good-value, high-quality açorda (a kind of bread soup) and bacalhau (codfish). Service can be a bit slow, but it’s a pleasant enough place to lin…
Fort in Elvas

Forte de Santa Luzia

Dating from the 1640s, this miniature, zigzag-walled fort lies just 1.4km south of the praça (town square). Today its houses a military museum with displays of weaponry dating back to the 18th century.
Portuguese in Elvas

Adega Regional

Locals love this small place where it’s all about the food – lashings of plumas de porco preto (pork) and marisco (shellfish) dishes of all kinds, or a good-value three-course daily meal for €10.