Top things to do in Estremadura & Ribatejo

Top Choice Monastery in Batalha

Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória

The extraordinary monastery of Batalha was built to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota (fought just south of here). Most of the monument was completed by 1434 in Flamboyant Gothic, but Manueline exuberance s…
Top Choice Monastery in Alcobaça

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça

One of Iberia's great monasteries utterly dominates the town of Alcobaça. Hiding behind the imposing baroque facade lies a high, austere, monkish church (free entry) with a forest of unadorned 12th-century arches. B…
Top Choice Monastery in Tomar

Convento de Cristo

Wrapped in splendour and mystery, the Knights Templar held enormous power in Portugal from the 12th to 16th centuries, and largely bankrolled the Age of Discoveries. Their headquarters sit on wooded slopes above the…
Top Choice Portuguese in Leiria

Casinha Velha

The best culinary experience in central Portugal begins insanely: an epic cow's, sheep's and goat's cheese cart, arranged regionally, along with black pork sausages, awaits at your table – you cut your own portions …
Top Choice Viewpoint in Nazaré

Miradouro do Sítio

As you exit the funicular at the top of Promontório do Sítio, make a quick left and walk 50m to the Sitío viewpoint – an outstanding aerial view of Nazaré and its immense beaches (100m wide, 6km long). A vista you w…
Top Choice Christian Site in Fátima

Santuário de Fátima

It's difficult to believe that a century ago, this was rocky pastureland outside an insignificant village. This vast complex is now one of Catholicism's major shrines; the focus of enormous devotion and pilgrimage. …
Top Choice Sculpture in Estremadura

Bacalhôa Buddha Eden

What have the Taliban got to do with a rural winery 12km south of Óbidos? Well, when they blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, the millionaire art collector José Berardo was so incensed at the want…
Top Choice Museum in Santarém

Casa Museu Passos Canavarro

Right by the Portas do Sol and sharing some of the same privileged views, this is a unique place to visit for lovers of art and beauty. The historic house, once home to 19th-century liberal politician Passos Manuel,…
Top Choice Bakery in Alcobaça

Alcoa

You may have seen it in Lisbon, but this heralded pastelaria (pastry shop) hails from Alcobaça, sitting front and centre across from the monastery hawking some of Portugal's most decadent doces conventuais (conventu…
Top Choice Portuguese in Alcobaça

Restaurante António Padeiro

If the monks had not pigged out at the Alcobaça monastery (their gluttony was eventually noticed), they would have flocked to this wonderful, elegant-but-not-snobby spot. It's clocked up 70 years and for good reason…