Nature Reserve in Mértola

Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana

Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana

Created in 1995, this zone of hills, plains and deep valleys around Serpa and Mértola shelters the Rio Guadiana, one of Portugal’s largest and most important rivers. Among its rich flora and fauna are several...

Church in Mértola

Igreja Matriz

Mértola’s striking parish church – square, flat-faced and topped with whimsical little conical decorations – is known because in a former incarnation it was a mosque, one of the few in the country to have...

Castle in Mértola


Above the parish church looms Mértola’s fortified castle, most of which dates from the 13th century. It was built upon Moorish foundations next to an Islamic residence, the alcáçova (citadel), which itself...

Archaeological Site in Mértola


This site contains the ruins of what was once a thriving Islamic neighbourhood. Some 20 dwellings were here, each with a classic Mediterranean layout – a main entry patio, kitchen, storage area, sleeping quarters...

Historic Site in Mértola

Casa Islâmica

Next to the alcáçova (citadel), this interpretation centre is an accurately sized replica of an Islamic residence dating from the 12th century. Key features include an open central patio with a rainwater...

Ruins in Mértola

Museu Paleocristão

This museum, north of the old town, features a partly reconstructed line of 6th-century Roman columns and poignant funerary stones, some of which are beautifully carved with birds, hearts and wreaths. It was the...

Ruins in Mértola

Casa Romana

The enchanting Casa Romana is located in the cellar of the câmara municipal (town hall). The clever display allows visitors to walk ‘through’ the foundations of the Roman house upon which the building rests, and...

Historic Site in Mértola

Torre de Menagem

Inside the castle walls, this prominent tower has exhibitions related to the history of Mértola, with several worthwhile (if dramatically scored) videos in both English and Portuguese on Mértola’s strategic...

Museum in Mértola

Cine Teatro da Mina de São Domingos

In São Domingos, on the main road leading into town, this place provides a suitable introduction to life during the peak of the mining industry days. Although all signage (and film footage) is in Portuguese, the...

Plaza in Mértola

Largo Luís de Camões

This is the administrative heart of the old town, a picturesque square lined with orange trees, with the câmara municipal (town hall) at its western end. To reach the largo (small square), enter the old town and...

Tower in Mértola

Torre do Relógio

This little clock tower, topped with a stork’s nest and overlooking the Rio Guadiana, is northeast of Largo Luís de Camões. Alongside it is a municipal building with a rooftop worthy of Van Gogh.

Museum in Mértola

Museu Islâmico

At the southern end of the old town, the Islamic Museum is a small but dramatic display of inscribed funerary stones, jewellery, pots and jugs from the 11th to 13th centuries.

Tower in Mértola

Torre do Rio

At the river’s edge, near its confluence with the Ribeira de Oeiras, is the ruined, Roman-era Torre do Rio, which once guarded the vital port.

Museum in Mértola

Museu de Arte Sacra

Housed in the former Misericórdia church, the Museu de Arte Sacra exhibits religious statuettes from the 16th to 18th centuries and several impressive 16th-century retables from the village and castle churches;...

House in Mértola

Casa de Mértola

Next to the turismo, this small two-room house shows what living conditions were like for Mértolans up until fairly recent times (the 1970s).

Museum in Mértola

Casa do Mineiro

Tucked away on one of the narrow streets of São Domingos village, this small museum set among still-inhabited houses re-creates a typical miner’s cottage.