Worth a Trip: Megaliths Around Monsaraz

Neolithic megaliths are scattered throughout the landscape around Monsaraz – it is great to explore and discover them (they’re signposted, but finding each one is an adventure) amid the tangles of olive groves and open fields of wildflowers. Most spectacular is Cromeleque do Xerez, an ensemble with the triumphant 7-tonne menhir at its centre. The rocks once stood 5km south of Monsaraz but were moved before flooding by the massive Barragem do Alqueva. A remaining highlight is the Menhir de Bulhoa, another phallic stone with intriguing carved circles and lines; it’s 4km north of Monsaraz off the Telheiro–Outeiro road. A map outlining the region’s megalithic circuit is available at the tourist office.