A little town with a couple bones: Evora, Portugal

One of my goals in Europe is to explore bone churches and crypts.  While it may seem morbid, I’m a little sick of all the traditional churches and cookie cutter sightseeing. I want to see something unique while I am here.

So I found a list of strange sights:

http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/09-05/bone-churches-europe.html

So when my flight for London got all messed up, I decided that I didn’t want to stay home and be sad.  So I booked a bus to Evora.

Costs:

Bus: Madrid to Evora: 40 euros

Bus: Evora to Madrid: 23 euros

Hostel: Old Evora 24 euros (two nights, plus breakfast)

Sights: Chapel of Bones and the Cathedral 6 euros

Food: all together 27 euros ( for 4 meals)

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Overall 120 euros for my whole trip

So since, I lost money on a flight in the end, I probably saved money not going to London anyway.  It was a nice relaxing trip by myself. Somtimes I need a break from the hectic big city life.

Sights:

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Chapel of Bones created from unclaimed graves and meant to be a meditation area to reflect the brevity of life. The script above says,” Our bones await yours.”
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Temple of Diane is a skeleton of what used to be a roman temple. This town is so old that it predates Christianity.
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Cathedral with a tower to overlook the city, a orange garden and lovely sculptures all through the church.
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Public Garden with random roman statues and peacocks. Near the garden is a lovely market with random stuff from taxidermy turtles to artisan clothing.
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Church Graca has lovely architecture.

(didn’t get to see the Monolithic Monument but it’s about five miles of town.  It is the oldest monument in the Iberian Peninsula.  Theories are they are ancient star maps made of stone. This is a link to the tour it’s only 25 euros, make sure to book in advance. The guide was on vacation when I was in Evora, sadly: http://www.eboramegalithica.com/)

Food:

Hot Chocolate & Waffles: They had different hot chocolate flavors at every cafe I went to.  I wish I took a picture of the sign of the place I went to. It was in the main town square on the side of the main church.  It was a cozy little place with a waffle bar and warm hot chocolate.

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Soup: A cheap option was a Portuguese, potato puree with lots of vegetables.  With a side of bread it is a delicious and filling meal.  I had this soup a lot, since it was only 3 euros.  This was at a cafe in the town square called Cavcada, it was recommended by the hostel owner for cheap, authentic Portuguese food.

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Lasagna:  Not classic Portuguese food but there was a cafe with a vegetarian menu and other than salads there was vegetable lasagna. I went to Cafe Arcada.  The food was pretty good but do not eat the bread or cheese.  I did not realize they charged for it.  Also, the menu says the beer is included but it’s not.

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Also, there were lots and lots of pastries everywhere!

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Hostel:

Old Evora Hostel: Rua Serpa Pinto Travessa do Barão 4A, Evora, Portugal

http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Old-Evora/Evora/41544?sc_sau=sfab&sc_pos=3

This hostel is run by a very sweet man and his son.  They made sure I was comfortable and let me in at 5:30 AM when my bus arrived. Then they informed me of the tour to see the monolithic monument and even asked another guest if they could take me so I didn’t have to pay.  When I was eating dinner alone the hostel manager sat with me and talked so I wasn’t lonely.

The breakfast was delicious artisan bread and jams. It was a pleasant surprise to have such quality food for breakfast.  My bed was very comfortable: they gave me a thick comforter and clean sheets.  I slept like a baby.

They were even very nice when my bus was very late, they let me stay in the lounge, watch TV and drink wine until I had to go.  I would definitely recommend this hostel.  The atmosphere is cozy and very friendly.

Conclusion:

Evora is a lovely little stop if you are traveling from Madrid to Lisbon or vice versa.  There were lots of people that stopped in Evora on their way to other places in Portugal or in Spain.  There were also lots of people that live in Portugal or Spain that wanted a quiet weekend in a small town.  I enjoyed the contrast from noisy, busy Madrid.  The sights were lovely and I ended up meeting a lot of interesting people.

Let me know if this post was helpful in your travel planning!

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