Follow any of the pedra calçada streets to the outskirts of town and you will likely pass the austere marble quarries that are the reason Estremoz is known as the ‘white town’.

Continue a little further and you find yourself immersed in wine country, with regimented rows of vines stretching as far as the eye can see.  Originally these fields were used for growing cereal crops but in more recent years grapes have taken over in many areas.

And then you are in the beautiful open countryside of the Alentejo. Undulating pastures with cattle, sheep and black pigs, grazing under ancient olive trees strewn with medieval rock formations, interspersed by traditional ‘montes’, smallholdings where owners grow their own produce and keep goats, chickens, geese and ducks running freely in the yards.

To the south of Estremoz is the Serra d’Ossa, a hilly, forested area that reaches 650m. Here you can hike, mountain bike or ride on horseback to reach the top of cork and holm oak covered inclines and enjoy beautiful, unspoiled views across the beautiful Alentejo plains. You will find mysterious dolmens and hidden chapels as you follow one of the 11 Transalentejo network of paths, while there is also the Convent of Sao Paulo to explore, which is now a 5-star luxury hotel.

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