With summer insisting not to be over and a bank holiday on its way, my partner and I decided to take some time off and continue exploring Alentejo. The idea was to find a location where we could rest, eat well and have some peace and quiet while lounging by the pool. All on a budget. And that’s what we found in the town of Almodôvar in a little agro farm called Monte Beato.
Monte Beato Farm is actually a working farm, but they’ve opened it to the public and built two lovely typical farmhouses with cosy modern rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, for guests who want to do some cooking, a massive living room and an amazing pool.
We ended up never using the pool because it was windy and overcast but we did go for walks and even took the bikes, which you can get there for free, and went for a spin around the small lakes in the farm.
There’s a lot of farmland to explore and it was, even more, fun to do it with an Alentejo Mastim dog, the owner’s pet who insisted on following us on our tours.
We walked around the recently planted cork trees, they will take 10 years to mature, and we also saw the growing almond and pomegranate trees. The owner has planted all of this so he can start selling in the future. The whole farm is 100% run on clean energy. The solar panels provide all the energy for the houses on the farm and all the water comes from a well, which is purified, making everything clean and safe.
If you want something more to do than just relax by the pool, the centre of Almodôvar is only 2 km away. Almodôvar is a relatively big town with a few restaurants and bakeries which you should definitely try. There are also beautiful churches to visit and a theatre that also works as a cinema.
The highlight for me though was something that is very beloved in Portugal, the roundabouts. We love our roundabouts and we don’t miss a chance to have something emblematic in the middle of them, may it be a fountain or a piece of art. And this one is certainly one you can’t miss. It’s a homage to all the shoemakers of the village. There was a point in time where there were more than 200 artisans working in the region. The design was made by the sculptor Aureliano Aguiar who made the statue with recovered pieces of metal.
Where to eat
Start with a visit to the village’s best bakery Pastelaria Sarita, try their delicious apple custard cake. You can thank me later.
Lunch and Dinner Almodôvar
Tasquinha O Medronho – €3.50 for a 1-liter jar of sangria, €6 for fried chicken, octopus salad, crispy cod with a marvellous onion sauce, black pork cheeks, grilled spicy quail, cuttlefish and many more petiscos (appetizers).
O Moinho – We went to this restaurant for dinner. The tuna steak with pepper sauce was marvellous but I would encourage you to try any other of their specialities. And don’t forget the dessert, this restaurant has served me the best Baba de Camelo of my life. This very typical Portuguese dessert, made of caramel cooked with cream was special. Why? They added cookies to the mix which made it divine.
What to do
Spend a day in Mértola, strategically located on a hill over the Guadiana River. It’s only 40 minutes away from Almodôvar.
As you can see, there is so much you can pack into a single weekend. Take a mini break and discover the best of Alentejo. You can book a weekend in November for only €104 in Monte Beato with breakfast included. Book your mini-break here or save the link, think about it and book it later!