Evora Nature trails are supposed to be coved on foot or by mountain bike. They have been slowly built since 2005, starting with the first part of Ecopista. One of the main objectives of these nature trails was to encourage people in Evora to exercise while enjoying the pollution-free outdoors in Alentejo.
But this same first infrastructure also meant to promote Evora as a tourist destination which combines history and culture with nature conservation.
Evora nature trails built until now have used old rural roads and even railway tracks. They invite us all to discover the countryside, whether we are top athletes or less regular ones. Or even if we take the whole family or people with reduced mobility. There are nature trails in Evora for everybody. And they are free, of course!
Running, walking or riding a mountain bike you will get to know the fields covered by flowers, oak trees or olive trees,… Come along!
Evora Nature Trails
Evora Nature Trails – Ecopista
This was where everything started. The old Evora-Mora rail track was converted into Ecopista and we now have an ecotrail covered with concrete while getting through Evora (so that even people with reduced mobility can use it). After the city limits, the trail then becomes dirt. Venture out into the Alentejo countryside and go trekking, running or mountain biking.
Evora Nature Trails – Monfurado
Monfurado Nature Trails are many people’s favourite tracks around Evora. Public or municipal pathways fixed to be covered on foot or using non-pollutant means of transport like mountain bikes or horses.
We get to have a very pleasant hike or ride through the fields west of Evora but also the opportunity to discover megalithic monuments and nice small villages. Other than that, some of those fields are integrated in Sítio de Monfurado, belonging to Natura 2000 Network because of the habitats and species we can find here.
In total, there are 54.7mi (88km) of environmental walkways in Monfurado. If you can’t do them all in one day, all you need to do is come back the next day or the next time you visit Evora. The nature trails through quiet cork oak and holm oak forests and amazing. Wether you prefer to go hiking or speed it up on your bike. In the paths we also find Anta Grande do Zambujeiro, probably the highest dolmen in the world. To see it, all you need to do is go straight ahead at the end of the paved road of Santo Antonico and then turn right after a while when you see the signs.
Evora Nature Trails – Agua da Prata
This nature trail in Evora owes its name to Agua de Prata Aqueduct, a remarkable piece of engineering which allowed water to be transported from Fontes da Prata (Silver Fountains) in Graça do Divor to the fountain in Praça Grande (Big Square), today called Praça do Giraldo (Giraldo Square), right in the centre of Evora.
The aqueduct, which started to being built in the 16th century, runs across about 11.2mi (18km) with a drop of 66ft (20m). The nature trail starts on the R114-4 road Évora-Arraiolos. But there are 3 possible access ways to start the walk. If you decide to start right at the beginning, park your car in the parking lot near the aqueduct and continue on foot or by bike.
First, Agua da Prata nature trail takes you near Alto de São Bento, the highest hill near Evora, where you have the best views over the city. Then, on the right side of the road, you go through fields and farms, in a trail which always follows the aqueduct.
This nature trail around Evora has 5.2mi (8.3km), one way, almost always with a panoramic view over the city. You can go back to Evora using the same path or by entering the above mentioned Ecopista by the small Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos church for a total of 10mi (16km). You should do it taking your time and enjoying yourself. On a mountain bike is a lot more difficult, since you have to go up an down a few small flights of stairs to change from one side to the other of the aqueduct. Pick your challenge.
Evora Nature Trails – Alto de Sao Bento
Alto de Sao Bento is the highest viewpoint over Evora, from where you have this magnificent view of the city and the surrounding fields.
Here, there are evidence that in pre-historic times this area was the origin of a settlement in Evora. Right on the top of this granite massif hill, which was later also the base for the construction of big windmills now deactivated. Evora city council has recovered these mills and transformed them in a museum centre with educational and recreational activities for students from pre-school to secondary levels.
The nature trails around Alto de Sao Bento are not for everybody because the hill is steep. For that reason, the place is ideal for adventurous and downhill mountain bikers. If you are not one of these, at least take your car up the hill and enjoy the view. You will not forget it.
Evora Nature Trails – Map
Evora Nature Trails – Other trekking and biking options
Right now, there are other 3 hiking and biking trails being planned or built around Evora: Ecopista – Ramal de Reguengos, Caminhos do Degebe e Caminhos do Divor. Who knows if they will be finished by the time you visit Evora.
The already functioning trails are an excellent way to be more aware of the riches in terms of flora, fauna and history that the rural areas around Evora have. But, if you like to hike in the countryside, don’t just use the “formal” drawn routes. Any small walk around a dam or lake will bring you peace and quiet while you breathe the pure air you came for in Alentejo.
If you are new at trekking/hiking or if you prefer to be assisted by a local guide, check out some of our tours around Evora and Alentejo, going from castles on top of the hill to the breathtaking coastline. You will cherish the experience forever.