Belver is a small hillside bathed by the Tagus River, full of history. A castle that dates back to the foundation of the nationality and which stored treasures.
Located in the district of Portalegre, municipality of Gavião, Belver is a small hillside bathed by the river Tagus, full of history. a retreat by alentejo nature that you can’t miss. For those coming from the north, getting to Belver is a path that alone makes it worth a visit. entering by penela (in the central region) and taking the IC8 are just over 110 kilometres, on a national road that cuts through the calm landscape brushed with green.
Along the way and you can stop for a quick visit to Sertã and enjoy the Castelo de Bode Reservoir?? Also, take the opportunity to get to know Proença-a-Nova and, among other things, delight in the local cuisine – such as plangaio, almeirão salad and goat cheese, or for those with a sweet tooth, the bolo finto, the honey breads and the famous bowl.
These are just the non-mandatory pit stops, but they are well worth it if you want to take it easy and get into Belver in the right spirit.
The Castle of Bela Vista (Belver)
The first stop when arriving at this small village in the district of Portalegre is the castle. Dating back to the twelfth century, it was ordered to be built by the Hospitaller Order by donation from King Sancho I.
The purpose of this undertaking was to ensure the protection of the region and prevent the Muslim conquest. However, during Portuguese history, it has always played an important role due to its location, on the defensive line of the Tagus.
In addition, Belver Castle – which meant Bela Vista – is one of the most important landmarks of medieval military architecture in Portugal.
If the reasons for visiting this castle have not yet convinced you, know that, according to legend, it was in it that Luís de Camões was imprisoned in 1553. Inside the walls, you can still visit the Chapel and altarpiece of São Brás?? In fact, visiting Belver Castle means discovering important landmarks in our history, learning more about military architecture and being surprised by the unobstructed views of the Tagus.
Belver: the history of soap dispensers
The past of this small Alentejo village goes beyond the battles of the reconquest. In the 16th century, soap production became the main economic activity in the region, with the installation of the Real Fábrica do Sabão. To honor this industry so important at the time, in 2013 the Soap Museum in an old primary school.
Here you can learn everything about soap – from the manufacturing process, to distribution, through the differences between soft and hard soap – the complete history of this industry is portrayed here, in what is one of the four soap museums that exist throughout the world. world.
After exploring the distant past, enjoy nature and the arid landscapes of the upper Alentejo. To start this emersion, enjoy a late afternoon, when the heat is not so strong, to stroll along the river along the Alamal Walkway.
Renovated in 2017, these walkways, just over a kilometer and a half, are the perfect plan to end a day in beauty. They connect the river beach of Alamal with the bridge of Belver, in a meandering over the river, creating the granitic landscape of the region. To cool off from the Alentejo heat, there’s nothing like a dip in the Alamal river beach?? A vast stretch of sand enters the warm waters of the Tagus in perfect harmony with several strawberry trees and honeysuckle.
A beach with all the amenities required these days: bar, lifeguard, sanitary facilities, good access and a picnic area. You can also rent pedalos or canoes if you want to get away from the calm waters of the Tagus?? All more than reasons to discover this little secret with an Alentejo accent.