In the property
EXPLORE THE PROPERTY ON FOOT OR BIKE, USING THE EXISTING TRACKS. WE RECOMMEND AT LEAST ONE VISIT TO THE STREAM (FLOWING WATER IN WINTER, PONDS IN SUMMER). YOU ARE WELCOME TO TASTE ANY FRUIT OR HERBS THAT YOU FIND.
IN THE POND YOU CAN SEE MALLARDS, HERONS AND GREBES. ALONG THE PATHS IT IS EASY TO OBSERVE RED PARTRIDGE, HOOPOE, DOVES AND AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE. WALK ALONG THE ALVACAR STREAM, WHERE IF YOU PAY ATTENTION YOU CAN SPOT TERRAPINS, FROGS AND A DIVERSITY OF DRAGONFLIES. LINGER AMONG WILDFLOWERS IN THE SPRING. LOOK OUT FOR THE FLIGHT OF AN IMPERIAL EAGLE!
Ermida de Nossa Senhora
This is located a few km north of Alagães and it’s definitely worth a detour. Go North in the direction of Corte Pequena and turn left at the sign to Aracelis. It’s a little chapel on a small hill, but when you get there you’ll surely see why we recommend it, especially at sunset. In the winter you might spot a flock of cranes (Grus grus) nearby.
You MUST visit this town! The shortest road from João Serra is through Alvares. It’s a two-way road on a single lane so drive slowly and pay attention to (occasional) oncoming traffic. Also, if driving around sunset or in the evening you will probably see partridges and rabbits, plus assorted other birds, and maybe even a fox, a wild boar, a deer or an Iberian Lynx (ok, these are rare but they do live around here. Maybe you’ll be extra lucky)!
Mértola is called the pearl of the Guadiana (river) and it’s really a jewel. It has applied for a World Heritage classification which is fully deserved. It was a major trading town in the Roman Empire and then the Arabs were there for centuries. The resulting mix of cultures is fascinating, as you can learn if you visit the museum. It’s also possible to visit some archaeological sites (check in advance). The church, which was previously an Islamic mosque, is worth a look.
There are many good restaurants, e.g. Casa Amarela (left bank), Vila Velha (great project) and Tamuje. Café Guadiana is a classic location and it serves light meals. All have vegetarian options.
Mina de São Domingos