Monday is a day where frequently many things are closed therefore it’s not always the best day to plan a road trip however, Mértola is a place where simply being in the town is enough to satisfy the senses without going in and out of museums or other possibly closed places and we had checked to find out if any restaurants might be opened, Pat Kean found one, and so off we went.

Mértola is a charming and peaceful walled town set high on a hill overlooking the Guadiana River. It’s in southeastern Alentejo, the region just above the Algarve, close to the Spanish border. Also, it’s off the beaten track which makes it less touristy, allowing you to enjoy the cobblestone streets and the winding “up and down” of the narrow roads.

The beauty of Mértola is just strolling around its quiet streets and enjoying the peace and calm. It’s very small and there aren’t loads of things to ‘do’, you can easily take it all in within an afternoon.  Add to that the beautiful drive up from the Algarve and you can appreciate our day.

The seven of us enjoyed wandering the streets and ohhhing and ahhhing over various vistas. Of course there are requisite group photos to prove to family and friends that we were really there!

Gary, Rob, Anne, Marc, a very squeezed Patricia, and me. The usual suspects in the second photo minus me and plus Joanne.

Mértola’s medieval castle sits at the very top of the hill, dominating the landscape and looming over all the other buildings. Although it isn’t the prettiest castle in the world, it’s the main attraction of Mértola and definitely worth the walk up to. Once up we were rewarded for the long hike up the hill with views across the river. 

And of course, we’re always being silly and having some fun along the way….some more than others!

One person in particular was having lots of fun

I was taken with the doorway of the old church and the many carved images and faces that were worked into the frame. Here are three that stood out for me.

And of course, lunch…….a great meal, Mom and Pop place, packed, we managed to get the only table available as we arrived …how propitious was that, a table for 8 sitting empty! The rest of the place wall to wall people. The atmosphere was lively and the place smelled great….both wonderful signs of what was to come. We were not at all disappointed.

After lunch was another bit of wandering before heading off to visit the other small chapel, which required taking the cars.

A completely wonderful day, all senses sated, lots of wandering and easy exercise, a great meal, wonderful camaraderie, what else could we need.

On the drive there and back one thing that did stand out to us was the quantity of gum cistus in bloom…,,the hillsides covered in the swaying bushes, most of the covered in clusters of blossoms. I thought it appropriate to close off todays blog with a couple of photos to show their beauty.

10 thoughts on “MÉRTOLA Day Trip

  1. Love the cistus, and Mertola is beautiful. There’s a Medieval Fair coming up there soon- can’t remember the dates – and the place takes on a whole different aspect. Canopies over the streets to keep out the sun, carpets, leather goods, hypnotic music and dancing. Very atmospheric!


    1. Thanks, I love the sound of that. I’ll have to try and find when.


      1. 18-21st May 🤗💗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photos Randy I love the paintings and the doors so beautiful and cared for and who wouldn’t have fun with Pat 😊


    1. Thanks Margaret. It’s a lovely old town, walking around it is almost like being in a museum! And yes, Pat and I do laugh so much together. We’ve just celebrated our 47th year of friendship!


  3. Look at you! Always finding intriguing places, wonderful angles, beautiful colours. So many great art pieces.
    The laughter of Joanne is one of my favourite pictures.


    1. Thanks darlin’, it is such a magical town and so much to see and do there without ever going inside. I get such pleasure out of all this wandering and exploring. And I knew you meant Pat. It’s a great photo.


  4. Sorry Patricia was the smiley lady

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great day on all levels…great fun and lots of interesting and intriguing things to see and EAT! Wow! Your photo of Pat is award-winning! I can see it with a ‘First Place’ ribbon on it, titled “Joy”!
    What a terrific day with the ‘Great Eight’! Thanks for sharing!


    1. You might be cute but you can’t count…..we were the Great Seven!!! LOL. Yes, I love that photo of Pat……..her joie de vivre is contagious.


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