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RIBATEJO
SEARCH (Number of properties shown in brackets)
Tomar (1)
RIBATEJO map
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regional overview

The Ribatejo, on the banks of the Tejo (Tagus), is an agricultural area set on floodplains and low hills, with grasslands, black bulls, horses, olive groves and vineyards. Just outside Lisbon, it is a quiet corner of the country, a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It has provincial market towns and white-washed houses, along with Fátima, Portugal's most important pilgrimage site, Santarém, the capital, and Tomar, with its impressive convent and castle. Within striking distance is the superb coastline at Peniche and Nazaré and centrally located Ribatejo is en-route to the Alentejo and regions in the centre and north of Portugal.

properties in RIBATEJO

The Ribatejo is a rural province- horse and cattle country, with rivers, hills, plains. There are also small historic towns such as Tomar and Santarém. In this region, we are focusing on charming and historic farm estates, with gardens, pools and often vineyards and olive groves. These include manor house B&Bs and self-catering cottages. Located in the centre of Portugal, and surrounded by historic sites such as Tomar, Almourol, Ourém , Batalha, Alcobaça, Óbidos, Santarém and Constância, they are an ideal base for exploring the area, or for heading to the nearby coast at Nazaré and limestone hills and caves at Serra d'Aire.

the great outdoors

In the Ribatejo, there is plenty of space and low rolling countryside, ideal for walking, cycling and horse-riding. The Tagus river splits the region in two, and is a good place for kayaking. Where it enters the estuary, before Lisbon, is the Tagus nature reserve, an excellent spot for birding (with many waders, including flamingo). Some of the best surfing areas in Portugal are located on the nearby Leiria and Lisbon coast, between Ericeira and Nazaré. In the Serra d'Aire, beyond Fátima, is Portugal's best area for caving. Centrally-located, the Ribatejo is also a good base for outdoor pursuits in surrounding regions.

historic towns & local culture

The Ribatejo is typified by small agricultural towns, but it also has three specific places on many peoples' lists. The most visited is Fátima, a Catholic centre of pilgrimage, where three village children claim to have seen the Virgin Mary, whilst tending a flock of sheep in 1917. Tomar has an impressive convent, founded in 1162 by the Knights Templar, as well as an attractive town centre. Built in the same period is Almourol castle, on an island in the Tagus river, just beyond Abrantes. Rural as it is, towns and villages in this region are provincial, tranquil and down to earth, with traffic typically slowed by tractors and flocks of sheep.

best times to visit

Inland from Lisbon and away from the sea, the Ribatejo is hot and dry from May to October. This is also the time for many agricultural festivals and bull runs. Santarém has the national agricultural fair in June, with bullfighting around the Milagre and Piedade fairs in April and October, and Vila Franca de Xira has its running of the bulls in July and October. Spring is a great time for walking and wildflowers and the autumns are filled with grape harvests and food festivals. Winters are generally mild and the region is at its quietest, for those who are looking for total peace and quiet. Not to be missed for equestrians is the national horse fair at Golegã in November.

getting there & around

The Ribatejo, just outside Lisbon is very easy to get to. Lisbon's airport itself is located right by the motorway which heads north out of town to the Ribatejo and beyond. If staying in one place in the Ribatejo, an easy option is to take a taxi from the airport. If wanting to explore the region and get to other points in the area (such as the coast), then a car is recommended.
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