Monsaraz, Alentejo, Portugal, sits high upon a hill overlooking the vast network of lakes that dominate the landscape around the Spanish border. Nearby Mourão can be seen as can Evoro. Our wild camp put us in a prime location to savour those views.
The town of Monsaraz lies behind huge stone walls and is fortified by a castle at the southern end. There are plenty of facilities to take advantage of and they cover almost all of your wild camping needs.
There’s a little supermarket with some locally grown fruit and veg, restaurants, cafés and even some public toilets which are more favourable than a plastic bag (there’s not really anywhere to ‘wild dump’).
Wild camping is supposedly illegal in Portugal so you need to make sure you’re discreet at this spot. We saw local police drive by regularly so don’t make it obvious what you’re doing and don’t stay any longer than a few days other wise you’ll start to attract attention.
Monsaraz doesn’t have too much to do ( it’ll occupy a full day if you take things slowly) but it’s a very historic slice of Portugal’s legacy and the castle is a great place to sit and ponder while taking in those spectacular views. There are also museums and galleries which are worth a look.
As for internet, we’re now using a TMN dongle which worked well in Monsaraz but if you don’t have wi-fi or mobile interwebs there’s an office next to the church where you can use their machines for some surfing and emailing.
All in all our wild camp at Monsaraz was very good, if a little risky. The local facilities made it very comfortable and the views are to die for. Discretion is the order of the day; keep it clean and quiet and you should have no trouble.
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