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Montargil, A first stop for a vacation in Alentejo

montargil3

montargil2 Barragem de Montargil is another lake in central Portugal caused by damming, earlier we’ve covered the second largest lake Castelo do bode 80 km north of Montargil. In this article we talk about another lake that differs in many ways from the Castelo do Bode but holds just as much opportunity for a great vacation in Central Portugal!

Montargil is the name of the small village in which the dam is situated. The name originates from the two words ‘Mont’ meaning mountain and ‘Argil’ which is the name of the clay type of which the mountain is made.

Montargil dam was created for irrigation purposes of the surrounding farm land of the river Sor and it was  completed in 1958

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Montargil Lake Alentejo
The lake area is surrounded by flat land with many access routes and a large choice of both natural landscapes and flora and fauna and beaches suitable for swimming, boating, canoeing and other water activities and it is a much loved place for recreation specifically in the summer months when the water temperature is pleasant.

montargil4The village of Montargil is built on a hill above the lake and has some awe inspiring views of the surrounding landscape. The village is part of the municipality of Ponte do Sor, A slightly larger and newer town 20 km to the North of Montargil. The town is named after the bridge in its centre that connects both sides of the river Sor. Montargil is more touristic than it’s municipal capital thanks to it’s position next to the lake.

Sabores do Rio MontargilMontargil has a couple of very interesting regional restaurants and some of it’s regional foods consist of Migas – a bread, beans, cabbage and olive oil mix that is generally used to accompany other dishes but is actually a fully nutritional and delicious vegetarian dish, Enguias – river eel made in various ways as a stew called Ensopada or fried and served with rice amongst many other fish and meat dishes.
Some of the nicest restaurants we found are

The Sabores com Alma right in the centre of Montargil next to the church. This restaurant serves regional dishes in a modern culinary atmosphere.

Sabores com Alma >>

Another restaurant right at the entry road from Ponte do Sor is Restaurant Sabores do Rio (the taste of the river) This restaurant is typically traditional and has a large selection of traditional and regional dishes. It’s typically local, very friendly and good home cooking styled restaurant

Sabores do Rio >>

 

One delicious regional pastry we found is the local Apple cake. Bolo de Maca from Montargil  A yummie sticky type of cake dough filled with pieces of Apple, carrot and walnut. It can be found in the pastry shops in the centre of Montargil.

Bolo de Maca, Montargil

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