There are fewer and fewer locais assim, unfortunately. And, even this one, this one is in danger of disappearing. Let’s say that it is, surely, one of the most beautiful roads in Portugal: the N246-1. It is barely a few kilometers long and manages to dazzle any visitor with its beauty.
This road is located in Alentejo and links the towns of Portagem and Marvão. It is completely surrounded by freixos, which was a common practice decades ago and which has been disappearing. Negligence, mau gosto or simply preguiça. No one knows for sure. Or that it is known that, in the past, there were many roads as well as a few throughout the country.
The national road 246-1 is, therefore, one of the last resistant ones. But their future is a little uncertain: in 2019, 14 two freixos that surrounded them would have to be cut off for reasons of road safety. There are still 235 of these beautiful trees (which are 200 years old) and the population of Marvão is tempted to protect them from other potential cuts.
Driving on this beautiful road is a different experience every season of the year. No Autumn, it is possible to appreciate the yellow and vermelhas colors of the leaves that fall on the road. No Inverno, é a melancholia two bouquets dismissals that dazzles us. In the Spring or in the Summer there is an explosion of life and freshness in tons of green that enchants that pass through here.
And if you look for one of two sides (depending on your route) you will see the fabulous village of Marvão on top of a cliff, as you are calling yourself. The biggest secret hidden in this region is Ammaia, an ancient Roman city whose ruins were recently discovered.
For that matter, walking through EN264-1 can be just an excuse to get to know a little more about the beauties and charms of this Alentejo region. It comes precisely from the ruins of the city of ammaia. It is possible to visit them and there is also a small museum that tells its story.
After the visit, continue in the direction of Marvão. Park the car where you can get (always respecting the local residents) and leave to discover the town, walking with your feet and wheels. The best way to discover it is the same to venture into each corner and discover a surprise in each corner.
Marvão fears or dom to enchant the most skeptical. Its unique beauty, its fallen white houses and the flowers that decorate doorways and janelas are its main attractions. There are also museums and a castle, as it could not stop being. But to feel the true soul of Marvão, you will just have to walk your way to your destination.
Are you tired and how hot? Head back to EN246-1 and continue in the direction of Portagem. Here you will find a beautiful river beach where you can cool off and a shelter where you can spread your towel in the sun for a few hours. When you come to town, you just have to enter any restaurant in the roundabouts. They are all good and they all serve delicious typical Alentejo dishes.
If your plans pass through this region for a few more days, there is nothing like exploring the roundness a little more: the most obvious destination is Castelo de Vide. Bigger than Marvão and also a little more colourful, this village is known for Sintra do Alentejo. You will perceive the reason of someone when you visit.
Walk through its flowery streets and with houses fallen from white. Venture-peel your beans and look for a fresh water source in a small and quase secret square in the center. Visit the castle and its synagogue and learn about the history of the Jewish presence in this region.
If you are fond of nature, enjoy and take a walk at the São Mamede Natural Park. With a little luck, he will discover some of the quase secret waterfalls that are found there. The park also has several paths and pedestrian paths that are well signposted.
And the end of his visit to this most beautiful region of Alto Alentejo, the name where it all begins: the national road 246-1. Lembre-se dos suus belíssimos freixos. They must be preserved and protected. Visit them before they disappear any more, if one day they are about to disappear, mourn for them.
Just as we said at the beginning, there will never be more roads of this genre in Portugal. Visit one of the last days while it still exists.