This is the 'land of marble', an authentic natural museum. You will realise why as soon as you see the impressive quarries and pass through these towns, where palaces and churches, manor houses and simple dwellings, and even taverns and pavements, are covered with marble.
Begin your tour in Estremoz, a town with delightful baroque features. Appreciate the details of the former Royal Armoury, now a pousada, the Church of São Francisco and the monumental Lago do Gadanha in the Rossio. Drop in at the charming Café Águias d'Ouro and also visit the Palácio Tocha, with its azulejo panels alluding to the War of Independence. Walk through the lanes of the medieval area around the castle and appreciate the craft of the stonemasons in their workshops.
Then go on to Borba, where the pride of the area is the stylish Fonte das Bicas (fountain), and, after a walk through the marble-lined streets, sample some tasty appetisers and the good regional wine in one of the many typical taverns.
In Vila Viçosa, notice the marble on the façades of the churches, the imposing ducal palace, the Convento dos Agostinhos and the Convento das Chagas. Take the chance, too, to learn all there is to know about marble at the museum of marble, situated in a disused railway station.
Carry on to Alandroal, and notice the layout of the town, and the contrast between the castle, built of schist, and the marble (there is a fine eighteenth-century marble fountain). Nearby, visit the historical villages of Terena and Juromenha; both have medieval castles and a timeless, peaceful atmosphere.