The keep tower is the symbol of a city that only became Portuguese after sustained warring between Christians and Moors. It takes some determination to get up its 100 steps but it is the best place to look out over this ancient layout of houses, patios and gardens set against boundless views out over the golden plain beyond.
For fans of two-wheeled forms of transport, the Municipal Council has bikes to rent. It is a great way to discover Roman entranceways, window slats, Gothic arcades and all that makes up this charming city. For a rest, try one of the convent sweets, a very specific dimension to the heritage of Beja.
And for very different reasons, make sure you get into the Convent of Conceição.
Within, the walls are finished with one of the best national collections of Hispano-Arab tiles cared for by the Rainha D. Leonor Museum. There are also exhibits related to the tragic love story of Soror Mariana for a knight of Chamilly and the moving love letters they wrote, a landmark in European literature.
Beja’s past can also be found in the Visigoth capitals of the church of Santo Amaro, in the white buttresses of the church of Santa Maria and the convent of S. Francisco which now includes all the accommodation comforts of its Pousada. Meanwhile, enjoy the best of the present in the special Municipal Library bar or under the lively sixteenth century arcades of the Praça da República square.