Venture out on a journey through time and discover the legacy of the past in the streets and museums of Mértola’s historical centre. The Tourist Office of Mértola and the Mértola Museum have several visitation programs tailored to different groups and themes.
DON’T MISS: National Monuments: Ancient Mosque/ Church; Castle; River Tower. Museums: Alcáçova; Islamic House Replica; Islamic Art; Sacral Art; Paleochristian Basilica; Mértola Traditional House; Roman House; Chapel and Necropolis of S. Sebastian; Blacksmith’s Workshop; Museum Hotel: Weaving Workshop; Castle Tower.
1) Mértola Museum Tour
Mértola’s Museum was created by the City Hall in 2004, it’s a group of geographically scattered museums, most of which are located in Mértola’s historical centre. The main objective of Mértola’s Museum is to study, catalogue, preserve, treat and promote all the spoils that have been found in Mértola over the last 30 years due to a vast number of archaeological interventions in the area.
This tour focuses on the museum of Mértola and includes: Weaving Workshop; Castle; Blacksmith’s Workshop; Islamic Art Museum; Sacral Art Museum; Roman House; Paleochristian Basilica.
Durantion: Approximately 3 hours.
2) Mértola Islamic Tour
One of the most striking features of the village identity derives from the Islamic presence in the territory, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Mértola has become famous in this historical period by the site it occupied, by the navigability of Guadiana to the sea and by the proximity to metal-bearing regions of Aljustrel and S. Domingos. Throughout the Islamic period, the village asserted itself militarily, confirmed its commercial function and reinforced the status as the more Western Mediterranean port, integrated in the network of Al-Andalus exchanges.
This tour focus on the Islamic heritage and includes: Weaving Workshop; Chruch/Ancient Mosque; Islamic House Replica; Alcáçova; Castle; Islamic Art Museum.
Durantion: Approximately 2 hours.
We provide special school oriented tours for children until 12 years old. These tours include: Church/Ancient Mosque; Islamic House Replica; Alcáçova; Islamic Art Museum and pedagogical games.
3) Roman and Late Antiquity Tour
The Romans knew Mértola as Myrtilis lulia. The possible forum of the Roman city creates an artificial platform on the northern slope of the castle hill. It is the background for the most imposing monumental set of ancient Myrtilis. All this space was levelled artificially and as seated on the city wall. A subterranean gallery – the crypt-portico – about 30 metres in length and 6 metres in height served as a food store and later as a cistern. Luxurious religion constructions were built over the crypt-portico in Late Antiquity. Amongst these, a baptistery from the 5th or 6th century is to be noted. At that time, it would have been covered in marble and surrounded by beautiful set of polychrome mosaics that show a rich configuration of animals and hunting scenes.
This tour includes: Alcáçova; Castle; River Tower; Roman House and Paleochristian Basilica.
Durantion: Approximately 2 hours.
4) Mértola Old Town Tour
Mértola rises above a step hill that separates the waters of the Guadiana from the smaller river Oeiras. A kilometre of wall protects, but does not hide a seven-hectare dense urban mesh. In past times its river port, connecting to the sea, transformed this fortified settlement into a small regional capital. It made good use of the river as a source of livelihood and as an opening to all the Mediterranean commercial routes. Some monumental traces of the Roman and Islamic city with its characteristic urban plan remain. But more importantly are the small marks of everyday life, the memories of may gestures and skills.
This tour includes: Weaving Workshop; Chruch/Ancient Mosque; Alcáçova; Castle; Blacksmith’s Workshop; Islamic Art Museum; Sacral Art Museum; Roman House.
Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Timetable: 9h15 to 12h30 and 14.00 to 17h15. Closes on Mondays, on the 1st of January, 1st of May and 25th of December.
Prices: 2€ only in the Castle Tower and Islamic Art Museum.
The museum offers guided visits for groups (minimum 10 people), by prior arrangement (48h). They also arrange special visits for schools and senior citizens. Guided tours available in portuguese, spanish, english and french.
Prices for the guided visit with the museums entrance: 6€/person
Special offers: Admission is free for children under 13 years old; student and seniors have a 50% discount.
For more information and reservations contact the Tourist Information Office of Mértola or the Museum of Mértola services.