Alqueva Natural Theme Park

Get to know the culture of our peoples with visits to patrimonial resources (castles, mediaeval towns, religious and popular architecture, etc.), cultural tours, visits to craftwork companies, trips to a farm of Spanish thoroughbred horses, horse riding, riding displays, etc.

Enjoy irresistible gastronomic proposals including visits to pasturelands, trips to pig farms and farms producing Iberian meats, Iberian product tastings, meals in the countryside, visits to wine cellars, tastings, etc. and a choice of restaurants merging the cuisine of Extremadura and Portugal.

Enjoy the festivals, events and deep-rooted traditions of our towns, such as the Olivenza Iberian Bull Fair, the Carnival, the Gurumelo Cross-border Seminars in Villanueva del Fresno, the Mastros in Alconchel and the Fish Festival in Cheles.

Cultural attractions you should not miss:

Olivenza (Mediaeval Town):

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  • Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval – Manueline Gate of Olivenza Town Hall:

    the Portuguese Manueline architectural style has its finest example here in a gate which has become the symbol of Olivenza.

  • Homage Tower and Castle Citadel (Ethnographical Museum):

    this is the most important ethnographical museum in Extremadura. More than 7,000 pieces are exhibited, with archaeological objects dating back to the Chalcolithic Age. It has two floors and twenty rooms showing what life was like centuries ago in the region of Extremadura.

  • Church of Santa María Magdalena:

    from the 16th century, its helical columns, its ribbed vault and its Renaissance façade are outstanding. Secular tiles are conserved inside, together with beautiful grates, varied imagery and a baroque altarpiece.

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  • Santa María del Castillo:

    the current church was built on the site where the first place of worship in Olivenza stood, dating from the 13th century. The altarpiece includes the magnificent baroque-style gilt carving (1723) and the spectacular Tree of Jessé, the largest to have been preserved.

  • The Monastery of San Juan de Dios or La Concepción (Visitor Reception Centre of the Park):

    it dates from 1601. It was occupied in 1631 as a convent, but the Restoration War transformed it into a Royal Military Hospital until Olivenza was no longer a stronghold in 1868. It currently houses the Visitor Reception Centre of the Alqueva Natural Theme Park.

  • Chapel of El Espíritu Santo:

    it belongs to the Holy House of La Misericordia, whose foundation goes back to 20 November 1501. This chapel will astound visitors with its tiling dating back to 1723.

  • Ajuda or Ayuda Bridge:

    11 kilometres from Olivenza stands the Manueline Ajuda Bridge on the Portuguese border. The bridge on the road to Elvas, it linked Olivenza to Portugal until it was blown up in 1709 by Spanish troops. It is a work which was begun in 1510, almost half a kilometre long and six metres wide and it originally had 19 arches. It is one of the icons of the territory, rich in history and located in a magnificent natural setting.


Alconchel:

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  • Castle of Miraflores (Las Fortalezas Interpretation Centre):

    the majestic Castle of Miraflores is located on a hill with the same name, 296 metres high, north of Alconchel and beside the Ex-107 road. It was a Muslim enclave, of which there is no longer any trace. It was later occupied by the Portuguese in 1166, during the reign of Alfonso, and fell into Castilian hands almost a century later, in 1264. It was later transferred first to the Order of the Temple and then to that of Alcántara.

  • Church of Our Lady of Los Remedios:

    a 15th century church mixing late-Gothic and Renaissance elements with more modern ones of a baroque and neo-classical character which have been introduced in subsequent reforms.

  • Aqueduct of Los Jarales and the Monastery of Moncarche:

    10 kilometres from Alconchel, towards Alqueva reservoir, taking the road to Jarales beside the Friegamuñoz stream which separates the towns of Alconchel and Villanueva del Fresno. The Aqueduct of Los Jarales supplied water to the Monastery of La Luz or Moncarche, built by Fray Juan de Guadalupe in 1501. Despite the fact that both lie in ruins, they are very attractive due to their integration into the landscape. They stand amid beautiful scenery full of oak trees, presided over by peace and quiet and the singing of the birds.

  • Spanish thoroughbred farm:

    a stud farm located in Alconchel, where you can learn about the breeding and care of Spanish thoroughbred horses.

  • Iberian pig farm:

    an Iberian pig farm on the pastureland of Alconchel for learning about the breeding and care of one of the region’s gastronomic icons.


Cheles:

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  • Church of Our Lady of La Concepción:

    built in the early sixteenth century, with simple lines and Baroque features in its whole, owing to the renovations it underwent in later years.

  • Palace of the Counts of Vía Manuel:

    it is one of the characteristic buildings of Cheles. It is a beautiful manor house built in the seventeenth century by the Manuel Villena family, who were the lords of the town.


Villanueva del Fresno:

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  • Church of La Concepción:

    built in the late seventeenth century, when the reconstruction of the town began. It was enlarged in 1733, giving it its current size.

  • Castle ruins:

    only a few faces and collapsed mud walls remain, now converted into the basic structure for the building of a public auditorium. This castle is known to have been built before the fifteenth century.

  • Bogana Bridge:

    located about 4 kilometres from Villanueva del Fresno, along a public road towards Higuera de Vargas, leading from the road linking Villanueva del Fresno to Alconchel. It has its origins in the sixteenth century and it is the oldest building conserved in Villanueva del Fresno, located in a magnificent natural setting on the river Alcarrache.


Táliga:

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  • Church of Our Lady of La Asuncion:

    it is the main building in Táliga. It has a single nave and a barrel vault.


The Alqueva Natural Theme Park is an amazing journey through a vast territory, full of numerous and extraordinary places which will not fail to impress you.

In addition to the above, you can enjoy many experiences, such as the entertainment provided by the go-kart track, nature photography routes and guided tours of the different resources.

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