Alcobaça is a place where you can live, walk, visit, know, grow up and experience it. The cultural, architectural and natural heritage are the true appealing and fully meaning to visit Alcobaça, since the relics of the Cistercian Order, to the beaches, ponds, caves and natural parks. Due to the excellent conditions, Alcobaça was searched by the human communities to live there, since the Paleolithic period to nowadays. 
In the medieval period, the Cistercian Order grew after the regain of Portugal by D. Afonso Henriques to Muslims, in 1148. D. Afonso Henriques donated this land to the Cistercian Order, in 1153, therefore, constituting the "Coutos ALcobaça" and growing gradually from the donations of royal people and faithful people. 

This region is well known for the "Coutos Alcobaça" and their monastery, been at west of the Serra dos Candeeiros.


With a historical, architectural and natural heritage, that presents the relics of the Cistercian Order, Pataias Lagoon, Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park, Pine Forest of Leiria, between others that promote the recognition national and internationally of Alcobaça. Having an enviable heritage, taking notice the following ones:

Alcobaça’s Monastery
– this Cistercian monastery was founded by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147 and from this the village of Alcobaça was developed and grown. This monument was concluded in 1222, with a Gothic style. During the Middle Age, the monastery rivaled other great Cistercian abbeys of Europe. The Coutos of Alcobaça defined the territory administrated by this monastery, being one of the territories with more private dominance in Portugal, involving territories from Nazaré and part of Caldas da Rainha, together with others lands acquired by barter, tenure or lease, over the country. In 1810, the monastery was partially burned down by Napoleonic troops, under command of André Massena. Over the years, it was gradually recovered and rebuild. Part of the library has over hundred thousand volumes and manuscripts were saved from the French invasion and looting of Portuguese people, during the liberal wars. Nowadays, these are partly preserved in the Public Library of Braga and the National Library in Lisbon. The north transept of the church of the monastery, there are two Gothic sculptures, the tombs of the eternal lovers, the king D. Pedro and D. Inês de Castro, which tells a tragic history of love.

Alcobaça’s Castle
– its construction dates the Visigoth period. In the VIII century, this castle was under the Arabic domain, being later conquer by D. Afonso Henriques in 1148. After its role has castle, this monument has become a prison. With the successive earthquakes, this monument was severely degraded. In the XIX century, most of the stones of its walls were sold to the City Council for the constructions of private houses. Nowadays, this castle lies in ruins.

Alfeizerão’s Castle
– situated three kilometers from São Martinho, this castle was a main defensive point, between Peniche and Nazaré. This determinate the phenomenon of militarization in this area, once had the goal of being a point of protection, something scarce in north of Lisbon. This castle is located in dominant hill on the coast and with a large extension of land, with 45 meters of altitude. Despite the degradation of structure, there is still a curtain wall consisting of specific device that connected two turrets. Its circuit was quadrangular, being defended by eight turrets and tower contained a message. In the XVI century, the shipping warehouse had capacity to accommodate eighty large ships, but along the centuries, it was marked by a progressive decline. With the earthquake of 1755, part of this fortress was destroyed, but not recovered, summing up to a huge loss in the local military terms. In the XX century, the remains of this fortress passed into private, in 1973 it was began an archaeological approach, but did not continue.

Aljubarrota’s Pillory
– Aljubarrota one of thirteen abbey’s coutos of Alcobaca, founded by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147. Part of land donated by the monarch in 1153 and 1183, this was referred to as Aljamarôta, from an Arabic word Aljobbe, meaning well or cistern. In 1316, Aljubarrota received it first charter letter from the donator D. Martinho I. Located in the rich lands of the Abbeys of Alcobaça and being near the main routes to Lisbon, made Aljubarrota a center of the its famous battle, where the Portuguese army advanced against the Spanish army, resulting in one of the most important Portuguese victories. Aljubarrota received its new chatter letter in 1514 granted by D. Manuel and in sequel have been built the pillory. This is located in the square with its name, in the center of the village, near the Town Hall, nowadays the Parish council, together with the bell tower, from the D. Sebastião time. While the pillory is a symbol of justice, rising in monolithic cylindrical rod that supports a sphere and shield, being covered by a cardinal's hat, which alludes to the Cardinal King Henrique, Abbot Requester in Alcobaça. The bell tower or clock tower dates from the time of King Sebastian, when he stay at the Monastery of Alcobaça and it is a symbol of civil power. The pillory is considerate as a Public Interest Monument since 1933. This set of pillory, bell tower and houses of the Parish Council, is considerate one of the most beautiful architectural examples of this kind in Portugal.

Santa Maria de Cós’s Monastery – this old convent is located in the Coutos of Alcobaça, nowadays the only remaining is the church. Its origins come from the XIII century and according to some historians, was founded in 1279, by initiated by the abbot of Alcobaça, D. Fernando. In other way, there are reports that the first devoted have been religious women, which ensured the functioning of the abbey of Alcobaça. Regardless of its origin or building, this convent had an organized community that lived its life religiously. Only in 1532, this convent embraced the Cister rules and of course, the Monastery accompanied this process of integration, and the beginning of its construction was in the early decades of the sixteenth century order by the Cardinal D. Afonso, and its completion during the Cardinal D. Henrique time – he was responsible by the implementation of the dormitory, cloister and the church. Over the years, this monastery needed some alterations, improvements and renovations. But, the most significant set is the sacristy where are 10 panels that allude to the life of São Bernardo. And other featured is the work of “Vita et Miracula D. Bernardi Clarevalensis Abbatis” of Antonio Tempesti, printed in Rome in 1587. Since 1669 to 1676, Joséfa de Óbidos worked in Cós, doing some paintings.

Outeiro de São Martinho do Porto’s lift – located in the historic center of São Martinho, allows passengers to see the village and bay. It is free, its panoramic lift and tourism office was projected by Gonçalo Byrne and António Falcão de Campos. In the winter (16 of September to 21 of June) is open between 10h00 to 21h00. And in the summer (22 of June to 15 of September) is open between 10h00 to 00h00.

Hotel Parque
– a building know as Hotel Parque of São Martinho was build in 1910, as a habitation of António Rosa, that return to the village after generate wealth in Brazil. This project belong to the Brazilian architect, resulting in a house of “return-trip” as the emigrants called that return to their lands, to increase the ranks of the local bourgeoisie, with their profits and efforts, overseas. The large dimensions of this house were designed to demonstrate all, the wealth of its owner. After twenty years, this house adapted to the Rosa Pension and subsequently to the Rose Hotel, before the current designation. Once again, this house is one of the most important and traditional summer places in the West coast.

To preserve and give life to a cultural identity and memory of a unique history, Alcobaça offers the following:

Movie-Theater João D’Oliva Monteiro
– in 20 of August of 2010, the old Movie-Theater of Alcobaça came to be called Movie-Theater João D’Oliva Monteiro. João D’Oliva Monteiro was born in 28 of April of 1903 in Alcobaça. In 1927, after the return to Alcobaça, he developed several activities that that enrich and promoted Alcobaça, being the main propelling of the Movie-Theater of Alcobaça, opened in 1944. João D’Oliva Monteiro died in 28 of December of 1949 in Lisbon. Nine years later, 14 associations of Alcobaça paid tribute to his memory, raising the foyer Movie-Theater of Alcobaça, with the unveiling of a marble tombstone. In 2010, Town Hall of Alcobaça honored João D’Oliva Monteiro adding your name to the name of the movie-theater.

Cultural Center Gonçalves Sapinho (CCGS)
– is a multifunctional space Cooperative Externato of Benedicta, with the most recente technologies that make this the preferred place for organizing and conducting various cultural events. Having unique conditions in the region for the organization of congresses, training, lectures, performances and thematic presentations. This has an auditorium with capacity for 360 people, a multipurpose room with seating for 70 people, a library, a living audivisual, exhibition halls and an auditorium for large events.

Wine Museum
– considerate one of the jewels of the national wine heritage. This is installed in an old wine cellar, in which José Eduardo Raposo de Magalhães order to build in 1874, to implement and develop his wine production JEM. This building represents museological heritage of importance in the context of the wine industry in Portugal. During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, of the XX century, this building was enriched by the collector's personality and wafer engineer Paixão Marques, regional delegate of the JNV/IVV. This museum has a thematic wine covering important aspects of the material culture of wine, with historical, scientific, industrial and ethnographic value, since the seventeenth century to the twenty-first century. Nowadays this museum consists in a universe with over 8500 moving parts, the permanent collection that considers aspects such as oenology, ethnology, traditional technology, industrial archeology to the graphic, fine or decorative arts. Therefore, this place offers a collection of exhibits, representations and explanations of viticulture and viniculture, in different historical moments; the correlative industries such as cooperage, bottling, glass packaging, storage, distribution and consumption of wine.

Museum of faience factory Raul da Bernarda – this museum hosts some of the most representative and beautiful pieces of production Raul da Bernarda & Filhos Lda. It is possible to admire the Portuguese Faience, from the last century, near the Alcobaça Faience.

  • Address – Ponte D. Elias, 2461-601 Alcobaça
  • Telephone – +351 925 651 638
  • Email – museu.raul.bernarda@cm-alcobaç
  • Timetable – Wednesday to Friday: 10h00 to 13h00/ 14h00 to 18h00
  • Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 14h00 to 18h00
  • Free admission

Monographic Museum of Bárrio – the Roman village of Perreitas is located in the hills of Bárrio, leaning over the old Lagoon of Pederneira. This is a testimony of humans occupation between I and IV centuries, inheriting traditions that date back to the Chalcolithic period. Its assets is in the Centre for Information and Documentation of the Roman village of Parreitas, in which reflection rests in the days of the rural population that developed domestic activities, exploration of agriculture and livestock, fishing in the pond and pottery and weaving.

  • Address – João Soares Square, 2460-302 Alcobaça
  • Telephone – +351 262 581 959
  • Timetable – week: 10h00 to 12h30/ 14h00 to 16h30
  • Free admission

Coutos of Alcobaça Museum – this museum studies and intervenes in the ancient region of the Coutos of the Monastery of Alcobaça, stretching from the Candeeiros Serra to the Rio Alcoa, which contains relevant information of the old relationship between the districts and parish councils of the Santa Maria de Alcobaça Monastery, such as important aspects of before and after the Cistercian presence activities.

Atlantis Museum – this museum is composted by the Vista Alegre factory and has space dedicated to the masterpieces of glass and crystal, along with the history of the company, since this foundation in 1945. The museum is represented by a small exhibition about the factory, the company and the crystal secrets.

  • Address – Casal da Areia Cós, 2460-392 Alcobaça
  • Telephone – +351 262 540 269
  • Webiste –
  • Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Timetable – Monday to Friday: 10h30/ 11h30/14h30/15h30/17h00, by appointment.
  • It doesn’t open during weekends and holidays.
  • Period of annual closure of production in August and December. 


North of Alcobaça, in Pataias, there is a lagoon called Lagoa de Pataias, it is a humid zone that emerges in the middle of a vast pine forest. Due to misuses, in the past, the water of this lagoon is polluted with microorganisms from the excessive growth of plant material, and consequently originates the lack of oxygen in the water that leads to the mutation of the ecosystem, but in this lagoon the human presence was a catalyst in this ecosystem mutation. In 2005, due to extreme drought and dependence on rainfall, the water of this lagoon evaporated, an event that didn’t happen since 1944, and consequently extinguishing the ichthyofauna, the base of the food chain of this ecosystem and influencing the others animals, as the amphibians, mammals and the birds.After a rainy winter, and after the cleaning of the lagoon’s base, it was being recovered and repopulated with fishes. All the aquatic system and its devolvement are increasing.

One of the greatest green spaces in Alcobaça is the Leiria’s Pine Forest, in Patais, along the Serra of Candeeiros and the Vimeiro, in Carvalhal do Gaio.

The Natural Park of Serra of Aire and Candeeiros is the most important limestone formations repository in Portugal. Its karst morphology, cover by the vegetation and it has a watercourses underground network and a specific fauna. This park has an area of 35 000 hectares, distributed since Leiria to Rio Maior (from north to south) and Alcobaça to Torres Novas (from west to east).

The Valley of Ribeiro of Mogo in Prazeres de Alcobaça and it is a valley with karst morphology, accompanied with a Mediterranean vegetation, that was the perfect habitat for many animal species, but the deforestation, the progressive isolation of this area, the hunting preys, that made impossible the survival of the Iberian lynx, in Portugal. Although it is not in the area of the Natural Park of Serra of Aire and Candeeiro, the Valley of Ribeiro of Mogo is similar and it presents has a potential to obtain the status of protection.

Reference in