Avis – the territory

The municipality of Avis is located in the district of Portalegre, 60 km from this district capital and roughly the same distance from the World Heritage City of Évora. Lisbon is about 150 km from Avis.

Avis is bordered to the north by Alter do Chão, to the west by Ponte de Sor, to the south by Mora and Sousel and to the east by Fronteira.

This territory covers an area of 606 km2 and includes the civil parishes of Avis, Aldeia Velha, Ervedal, Figueira and Barros, Benavila and Valongo, and Alcórrego and Maranhão. Different water lines irrigate the municipality, such as the Seda stream, the Avis stream and the Sarrazola stream, where the Maranhão reservoir is located and which is included in the river basin of the Tagus river. The construction of the Maranhão dam, in the 50s of the 20th century, significantly altered the existing landscape.

This water mirror stretches over 40 km and comprises three distinct channels surrounded by nature that reveals unique natural settings ranging from the golden plains to the untouched green rocky areas.

There is a wide range of activities for you to enjoy, from horse riding or cycling, to activities in the Maranhão dam like rowing, boat riding or paddle. These are some examples of healthy activities available in Avis, so come and try them!

The many footpaths of the municipality of Avis invite you to fully enjoy the contact with nature and environmental interpretation. The luxuriant vegetation that extends along the built eco-friendly paths allow the users to indulge in joyful and relaxing walks.

Natural conditions such as areas with fertile soils and abundant water resources, coupled with a rich fauna of game and fish, have made the Avis territory an attractive location to settle in. The earliest remains of human settlement date to the Paleolithic. There are also some vestiges of the Neolithic period, namely numerous megalithic monuments such as dolmens. These vestiges are mainly located near water lines in areas where granite outcrops are scarce. There are also rural villages from Roman times, which were certainly driven by the proximity to some of the most important land routes. In his work, Vias da Lusitania, Mário Saa mentions the road that connected Juromenha to Ponte de Sor and that crossed Benavila and Ervedal. The toponyms Benavila and Bembelide, this one the old name of Maranhão, date to the Islamic period.

A magical place that offers infinite sensations!