Escaping the frenzy of the “big cities” and enjoying a unique blend of history, nature, cityscape and countryside is probably the best thing Tomar has to offer.
Amidst the myths and legends of the Knights Templar Tomar was founded in the mid twelfth century. On top of a hill, overlooking the city and the surrounding region, sits the Castle of the Knights Templar. Within its grounds lays the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
The Convent with its churches and eight cloisters is mesmerizing. This is where you can appreciate probably the most famous window in Portugal with its Manueline curvaceous filigree stonework. The dazzling Great Cloister captures the imagination of most visitors. To climb its spiral staircases and wander the sumptuous terraces is to immerse yourself in Portugal’s history.
Tomar’s main square is unforgettable. Praca da Republica is a chessboard stone paved square flanked by 17th-century townhouses and the church of St. John the Baptist (built in the late 15th-century). Every four years it is also the center stage of the great celebration of Festa dos Tabuleiros.
The city’s historical center is a true maze of narrow cobbled streets perfect for strolling. It is hard to miss the astonishing Art Deco Cafe Paraiso, one of the nicest places for coffee and snacks. It was founded in 1911 and has always remained in the same family. When it’s time for a full meal Casa das Ratas is the place to go. This traditional tasca in an old wine cellar has probably the best food and the friendliest service in town.
Surrounding the castle and embracing the city center, the 39-hectare Mata dos Sete Montes is Tomar's main park. The woodlands provide a connection to the Convent and include a collection of centuries-old cypresses, Judas trees , oaks and olive trees. There is also a miniature temple known as the "Charolinha" that is really worth a visit.
If you are looking for a place to sit back and relax while reading a book or just soaking up the sun, the city’s central park, Mouchao, is the perfect spot, surrounded by the crystalline Nabao River.
Flattered to be in Tomar is waiting for your visit!