The Pátio do Judeu

Refinement tourism in Portugal's countryside

In the region

Valverde, limestone land

Valverde is a village of Ribatejo with more than 400 inhabitants. It has an excellent geographic location, with nearby access to anywhere in the country, either north or south and undergoes various influences from neighboring regions, including the coast. It is a bucolic village full of traditions and stories to tell. Besides the enormous beauty of the natural landscape of the Serra dos Candeeiros, which is covered with wild orchids and herbs along with the falling spring, there are several living testimonies of ancient times, from a Neolithic cave, passing through the mills and cisterns carved in the limestone to a coal mine now inactive. This small and beautiful village inserted in the Serra d’Aire and Candeeiros Natural Park is very green and has several places worth knowing.



There was a small pond in the village known as “Barreiro” where once the animals would drink and graze. This space has been recovered, embellished and is currently a picnic area. It is equipped with a barbecue, tables, benches and a fountain. With fine weather it is a place of great affluence of people (especially the end-of-week) to rest, enjoy nature or organize parties and gatherings.



The Serra d’Aire and Candeeiros Natural Park is full of windmills, used in ancient times to grind the grain. Nowadays, most of them have become ruined as those that exist in Valverde. However, they are still excellent examples of ancient local economy adapted to life in a region of scarce resources.



The Chapel of São Pedro is one of the major symbol of the quiet village of Valverde. The first chapel was built by Francisca Esteves following a promise to São Pedro. Since then, the chapel and surrounding area have been continuously intervened, and there are currently two support buildings and a leisure area with an imposing statue in honor of São Pedro.


Natural landscape


Valverde is located in the Estremadura Limestone Massif, a large block of Jurassic limestone with about 800 km2. In this region, there are frequent deposits of fossils. An example is Vale de Meios, a deposit with theropod footprints, bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs of the Middle Jurassic. It is the most important of the Iberian Peninsula by the high amount of tracks and its excellent condition. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 2km.



This Underground Interpretation Centre is one of the best places to understand the secrets of the caves. The Algar do Pena cave was discovered in 1983 during a stone extraction operation, and consists of a vertical shaft of 35 meters (grotto) leading to a giant room of 105 thousand cubic meters. The Centre aims to explain the processes of cave formation and water underground circulation mechanisms. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 2km.



The Mira de Aire Caves are one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal and the biggest tourist cave in the country. Their extension has already reached the 11kms, but only 600 meters can be visited by turists. Inaugurated in 1974, the caves had been discovered in 1947 by inhabitants of the region.

The dimensions, beauty and ecological importance of these caves, associated with a polje with periodic floods allowed them to be classified as Public Interest (1955) and Ramsar Site (2005). Next to these caves, there is a water park, “Aquagruta”. It is a space with swimming pool, child Aqualandia, 3 “toboggan” water slides, solarium, bar – terrace and many leisure facilities. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 30km.



The Mira-Minde Polje is a depression of plain bottom, limited by Santo António and São Mamede plateaus, with 4 km long and 1.8 km wide. In the rainiest periods, Polje floods, fed by four springs, creating a large lake where the water reaches up to a depth of 8 meters. The Polje and associated springs were classified in December 2005 as a Ramsar site, which means it is an important international heritage as a temporary wetland ecosystem and countless species. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 26km.



The Fórnea is a natural amphitheater with about 1 km in diameter, an extensive depression with steep slopes carved in the limestone. It is a place rich in fossils and, in more rainy periods, we can observe beautiful waterfalls associated with temporary streams. Roughly halfway up the hill, you can visit one of the highest springs, where the water comes from the cave Cova da Velha. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 15km.



The Arrimal parish is known for its natural lakes, provided by the formation of small shallow depressions that allow rainwater to accumulate. Besides functioning as ecosystems for interesting species of fauna and flora, the lakes are used by local people, especially for irrigation. Also in Arrimal, be sure to visit the Arch of Memory, sent rise by D. Afonso Henriques. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 3km.


Science and technology


The Alviela Ciência Viva Center – CARSOSCÓPIO is a ​​science and technology space integrated in the National Network of Ciência Viva Centers. Travel through the Limestone Massif over 175 million years, uncover the underground water pathways in 3D or “put yourself in the shoes” of a bat are just some of the experiences available to the visitor.

In addition to the visits to the exhibits, the center organizes several activities for the general public, from scientific experiments to workshops and field trips. This center is located near the Alviela river spring, the most important karsic spring in the country, and the Olhos d’Água do Alviela river beach, a pleasant place for walks at any time of the year. Nearby there are several hiking and mountain biking routes. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 12km.


Culture and heritage


This medieval castle was in ruins until the beginning of the 1940s, then it has been restored by the General Directorate of National Buildings and Monuments (DGEMN) to an approximate shape to that used in the late Middle Ages. It is still today a landmark in the landscape of the region with its high walls and towers that seem to defy long time. In Alcanede there is also a Roman bridge, one of the reference landmarks of the parish. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 4km.



Also known as D. Fuas Roupinho Castle, this medieval castle has a very peculiar architecture: irregular pentagonal plant in Gothic and Renaissance style with turrets ornamented by pyramidal cupolas that reminiscent of a palace. Initially an Arab fortress, the role of Porto de Mós Castle was instrumental during the period of the Christian conquest. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 18km.



Coal has been, since ancient times, explored in this region, where there was a mine with enough importance in Bezerra, Serro Ventoso parish, now inactive, initiating the Lena Mine Railway. At the moment, on the line of the railway there is a Ecotrail with 12.8 km extension that lets you browse all the way on foot or by bicycle, with fantastic views over the village of Porto de Mós. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 12km.



Aiming to renew the rainwater so that water could be used by local people, this space was rehabilitated and now has a model that recreates the entire filtration system. The ingenious way to collect rainwater makes this work a great example of preservation of natural resources. This space is equipped with a playground and a picnic area. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 5km.



Also known as the Fonte da Bica Salinas, these salt are due to a rock salt mine, crossed by an underground stream that feeds a well, which makes the extracted water salty, seven times saltier than the ocean. Beside the salt ponds there is a set of wooden houses with restaurants, bars, craft sales and local products. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 17km.



The Santarém Castle belonged to the called Tagus Line in medieval times. Currently, we can observe some of its walls in places such as the Portas do Sol, where you can watch a fantastic sunset on the Lezíria do Tejo, and the called Cabaças Tower, in the city center. Enjoy also to visit in Santarém the various churches representing distinguished examples of Gothic style in Portugal, such as the Santa Clara Convent, the Convent of San Francisco or the Church of St. Mary of Grace. Do not miss the recent Sacred Art Museum. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 35km.



The Fátima Santuary, located in Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, is one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world. It is the center of religious tourism in Portugal and attracts millions of believers from a national and international level. The Sanctuary was built following Marian apparitions reported by three children and has been expanding ever since and now has two basilicas. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 35km.



The coastline is within easy reach, it’s a “little jump” to the well known nationally beaches such as the beach of Nazaré, S. Martinho do Porto, Peniche, Baleal, Paredes, among others.



Nazaré is one of the most popular beaches in the region. A magnificent view, an extensive beach, an imposing lighthouse, a marginal full of fantastic restaurants, bars and cafes, the traditions of the seven skirts or Nazaré Carnival are just some of the reasons not to miss visiting this beach. Do not miss a trip on the traditional lift up to the Nazaré Sítio.

Nowadays it is impossible to speak of Nazaré without mentioning the world record for the biggest wave ever ridden, 30 meters, set by Garrett McNamara, in the North Beach in January 2013. The success of this water sport in the village justifies the existence of the Center High Yield of Nazaré. Distance to the Pátio do Judeu: 41km.

O Pátio do Judeu - Welcome

The Patio do Judeu offers accommodation combining the best of rustic style with a touch of refinement and modernity. Once a family home with a curious associated legend, the building was renovated and expanded, with 3 fully equipped apartments and 3 rooms with private bathroom.

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O Pátio do Judeu - How to get here

GPS: 39°27’36.2″N 8°51’25.9″W


Take A1 towards Aveiras de Cima exit, take the N366 road, follow the Ic2 and exit at Rio Maior, take the N361 road, next to the Rio Maior Fire Department roundabout and continue to Alcanede, at the traffic lights turn left following the road N362 until Valverde.

Take A1 towards the exit of Leiria. Take IC2 in the direction of Porto de Mós, and then take the EN362 in the direction of Santarém to Valverde.

O Pátio do Judeu - Contacts

Rua Principal EN 362 N11 – Valverde 2025-201 Alcanede, Santarém
+351 243 400 012