Central Way

Casebres < > Vendas Novas

Stage 12

With Vendas Novas as a destination, the Way leads us to cross Cabrela. Because of its strategic relevance, it was donated to the Order of Santiago before 1220, to be an intermediate post between the peninsula of Setúbal and Alentejo. We can find there the main church, whose current configuration is the result of a 17th-century construction that replaced the temple of medieval origin, presumably located in a nearby site known as Outeiro da Igreja. In the main façade, a discrete artistic composition integrates the Order of Santiago cross and the door bears the year of 1704, possibly the date in which the works were finalized. In the interior, stands the latebaroque altarpiece of gilded wood carvings, from c. 1790, as well as two Gothic images of St Margaret and St Sebastian, coming from ancient village chapels.

Vendas Novas Municipality

In 1526, D. João III ordered the opening of a road between Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo (now Montijo) and Montemor-oNovo, to serve the postal mail. A hostel was built in the place where Vendas Novas came to be born. The royal fountain occupies a peripheral area of Vendas Nova’s urban perimeter and was commissioned by King D. João V in 1728 to serve the workers who built the royal palace, as it appears that the ephemeral quarter where these workers lived was structured in its surroundings. One of its tanks served as a public washhouse.

The name of the city probably finds its origin on the structures built there, inns or “Vendas” (shops) that were called “Novas” (new) for being of recent construction.In Vendas Novas, you can find the Palácio das Passagens. As the name implies, it was built in record time to house King João V and its extensive court for only two nights, on their “passage” to the border of Caia to exchange the princesses. D. Bárbara would meet the future husband, the Spanish King Fernando VI, while D. Mariana Vitória, the bride of Prince José, would enter the country. The place chosen had already a small palace, ordered in the 16th century, but it was considered too small and unworthy of a royal entourage. In less than a year, 2000 workers built the new palace, which had three bodies, organized from a central royal entrance with a staircase. On top were the king and queen chambers, and there was still a chapel, now transformed into a worship place of the infantry military regiment. This military unit was installed in the ancient palace from 1857.

Capela Real do Palácio

Royal Chapel of Palácio das Passagens
The Palace of Passages’ Royal Chapel was built by D. João V in 1728 to offer spiritual comfort to the royal family and guests during their stay in Palácio das Passagens. The Royal Chapel, now Capela da Escola Práctica de Artilharia (Chapel of the Artillery Academy), presents a simple layout, who is thought to be of the architect Custódio Vieira. The main façade reveals a small niche with an image of St Anthony composed in the interior of a single nave, a baptistery, a royal oratory, the sacristy, and the main altar, with João V style paintings in the background. In the altar, the image of Our Lady of Conception, from the end of the 17th century, stands side by side with that of St Barbara, brought when the chapel was passed to the army’s dominance.

and also…

Bifana Fair − May
Municipality Festivities − September

Bifanas from Vendas Novas
These marinated pork sandwiches are the gastronomic ex-libris of the area, a brand image that puts together all the Alentejo cuisine rooted in the municipality but stands out for its special recipe, with a secret sauce.

From Largo da Igreja we cross Casebres until Rua da Maforinha, which takes us to the village periphery. Along 3.5 km we walk through a dense eucalyptus plantation, cyclically devastated for paper pulp production, so we can both walk under good shade or a blazing sun.

We then enter into extensive pine forest where in some times of the year we can see groups of people collecting pine cones to remove the pine nuts, and other resins, with multiple industrial and consumer applications. We access the road to pass the bridge over the Marateca stream and we don’t come back to the forest. The missing 3 km are completed through an almost deserted road until we enter Herdade da Palhavã, which we’ll cross to reach Vendas Novas town. However, considering the fatigue and time of the day, we decide to continue straight ahead another 1 km until Cabrela for a break and a “bifana” (pork sandwich)! We complement it with a Filhós de Cabrela, a traditional sweet from the village, nowadays appreciated in all coastal Alentejo.

Before returning to the Path, we learn a bit more about Cabrela’s past, as we discover on the mother church’s main façade a small image of the spatharios cross, also evident in the locality’s blazon. We return to the entrance of the Herdade da Palhavã and follow a 3 km stretch of trodden sand, crossing cork and holm oak forests, some creeks and herds pastures. We leave Herdade da Palhavã through another gate on the opposite side, and after 5.5 km we cross the viaduct over the A6 motorway and sight Vendas Novas already nearby.

We walk another 3 km in macadam until we reach Estrada da Afeiteira, which leads us to the urban nucleus of Vendas Novas through Avenida 25 de Abril. We pass a replica of a windmill that should house the Tourism Office but, once it is closed, we continue to the City Council, in Avenida da República, via Rua António Coelho de Oliveira, where we finished today’s stage.

Vendas Novas is a young and “practical” city, with no great traces of beauty or patrimonial wealth. In the 18th century, it was still a mere hamlet originated by a “Venda” (Sale), i.e., a small area of commerce for muleteers and travelers, which was only significantly boosted by effect of the Palácio das Passagens construction (where were based the Artillery’s Militar Regiment No. 5 and the Museum of Artillery Academy No. 5).

Its gastronomy is also “practical” as, perhaps due to the high proportion of the military population and industrial workers, it is focused on the famous Bifanas de Vendas Novas (sandwiches of pork meat) and various soups. To accompany, the wines produced in the region, which are gaining space and recognition, so it is worth to visit a winery and be inebriated with their particular aromas. In Vendas Novas we also take the opportunity to visit the Queijaria das Romãs, with a long history of artisan production of fresh cheese, cottage cheese and, for connoisseurs, the “almece”, a traditional Alentejo product, resulting from the whey curd of sheep cheese.


Always carry water, supplies, sunscreen, a hat, waterproof, comfortable shoes, and a map.


CTT Post Office

 Bank/Cash Dispenser

 Vendas Novas Tourism Office


Public Entities

 Vendas Novas City Council
+351 265 807 700


Vendas Novas Health Center
+351 265 809 000


Points of Interest

 Royal Palace of Vendas Novas: Built by order of King João V in 1728, the Palace was intended to serve as a resting place for the royal entourage during the episode that in Portuguese history became known as the exchange of princesses – the King of Portugal and the King of Spain agreed to marry their children.

 Capela Real do Palácio das Passagens: Built by King João V in 1728 to provide spiritual comfort for guests and the royal family during their stay at the Palácio das Passagens, the Capela Real do Palácio das Passagens, now the Capela da Escola Prática de Artilharia, has a simple design, thought to be by the architect Custódio .Vieira.

Royal Fountain: A historical landmark, the Royal Fountain was built as a drinking fountain for the workers and animals that took part in the construction of the Royal Palace in 1728. It consists of two elongated masonry reservoirs, which have also served as public washbasins, and has undergone several interventions over the years.

 Museu de Artilharia de Vendas Novas: A museum of the military history of the artillery weapon, part of which is located in the garden opposite the main façade of the school, where the fire hydrants are located, and the other part is located in a barracks.



Emergency: 112
Forest Fires: 117
Fire department: +351 265 807 170
GNR − Vendas Novas Territorial Station:+351 265 809 780


Do not leave the marked and signaled route. Do not approach cliffs. Pay attention to the markings. Do not dispose of organic or inorganic waste during the trail, take a bag for this purpose. If you see garbage, collect it, help us to keep the Paths clean. Beware of livestock, don’t bother the animals. Leave Nature intact. Do not collect plants, animals or rocks. Avoid making noise. Respect private property, close gates and barriers. Don’t light fires and be careful with cigarettes. Do not vandalize the Paths signage.