“One of the distinctive features of Terras sem Sombra, in its eagerness to propose fertile crosses between music, cultural heritage and biodiversity, is to make known the hidden treasures of each of the counties in which it is a pilgrim. And for this to happen, an honest approach to the personality of the cities, towns and villages is indispensable. Something like an initiation course that requires, at each point, the intervention of guides familiar with the respective Genius Loci (spirit of the place). "


Scientific Coordinator


February 17 [15H00]

A Pantheon for D. Vasco da Gama:The Convent of Nossa Senhora das Relíquias

COLLABORATION: Quinta do CarmoSUPPORT: Vidigueira City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Quinta do Carmo, Vidigueira

The remains of D. Vasco da Gama came to the church of Nossa Senhora das Relíquias’ Carmelite convent, there resting until the transfer to the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon. But the history of this Carmelite institution, closely related to the East, reveals other chapters worthy of attention, beginning with a miracle that occurred in the late fifteenth century. Tour Guides: Mário Maia e Silva (owner), Susana Maia e Silva (art historian) and Filipa Maia e Silva (kindergarten teacher).


March 3 [15H00]

Gothic tardy art and Royal Patronage:The Convent of Santo António

COLLABORATION: Santa Casa Misericórdia de SerpaSUPPORT: Serpa City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Convent of Santo António

This is one of the most remarkable examples of Manueline architecture in the Alentejo and a milestone in regional history. In the main chapel is buried, by royal concession, the monarch’s master of ceremonies, D. Henrique de Mello, son of Garcia de Mello, governor of Serpa. Tour Guides: António Martins Quaresma (historian) and José António Falcão (art historian)


March 17 [15H00]

In tune with Nature:The windmill Moinhos Juntos

COLLABORATION: Odemira City HallSUPPORT: UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Alto de São Sebastião

Rehabilitated by the Municipality, one of the "moinhos juntos" is able to grind. Visiting it offers a very timely opportunity not only to know a protoindustrial heritage worthy of attention, but also to reflect on the sustainable use of renewable energies, one of the great challenges facing today's society. Tour Guides: António Martins Quaresma (historian), Joaquim Marcos (physicist), José Guilherme (miller) and José Matias (museum technician).


April 14 [15H00]

Rewrite the Past:New perspectives on the History of Myrtilis

COLLABORATION: Mértola’s Archaeological FieldSUPPORT: Mértola City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Coffee shop Guadiana

The multidisciplinary scientific research that the Mértola’s Archaeological Field has been developing, within the social and human sciences, allows rewriting the history of the old city and introduces a new dynamics in understanding the past and the very identity of the Baixo Alentejo. Tour Guides: Cláudio Torres (art historian), Susana Gómez and Vergílio Lopes (archaeologists).


April 28 [15H00]

In the Heart of the Plains:The Quinta de São Vicente

COLLABORATION: Passanha de Bivar Branco FamilySUPPORT: Ferreira do Alentejo City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Quinta de São Vicente

The Quinta de São Vicente takes its name from a hermitage of the same invocation, dating from the fifteenth century, which is located on the perimeter of this large estate. Retaking the solar tradition, the mansion conveys an image of prestige and is, as the surrounding property, a symbol of the region. Tour Guides: Wanda Passanha de Bivar Branco (owner) and Maria João Pina (historian)


May 5 [15H00]

Memories of Mariana:Beja in the Time of the Alcoforados

COLLABORATION: Association for the Defence of the Patrimony of the Beja RegionSUPPORT: Beja City Hall; Beja Club; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and Art; Regional Museum of BejaMEETING POINT: Rainha D. Leonor Museum

In celebration of the 350th anniversary of the publication of the Portuguese Letters of Soror Mariana Alcoforado [1640-1723], we will visit monuments and sites that preserve her memory: the house where she was born, the church where she was baptized, the convent where she lived, died and is buried, as well as the Quinta do Alcoforado, once of her family. Tour Guide: Florival Baioa Monteiro and José António Falcão (art historians).


May 19 [15H00]

Impregnable Citadel:The Fort of Nossa Senhora da Graça

COLLABORATION: Alentejo Regional Directorate of CultureSUPPORT: Elvas City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMEETING POINT: Fort of Graça

Also known as Forte Conde de Lippe, it is located on the hill of the same name, one of the highest in the region and of great strategic-defensive importance, about 1 km north of the town of Elvas. King D. José I ordered the construction of this masterpiece of European military architecture, that began in 1763. It was inaugurated in 1792, in the reign of Queen D. Maria I. Tour Guide: Rui Jesuíno (historian)


June 2  [15H00]

Between Ardila and Múrtega:The Old Village of Noudar

COLLABORATION: EDIA - Company for the Development and Infrastructure of AlquevaSUPPORT: Barrancos City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and ArtMeeting Point: Noudar

In order to attract new residents to Noudar, village located in a dominant point of the frontier with Spain, between the river Ardila and the river of Múrtega, in 1305, the king made it the first place in the country where men fleeing from justice could stay. The village would grow in the shadow of an extensive walled enclosure, dominated by its emblematic tower, surrounded by a fortress and near the main church of Santa Maria de Entre-Ambas-as-Águas. Tour Guide: Miguel Rego (archaeologist)


June 16 [15H00]

On the Route of Vasco da Gama:Testimonies of the Admiral in Sines

SUPPORT: Sines City Hall.UNESCO Centre of Architecture and Art

Meeting point: Castle

Sines is the "Land of Vasco da Gama". This tour covers the main sites of the Gama Route in Sines: the castle and the chapel, the palace (whose construction was seized by the king and led to the expulsion of the admiral from his native land), the church of Nossa Senhora das Salas (rebuilt by his order) and other places of worship to which he had attachment. Tour Guide: Ricardo Pereira (architect)


June 30 [15H00]

Sub tegmine fagi:The Quinta de São João

COLLABORATION: Soares Nunes da Silva FamilySUPPORT: Santiago do Cacém City Hall; UNESCO Centre of Architecture and Art; Royal Lusitanian Archaeological Society; Joint Parish Council of Santiago do Cacém, Santa Cruz and São Bartolomeu da Serra

The Quinta de São João, which belonged to the sergeant major João Falcão de Mendonça, stands out due to its imposing structure from the first half of the 18th century. Fuelled by a remarkable hydraulic device, with gutters and tanks, the farmhouse includes gardens, tree-lined streets, orchards, orchards and woods. Tour Guides: Gonçalo Nunes da Silva (owner) and Francisco Lobo de Vasconcellos (architect)


"In 2011, when the Terras sem Sombra introduced the first initiatives in the biodiversity preservation area, under the aegis of the Department of Historic and Artistic Heritage of the Diocese of Beja, its work was received with some irony, both from some ranks of the Church and of certain Pulbic services. However, Local authorities and the civil society were aware of its scope and gave it the greatest support. A few years later, the Encyclical Laudato si ', by Pope Francis in 2015, would integrate, alongside with scientific contributions from the five parts of the world, the fruit of a discreet consultation with our Alentejo festival, regarding the safeguarding of small species threatened by the degradation of inland waters, whose role is essential to the food chain functioning. Today, environmental voluntary actions are widespread and the methodology advocated by Terras sem Sombra is as inspiration to other festivals. "


Scientific Coordinator


February 18 de [10H00]

From the Roman Era to the 21st Century:Vitivinicultural Traditions in the Vidigueira Terroir

COLLABORATION: Cooperative Winery of Vidigueira, Cuba and Alvito, Vila de Frades Parish Council, Vidigueira Wine LandsSUPPORT: Vidigueira City HallMEETING POINT: Great Church of Vila de Frades

A terroir is a space in which a collective knowledge of the interactions between the physical and biological environment and the applied oenological practices is under way, in order to provide different characteristics to the originating products. The municipality of Vidigueira has, for more than twenty centuries, exemplified these concepts in a remarkable way. Revisiting its traditional winemaking practices, heritage of which the wine of carving is part, also allows understanding the biodiversity. Tour Guide: José Miguel de Almeida (agronomist), Virgílio Loureiro (Ph.D in Microbiology), Joaquim Galante de Carvalho and Arlindo Ruivo (producers)


March 4 [10H00]

Time heritage: Serpa’s Multisecular Olive Trees

COLLABORATION: Herdade da ZangaSUPPORT: Serpa City HallMEETING POINT: Municipal Library Abade Correia da Serra

Serpa, a county of ancient knowledge in the art of olive growing, has been carefully preserving some olive trees with more than 2000 years. A particularly interesting nucleus, in this perspective, is that of the Herdade da Zanga, which has been improved and that produces an olive oil very appreciated for its unique characteristics. Tour Guides: José Pedro Fernandes de Oliveira and Francisco Garcia (agronomists)


March 18 [10H00]

Promontory on Cliffs:The Bio and Geodiversity of Cape Sardão

COLLABORATION: Acal - Associação para a ciência do Alentejo LitoralSUPPORT: Odemira City Hall, SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ÉVORA; NATIONAL MARITIME AUTHORITY, Captain of the Harbor of the Port of Sines, PORTUGUESE MARINE.MEETING POINT: Cabo Sardão Lighthouse

Cabo Sardão is a kind of finis terrae, as an edge where land confronts the ocean, with its tall black shale cliffs, dramatically bent and fractured by the movements of the tectonic plates. Remarkably, the white stork nests on the cliffs thus showing an exceptional adaptation to a seemingly hostile environment. The lighthouse that, since 1915, illuminates the coast is the strongest element of human intervention. Tour Guides: Rita Balbino (biologist), Carlos Cupeto (geologist) and António Martins Quaresma (historian)


April 15 de Abril [10H00]

Under the aegis of Diana:The Cynegetic Management and the Safeguard of Biodiversity

COLLABORATION: National Association of Landowners, Cynegetic Management and BiodiversitySUPPORT: Mértola City Hall; Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-InBIO); Herdade das RomeirasMEETING POINT: Roundabout next to the bridge over the river Guadiana (car park)

Diana, the Greek Artemis, was a goddess who ruled wildlife among other spheres of the natural world and had a dual function: to preside over the hunting activity and to preserve the hunting resources essential to the food chains. Remembering the tradition, we will reflect on the role of hunting, properly organized and managed in a sustainable way, in the valuation of the low density areas, the economic potential and tourism that it represents, but also the associated cultural heritage and the remarkable contribution that conservation of biodiversity. Mértola, whose famous venatic richness has been growing in recent years, is an important stage for repopulation measures that constitute a case study for the good practices of cynegetic management. The recovery of wild rabbits, a key species in Mediterranean ecosystems, favours the safeguarding of endangered species such as the Iberian lynx and birds of prey such as the imperial eagle, royal eagle and bonelli's eagle. It is in a territory where, at any moment, we can find a copy of these species, which we developed our visit, trying to find out about the activities and the daily work that underlies the fabulous biodiversity there.
 Tour Guide: António Paula Soares (biophysical engineer), João Carvalho (forest engineer) and Paulo Célio Alves (biologist).


April 29 [10H00]

In search of a plant that only exists in Baixo Alentejo:Linaria ricardoi

COLLABORATION: EDIA - Company for the Development and Infrastructure of Alqueva, QuercusSUPPORT: Ferreira do Alentejo City Hall; School of Science and Technology, University of ÉvoraMEETING POINT: Hermitage of Our Lady of the Conception

The Linaria ricardoi is a very rare Lusitanian endemism, located in the region of Beja, in soils with very specific acidic, medium texture or clayish characteristics. The two-population nucleuses currently known are usually composed of a few hundred specimens, which mean that, in light of the actual knowledge about a species, the Linaria ricardoi is in danger of extinction. The use of herbicides, an agricultural intensification and an intensive grazing contribute decisively to a severe population decrease. Tour Guides: Carlos Pinto Gomes (biologist) and Dinis Cortes (physician)


May 6 [10H00]

Sanctuary on the Plain:The Dam of the Herdade dos Grous and the Observation of Wild Birds

COLLABORATION: Herdade dos GrousSUPPORT: Beja City HallMEETING POINT: Herdade dos Grous

The municipality of Beja has a vast and, in many of its components, still underdeveloped biodiversity. The Herdade dos Grous dam is one of the most privileged places for bird watching: among others, the Black- -winged kite, Sea hawk, Southern grey shrike, Flamingo, European spoonbill, Montagu's harrier, Little Bustard, Black-winged stilt, Red-necked nightjar, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Red-rumped swallow, Woodchat shrike, Sardinian warbler, Azure-winged magpie, Golden oriole, Glossy ibis or the Corn bunting.Tour Guides: Dinis Cortes (Doctor), Luís Salvador (biologist).


May 20 [10H00]

Through the Fields:Conservation Agriculture in the Municipality of Elvas

COLLABORATION: Portuguese Soil Conservation Mobilization AssociationSUPPORT: Elvas City Hall; Estremoz Living Science CentreMeeting point: Hermitage of Our Lady of Nazareth

Conservation agriculture consists of a set of practices that allow the management of agricultural land with the least possible alteration of its composition, structure and natural biodiversity. The techniques used in conservation agriculture have, as a general rule, positive effects on the soil contributing to the increase of the organic matter content. Tour Guides: Gabriela Cruz (agronomist) and Rui Dias and Isabel Machado (geologists)


June 3 [10H00]

Wild Life Strongholds: The Herdade da Coitadinha and the Natural Park of Noudar

COLLABORATION: EDIA - Company for the Development and Infrastructure of Alqueva.SUPPORT: Barrancos City Hall, National Laboratory for Energy and Geology.Meeting Point: Herdade da Coitadinha

The Nature Park of Noudar is located in the Herdade da Coitadinha, ‘behind-the-hills’, between the meandering river Ardila and the Múrtega stream, nestled between peaks and hills in the proximity of Barrancos. The path from the entrance of the Park to the Castle of Noudar crosses an extensive area of holm oak montado which ends with a majestic view over the confluence of the two water lines. In Noudar, life presents itself in a wild state and of absolute purity. Tour Guide: Bárbara Pinto (biologist)


June 17 [10H00]

Knowledge and Art: Biodiversity in the Area of Influence of the Port of Sines

COLLABORATION: Ports of Sines and the Algarve AuthoritySupport: Sines City Hall, Laboratory of Sea Sciences, University of Évora, Sines Parish Council, Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Sines.Meeting point: Ports of Sines and the Algarve Authority

The Harbour of Sines is one of the most advanced port infrastructures in Europe and has sustainability as one of its priorities. There is a constant preoccupation with the maintenance of biodiversity in the waters under the Port’s jurisdiction, and an important example is the practice of fish farming. Tour Guides: Duarte Lynce de Faria (administrator), Luís Miguel Serrão (environmental engineer) and Inês Seabra (biologist)


July 1 [10H00]

Conventual heritage:the Corkwood of Loreto

COLLABORATION: UNESCO Centre of Architecture and Art; Royal Lusitanian Archaeological SocietySUPPORT: Santiago do Cacém City Hall; Department of Nature Conservation and Forests of Alentejo, Institute for Nature Conservation and Forestry; Parish Council of Santiago do Cacém, Santa Cruz and São Bartolomeu da Serra

In 1515 the friars of Nossa Senhora do Loreto community acquired a vast space in the neighbouring estate of the Loureiro in order to plant a remarkable cork oak montado. This montado still exists and is a treasure of biodiversity, even though presently in a serious risk of degradation. An intervention to reverse this process and to safeguard the "treasures of the montado" is under process and involves the local community and the local school grouping, under the aegis of UNESCO. Tour Guides: Ana Vidal (landscape architect) José Mira Potes (zootechnical engineer) and Pedro Gameiro (architect).