Proudly guarded by an eleven-turreted Moorish fortress, Torres Novas is a pretty town in Portugal’s central Ribatejo region. Sandwiched between Lisbon and Porto, it is easily accessible. If the rich history and idyllic countryside don’t win you over then the affordable property definitely will.

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Affordable property

House prices in Torres Novas are incredibly good value, with average homes costing €825 per square metre. If you’re willing to do some renovation work, you can find homes for under €20,000. A budget of €50,000-€100,000 would give you a good selection of key-ready houses and apartments.

Be at one with nature

Head to the western side of the town and you’ll find yourself admiring the beautiful Parque Natural das Serras d’Aire e Candeeiros, a vast nature park. For those who like walking, there are 16 different walks to complete, including one that leads you into a mining zone that has been abandoned for around 50 years. There are also several caves to explore!

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Immerse yourself in history

Torres Novas is bursting with charm and history. The town has been inhabited since Roman times, with remnants of this era still present to this day.

One of the main attractions of the town, other than the impressive castle, is Villa Cardillio, a once extravagant Roman villa. Upon excavation, an abundance of jewels, coins, ceramics and glassware originating from as far as Egypt and Assyria were discovered there. Today, you can explore the ruins and marvel at the intricate mosaics on the floor.

Other architectural sites of interest are the church of Igreja da Misericórdia de Torres Novas with its stunning Baroque staircases and Renaissance columns and pediment. Inside, there is a spectacular nativity scene carved by the famous 18th-century sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro.

Enjoy the café culture

While the town is relatively small, the vast central square is vibrant and full of life. Colourful facades lined with cafes, bars and restaurants means there is always somewhere to socialise and enjoy the wonderful weather.

The central square is also where the town hosts its celebrations and fiestas. In early June, the town comes alive for the Memórias da História, a medieval fair with a market, craft workshops and re-enactments.

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