Just a few kilometres from Alpiarça, Almeirim was once the favourite abode of the House of Avis, due to the abundance of game.
Now little remains of this royal past, but it has large estates and fine mansions of the Revivalist and Art Nouveau styles, besides the characteristic rural houses.
It is worth admiring the 19th-century manor of Quinta da Alorna
and its beautiful gardens, set in this fertile region of plains famous for its wines and horse and cattle breeding.
However, most people visit Almeirim to taste the famous sopa de pedra
(stone soup), whose name derives from a legend.
Once, a monk begged a niggard farmer for something to make a soup with. When he was given nothing, he asked for a pot to boil water and put a stone in it. He then tasted the «soup» and smiled.
The curious farmer asked if it was good. The monk said yes, but that it would be even better with a little cabbage. The farmer gave him some. The monk said it was fine, but that it would be delicious if he had a little sausage... and so on.
Today, the sopa de pedra
is a tasty soup full of vegetables and meats, and it is a whole meal in itself.