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Rio Maior



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An important agricultural and industrial region, Rio Maior displays a diversified landscape with large woods of pine-trees and eucalyptus, typical Ribatejo plains in the south and the Serra de Candeeiros mountains on the extreme north.

The most interesting site at the county is due to a curious natural phenomenon: the salt pans which appear unexpectedly in the midst of a rural setting, far away from the sea, and which have been explored for at least 900 years, as a document dating from 1177 confirms.

The salt of Rio Maior comes from a well where the water has seven times more salt than sea-water, after having traversed a bed of rock-salt: millions of years ago, the ocean covered the space now occupied by the Portuguese territory, before it retreated and left a lake which eventually dried up and gave origin to the salt-field.

It is worth visiting the salt-pits, at about two kilometres from Rio Maior, with their curious tanks and a tiny hamlet of typical cottages and cobbled streets.

At the town of Rio Maior, the Miserichord Church, built in the 16th century, and the Mother Church, from the 17th century, are also quite interesting.

Another mother church which attracts attention is located at the village of Alcobertas: built between the 14th and 18th centuries, it has an adjoining megalithic dolmen used as a side-chapel.

At table, Rio Maior offers an excellent rump steak and chicken with nuts, besides good regional wines.

| Hotels (2) | Manor & Farm Houses (1) | Private Houses (1) |
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