Atop a tiny island in the middle of the Tagus River, Almourol Castle looks positively medieval towering over the calm water below. Surrounded by rocks and trees, it was built on the former site of a Roman fort and held by the Grand Master of the Knights of Templar. The castle served as an important vantage point and guardian of this section of the river, though it was conquered in the time of the Reconquista.
After losing strategic significance, the castle was abandoned until it was restored in by the Romantics in the 19th century. It was deemed a national monument in 1919. There are views of the castle from the riverbank, or panoramic views of the surrounding hillsides from the upper court of the castle. Legends of the knights who passed through and the prisoners held here are still told.
The castle is located 90 minutes to the north of Lisbon, not far from the small town of Tomar. It is open from 10 am to 1 pm and 2:30 to 7:30 pm from March to October, with reduced hours from 10 am to 1 and 2:30 to 5:30 pm in the winter. Boats (€2) take visitors from the riverside to the island in a short five minutes.