Cromeleque do Xarez/Xerez

Cromlech - Neolithic (39)
The Xerez or Xarez Cromlech was originally located about 5 km south of Monsaraz, in front of the Xarez hill, very close to the Guadiana River. The construction of the Alqueva dam demanded this monument's location to be changed, currently located in the proximities of the Convent of Orada, in the village of Telheiro. The blueprint of this enclosure is problematic since the menhirs, with the exception of the central, have been found toppled and displaced of its original location. Therefore, the sub-quadrangular or rectangular morphology, with the large central menhir (about 3,60 m in height) that the enclosure currently displays, results from an interpretation from some of the researchers that studied this site. The 55 menhirs that currently compose this monument, were carved in different types of local granite, presenting diverse shapes (ovoid, slightly flattened, cylindrical, sub-square, conical or polyhedral) and lengths varying between 0,37m and 2,10m, with a predominance of small size elements (height less than 1,20 m). A set of seven menhirs, which includes the central elements, were decorated with different motifs, namely dimples, crosiers and circular geometric shapes, with strong similarities to the motifs identified in other monuments of the same type in the region. The study of the lithic industry collected in the area of this cromlech raises the hypothesis of the use of this space by human communities during the Upper Palaeolithic period. The archaeological complexity of the enclosure, the decorations of the menhirs and the collected archaeological artefacts suggest that the first stages of construction are framed into the early and middle Neolithic, with refurbishing during the late Neolithic (placement of the great central menhir) and eventual re-purposing throughout the Chalcolithic period.


Megalithic monument integrated in the "Roteiro do Alqueva" and in the pedestrian walking route "Escritas no Horizonte".

Visit conditions

Free entrance



How to get there? Best practices

Best practices

Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

  • Respect all signs; 
  • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
  • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
  • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
  • Do not collect materials or sediments;
  • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
  • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
  • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
  • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
  • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
  • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
  • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
  • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

Further information:

AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

DGPC contacts

Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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