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The Alentejo region of Portugal is secluded from the rest of Portugal by the vast Tagus River. Vacationers and travelers wishing to explore a diverse, historical, and scenic part of the world will find this destination to be rich in culture, entertainment, and breathtaking scenery.
Explore the Alentejo region
Alentejo literally translates to “Beyond the Tagus” and is located in the dense and balmy area extending to the southern ends of Portugal and bordering on the Algarve region which is lush in seafood and fruit production.
Experiencing the countryside
Whether you are on a photography tour, a leisurely vacation of exploring the countryside, or hiking the many trails of Alentejo, the seemingly endless options will unfold before your eyes, providing various routes and ways to access this grand region. Gentle winding hills and valleys provide a topographical dream as you wander through this area with backpack and camera in hand.
The sweeping hillsides, rich in olive trees and massive cork oaks, provide a naturally decorated land still rugged and free from the trappings of modern intrusion. The historic enthusiast and explorer will be drawn to the medieval villages within one of the nature park areas. Other nature park areas offer nearly uninhabited surroundings where visitors can explore the natural landscape and pastoral scenery. The water-lover will be drawn to the wild and breathtaking costal shore for fishing, sailing, and swimming.
Places to Visit in Alentejo
Alentejo is home to two historic cities listed as World Heritage Sites, Elvas and Evora. The walled towns of Marvao and Monsaraz should not be missed.
This is a quiet and peaceful region and this slow pace of life is reflected in the leisurely pace of the smaller towns in the region. Almodovar in the Beja district to the south of Alentejo is a typical example. Alcacer do Sal is a pretty town on the edge of the river Sedo.
Dining in Alentejo
The culinary connoisseur will not be disappointed with the ethnic and traditional food of this acclaimed region of Portugal. Dependent upon the land and its natural resources as the main boost for the economy, the person who loves to dine will be thrilled with the locally made cheeses, wines, and variety of smoked meats.
Food is best when fresh and fresh is what you’ll get when you browse through the decadent bistros, restaurants and cafes spotted throughout the villages and main cities of the Alentejo region. From fresh seafood right from the coast to savory meats of beef, pork, and lamb, along with locally-made olive oils used for natural cooking and seasoning, your palette will be sure to explode with delight as you wash it all down with a succulent bottle of wine from a nearby vineyard.
Guided tours in Alentejo
You’ll discover a diverse array of guided tours to please even the most demanding traveler. From driving tours throughout the countryside to walking tours available in the most well-know cities, Serpa and Moura, Alentejo enthusiasts will enjoy the pastoral views combined with the exquisite shopping available. Local merchants line the streets ready to barter with people passing by with handmade crafts, leatherwork, boutique gifts, and native, traditional handmade clothes and jewelry.
Guided tours are also available to the wine-lover in the massive and sweeping vineyards of historic Alentejo. Grapevines for as far as the eye can see as the sun sets over the rolling hills provides subjects that photographers dream of. You may choose to tour through abandoned castles and ancient Roman-reminiscent architecture and ruins, or you may opt for a wine-tasting tour to exhilarate your senses. Whatever you choose to do in Alentejo, you’ll find yourself wishing there are more hours in the day to be able to cover it all on your vacation.