The Alentejo (ah-LEHN-tay-ZHU, meaning 'beyond the Tagus River'), is a beautiful,mostly agricultural region, remarkable for its wide horizons, filled with soft hills that change color along the year, from deep brown to green with white, red and purple, to golden. Sunsets and the light play are stunning. As the warmest weathered region in Portugal, its inhabitants are known for their slow-paced, easy-going lifestyle and song-like accent, that are in great harmony with the Alentejo's calm-inducing topography. So, if you are there, do like the Alentejanos, and do it slowly. No stress, please.
The main city is Evora, in Alentejo Central, with historic monuments, churches and museums.
Also in Alentejo, in the Évora region, was one of the development centers of early European megaliths (standing stones).
Regions (cities within)
- Alto Alentejo ,around the cities of Portalegre and Elvas and towns of Avis, Campo Maior, Arronches, [[Crato, Nisa); Alter do Chão, Gavião, Monforte, Ponte de Sor, Sousel, Marvão, Castelo de Vide and Fronteira.
- Alcácer do Sal - A very old town on top of a hill, by the Sado river.
- Beja, historic city, district capital.
- Elvas,a very historic city near Guadiana river, across from Badajoz.
- Évora regional capital, district capital, university city with severalmuseums and Roman(Templo de Diana) ruins at the top of a commanding hill.
- Portalegre ,a capital district city by the panoramic(mount) serra de Sao Mamede.
- Campo Maior a beautifull white town,with a nice castle, capela dos ossos,a big lake Barragem do Caia.
- Mértola - A lovely town on a hill, overlooking the Guadiana river, with ancient ruins.
- Serpa ,another historic city thy the Guadiana , Home of the Serpa cheese, also hosts many great places to eat and drink.
- Castelo de Vide ,a beautiful fortified castle town on an adorable mount.
- Marvao ,another beautuful castle town, perched by a craig.
- Vila Vicosa , an historic, monumental town with an historic palace.
- Borba ,marble(marmore) city.
- Mifontes ,a town near a bay and the sea.
- Odemira ,the largest municipality in Portugal by area.
- Grandola ,a town known for singer Zeca Afonso as "Vila Morena" (tawny town),with a serra(mount)homonomous.
- Zambujeira do Mar — a fishing village and the site of international music festival Sudoeste
Others destinations include all the Costa Sudoeste ,Alentejo Beach Coast, most of it untouched (so far) and with small beautiful beaches. Santiago do Cacém,Vila Nova de MilFontes,Zambujeira,Porto Covo,Trioa,Arraiolos,Ourique,Castro Verde,etc.
Alto Alentejo also includes the great marble towns of Estremoz, Borba and Vila Viçoca - and the spectacular mountain villages of Castelo de Vide, Marvão. In Central Alentejo Evora city and the castleMonsaraz,in Baixo Alentejo the golden praries(planicia dourada)and Alentejo Litoral the extensive beaches of Sudeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina.
Mostly rural,with some urban areas.Generally hotter than other parts of Portugal.
Most places may be reached by bus from Evora but for some of the mountain areas including Marvão and Castelo de Vide you will need to get first to Portalegre.
- Neolithic ruins are spread across the countryside near Évora. Cave paintings and Stonehenge-era structures are scattered around the regions. Tours can be arranged in the tourist office of Évora.
- More than 1000 megalithic monuments are found in Alentejo. The most important can be visited.
- Alqueva dam on the Guadiana
District capital cities of Evora, Portalegra, Beja, plus other historic cities and towns as well,the coast.
- The west coast is one of the most beautiful beach zones, that has (so far) survived without the savage tourism industry that destroyed the Algarve. Be sure to visit Vila Nova de Mil-Fontes or one of the little towns around.
- In the summer (august), if you are a rock fan, try to catch the Sudoeste Rock Festival, near Zambujeira.
- Don´t miss the beatiful village of Marvão, with its wonderful castle and fantastic museum.
- Évora is a world Heritage place. Don't miss it!
Wines from the Alentejo region are very popular among the Portuguese people, so take the chance to know them!
Among all the Alentejo region you will find a lot of wonderful places to stay. Try Herdade dos Barros (country hotel) in Terena (Évora), there you will find personalized services, comfortable rooms, privacy, description, good taste and good atmosphere. There you will wake up to the sounds of birds, enjoy nature, relax, hiking, read a good book on the terrace, or just watch the scenery with a glass of wine. When night falls you will have a magnificent starry sky, and fall asleep to the sounds of crickets.
But if you want a little more movement, you can explore all the historical and cultural heritage of the region (the Castle, the Chapel of Boa Nova, etc) very close to the farm; enjoy the calm waters of the dam Lucefecit (100 m the Herdade); or visit the neighboring regions, such as Vila Viçosa, Monsaraz, Évora, Alqueva, Badajoz, etc.
For more information: http://www.herdadedosbarros.com ; (00351 964310216)
Lisboa, Faro, Tomar, Castelo Branco.
Follow one of the motorways or the IP2.