Portugal’s largest region, the Alentejo, is also the most sparsely populated, its wild beaches, fresh air and stillness transporting visitors what feels like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. The perfect place to unwind and recharge with simplicity and positive energy, the region is certainly far less crowded than some of the country’s tourist hotspots, making it worth a visit as part of any event, if only for a day, to get away from it all.
Charming, Secluded Alentejo
Discovering the Alentejo
Extending all the way from a rugged coastline to the castle-studded Spanish border, the wide strip of land sandwiched between the Algarve to the south and Central Portugal to the north consists mainly of plains dotted with pastures, cork trees, olive groves, historical landmarks, and rustic villages.
The historic capital, Évora, located just a 90-minute drive from Lisbon, is a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with landmarks and historic buildings including the Temple of Diana – the best-preserved Roman structure on the Iberian peninsula – and a Chapel of Bones, one of Portugal’s best-known and most unusual monuments.
From a historic city to a distinctive coastline, the Alentejo is also home to the Tróia Peninsula, a narrow strip of land edged in paradisiacal beaches stretching 21 km into the Atlantic Ocean.
Natural Beauty and Authentic Culture
Despite the allure of its gorgeous cities, Alentejo is best known for its historic villages, wide-open spaces, and traditional cuisine featuring simple, hearty dishes made with local produce. Home to vast vineyards and some of the country’s most sought-after wine, life is lived at a slower pace here, so whether hiking in search of scenic, remote beaches or in any of the region’s natural parks, the rural, unexplored nature of the Alentejo is sure to find a place in any visitor’s heart.