Today we travel to Portugal again, although more to the south than we did on Day 1. Today’s region in south central Portugal of Alentejo, is described as the heartland of the country. The local saying, “life moves at the pace of the wind” describes the leisurely pace that attracts many visitors along with the alluring landscapes of the region. Visitors come to enjoy the varied and breathtaking scenery – from wheat fields to wildflower meadows, cork trees, olive groves, vineyards, to stretches of quiet uncrowded beaches, to hilltop towns and castles, and white washed villages.
The region, found to the east of Lisbon, is fairly large and stretches from the Spanish border to the Atlantic Ocean. The coast is beautifully hilly and rugged, with charming sheltered coves. When traveling within the region, you may be fortunate enough to find a traditional Cante Alentejano event, a group singing style unique to the region, which has been designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The interior of the region is filled with walled towns, castles, gardens and ancient megaliths – reminders of past ancient cultures, Arab influences and Roman ruins. I find it amazing at how much territory the Romans once occupied and how many structures they built!
photos courtesy of Portugal Tourism Board
While the area is pretty much a year round destination, the spring and fall temperatures are the most pleasant. The Alentejo region can be reached easily from Lisbon in about an hour by car, and the beaches within about two hours. When planning a trip to Lisbon, be sure to allow a few days to include this beautiful region. Boutique hotels and luxury resorts have become popular in this region, providing a wonderful countryside getaway.
WHEN TO GO: Year round with best temperatures in Spring or Fall, Allow at least 3 days
POPULAR TRAVEL STYLES: Small Private Groups, Independent Travel, Luxury Travel
IDEAL FOR: Culinary/Wine, History, Beach, Romantic Travel, Regional Travel
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