Facets of the Alentejo

One Week Program in Évora and Portalegre

The Alentejo (literally "land beyond the Tagus") is a warm, dry, mostly gentle region north of the Algarve that has been ignored by all but a few.

Alentejo is a scarcely populated region with open horizons, where the rhythm of life follows the idle sound of regional songs. It is perfect for walking and experiencing an unforgettable adventure. This is a land of unimaginable heritage.

This tour will take you along the remarkable traces of ancient cultures: dolmens and cromlechs, Roman and Arab vestiges mingling with the most recent signs of Christianity of which the numerous medieval castles are but one example. You will walk alongside vast wheat-fields and vineyards where intense green and golden colours are the main characteristic of the plains in Alentejo, where, in spring time beautiful fields with millions of wild flowers delight the eyes.

We travel to the walled city of Évora, at the heart of the Alentejo region, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns; Évora is a city with a glorious past and a young and vibrant present helped by a large student population who attend one of the world’s oldest universities. We also explore the lovely surrounding countryside, local villages and ancient monuments set in beautiful landscapes.

Visiting Portalegre is not so much about visiting one interesting town, but about visiting a whole cluster of northern Alentejan towns, each with their own tale to tell, and with Portalegre at their centre. The region contains a wealth of historical monuments and anecdotes, awe-inspiring views from the fortified hilltop towns and a good smattering of pre-historic treasures to boot.

While in Portalegre we will have the opportunity to visit the Serra de s Mamede mountain range and natural park.

The open, ample landscape is peppered with cork-oaks or olive trees that have withstood the ravages of time. Occasionally sturdy fortress walls rise up from hills, as at Marvão or Estremoz, or you’ll see just a simple dolmen reminding you of the magic of the place. Atop small hills stand white one-story farmsteads, while the castles are reminders of the battles and conquests that once took place here. The patios and gardens bear witness to the influence of the Arabs, who helped to shape the people and the nature.
Comfortable 4-star accommodation.
Sociable evenings spent in local restaurants.
The opportunity to walk beyond the intended itinerary and even possibly the grade of this holiday. On some days you may be offered flexible walking options, this will be dependent on local conditions.
A fantastic itinerary of walks, developed and perfected by local resident Portuguese tour leaders, very knowledgeable of the region.
The hospitality and warmth from the local poulation, whilst enjoying dining out at local restaurants every evening.

The tour includes

Airport transfers.

En-suite accommodation in comfortable four-star hotels, beautifully located.

Breakfasts taken at the hotel and dinners in local restaurants.

All transport costs in conjunction with the programme.

Services of a dedicated leader.

Please note:

The walking and sightseeing programs are integral with each other. However because we have dedicated transport with the group there will be considerable flexibility within the program for individual clients.

A wait at the airport may be necessary to enable all passengers to travel together to and from the hotel.

Photo Gallery

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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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