A Destination Guide to Alentejo by Local Experts

Planning a visit to Alentejo? If you want to enjoy everything this beautiful region has to offer but don’t know where to begin – don’t worry, as our Alentejo destination guide has got you covered.

Let the team at Your Tours Portugal be your local experts this holiday. Our passion is sharing the best culture, history, and natural beauty at Portugal’s every compass point.

Providing authentic knowledge and personal tours for every traveller, our tailor-made trips across Portugal set us apart.

Ranging from Self-Guided Portugal Tours and Private Guided Day Tours in Portugal, our specialists guarantee an unforgettable experience. Your Tours is always available to answer questions, so get in touch whenever you’re ready to plan your dream vacation!

But for now, scroll down to find out more about all of our favourite things to do in Alentejo. Our handy guide gives you the highlights of Portugal’s breathtaking rural interior region.

Alentejo’s Top Five Must-see Destinations

Known for its gentle pace and sizzling 40-degree summers, the Alentejo region is the largest in Portugal. Its rich, pastoral landscape spans from the wild Atlantic west coast to the historic Portugal-Spain border in the east.

Yet despite its size, Alentejo’s population is sparse. Just 5% of the Portuguese population call the region home! This means you’ll discover authentic Portugal, free from the tourist traps. Let’s go! The region’s expanse of sleepy villages and picturesque walled cities are beckoning…

Explore the Capital City, Évora

The Historic Centre of Évora, Alentejo’s largest city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 20 centuries’ worth of history shapes its streets, meaning this city is full of dazzling cultural sites. We recommend the Roman baths, cathedral, and the chilling Chapel of Bones for starters.

After you’ve walked up an appetite, relax with a drink in the central square. Or visit one of the capital’s bakeries to sample some Pão Alentejano (Alentejo bread). Recognisable by its rustic rounded shape, the bread’s acidic flavour complements local cheese and olive oil perfectly.

Discover Almendres Cromlech

To continue delving into Alentejo’s ancient history, the next must-see destination on our list is the Almendres Cromlech. A mere 25-minute drive from Évora, Portugal’s answer to Stonehenge is simply mindblowing.

Built between 5000 and 4000 BCE, these Neolithic stones are distinctively oval-shaped and stand in two concentric circles. Though historians are not completely sure of the Almendres Cromlech’s purpose, the lasting design and intrigue speak for themselves.

So hire a car and rock on over to see this ancient astronomical observatory!

Marvel at Medieval Mértola

If Mértola can’t convince you of Alentejo’s beauty, we don’t know what will! Located near the Spanish border, this fortified town’s history was a hotly contested seat of power. The Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic tribes, and Moors all battled for the land.

While today things are much calmer, the historical influences of each period remain. The Church of Nossa Senhora da Anunciação was once a mosque, as seen in its turreted architecture.

Mértola is also centred in the Portuguese district of Beja, nestled between the Oeiras riverbank and the Guadiana River. This rich terroir makes for great grapes and is the site of several wineries. Why not visit a vineyard and sample the local vinho?

Catch a Wave at Costa Vicentina

Heading to the west coast now, let’s drop into the untrammelled dramatic splendour of Costa Vicentina. While this location straddles the Algarve and Alentejo, it retains the rural authenticity of the wider Alentejo region and is often overlooked by tourists.

Ideal for solo travellers and families alike, Costa Vicentina’s terrain offers exhilarating coastal hikes, historical cycling routes, and surfing in the majestic Atlantic Ocean. Or, if you’re keen to kick off your flip-flops, simply recline beneath the rugged rocks on the golden sand.

While you’ll often hear the phrase “the photos don’t do it justice”, it couldn’t be truer when talking about the glimmering beaches and lagoons at Costa Vicentina. This hidden gem is a must-visit destination studded with whitewashed fishing towns with friendly locals.

Unwind at Alqueva

The final stop on our must-see destination guide is Alqueva, just north along the Guadiana River. Alqueva is the largest artificial lake and dam in Western Europe. While that might not grab you immediately, the immaculate surrounding natural landscape certainly will.

Offering a delectable landscape by day or night, the lake is a hotspot for wild swimming and boat and walking tours. By day, travellers can spy an array of wildlife and verdant flora and fauna. Watch out for diverse birds of prey like the Golden Eagle and Griffon Vulture!

Alqueva at night is a sight to behold. The unpolluted skies erupt with stars and constellations. If stargazers are lucky, they can see the Milky Way from the lake’s shoreline. We’re starry-eyed just thinking about visiting!

And that concludes our destination guide to Alentejo! We hope you’ve picked up some tips from our whistlestop tour around Portugal’s biggest region. We’d love to tell you more about the tailor-made tours of Portugal we offer and to help you curate the perfect Alentejo adventure.

If we’ve got you reaching for your passport or maybe we’ve missed a place you’d like to visit, please get in touch. Depending on your requirements, Your Tours can include any number of excursions, nature experiences, and delicious authentic Portuguese cuisine.

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