Everyone enjoying National Wine Day? Portugal has so many wine styles and flavors
The Pottery of Portugal, a world of color and style

The heart of Portugal's Alentejo

Evora, a city that is a World Heritage site conserves a valuable set of historic buildings, including the Roman temple, the Cathedral, the University or the façades of the old palaces. Relax in the Praça do Giraldo or in other squares that entice us to sit down and soak up the  rhythm of the Alentejo, in front of a fountain or under  arcades.

 

During the day, visitors can travel through the historic centre in a horse-drawn carriage or take an evening stroll where the street lighting accentuates the romantic atmosphere. At lunch or dinner-time, try out some regional cuisine in one of the city’s restaurants.

 

If you decide against spending the night in Evora, there will still be time to visit Monsaraz. This well-preserved walled mountain village looks out over a wide panorama that includes the blue expanse of the Alqueva dam. If you travel North, discover the olive- and cork-tree landscape of the Serra dâ Ossa and sleep in the Convent of São Paulo, a genuine Hotel-Museum covered in "azulejo" tiles, on route to Redondo.

 

Next, visit Vila Viçosa and its Ducal Palace, including the Carriages, Hunting quarters and Treasury. Pass through Borba on your way to Estremoz and ascend to the castle. Try lunch in the Pousada de Santa Isabel.

 

After lunch, visit Evoramonte and its castle, suspended on the horizon, and contemplate the infinite landscape of mountains and plains. this is where to Portuguese civl War eneded.

Evora_Giraldo Square
 

Then, top off the day in Arraiolos, where you can stay in another former monastery that has been converted into a Pousada. This town of white houses, is famous for its magnificent carpets, and visitors can watch the skilful embroideresses as they design intricate oriental motifs, that conjure up histories of sultans and enchanted Moorish princesses.

 

In Marvão, your gaze will wander from the castle over the walled town and fabulous surrounding landscape. At the foot of the mountain, test your swing on the golf course and then savour a lamb stew accompanied by "Manjar Branco" (coconut flan with prunes sauce) and "Toucinho-do-ceu" (a  pastery made with eggs and sugar) for dessert.

  Conventual sweets in Alentejo by Nuno Calvet - T09ASH0H

Other activities

 

Active Tourism - In the Alentejo, enjoy all the splendour that nature has to offer you, whether you are cycling, riding a horse or paddling a canoe. From Arraiolos to the Serra da Ossa, Serra de S. Mamede, Portel or Granndola, jump on a bicycle and discover hidden trails. Mountain biking is both an enjoyable way to keep fit and one of the best ways of getting to know the region's hidden corners: meet other mountain-bike enthusiasts exploring the banks of the lakes; in Beja, you can rent a bike and then get lost in the maze of narrow lanes; and in Evora, pedal to the Jardim de Diana, for a unique view of the acropolis. But if you've ever dreamt of riding a horse into the sunset, like they used to in old westerns, go to one of the riding schools that are all over the Alentejo and make this dream come true. You can do this at the Alter do Chão stud farm, where the sight of the Lusitanian horses is worth the trip alone, as well as at Ponte de Sor or Alcácer do Sal.

 

If you are a fan of water, then why not try canoeing? Don't miss the rivers Tejo or Sado.  At the Alqueva and every other lake of the Alentejo, paddle along calm waters. The River Guadiana, in the south, has a unique natural habitat: so stop paddling, and let yourself be swept along on a steady current to the sound of the birdsong. And explore one of the most important collections of menhirs in Europe, at Cromelegue dos Almendres, near Evora.

 

 

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