These are uncertain times, and travel is far from simple. But there are places that are both unique and safe - like Portugal. Portugal is the closest nation in Europe to North America, with easy flights from most North American hubs.
In 2019, Portugal welcomed more than 1 million American visitors for the first time ever - but then came COVID-19, and everything changed. While Portugal remains on many people's bucket list - there is a new reason to spend time there - it is safe. That's because Portugal has fully vaccinated more than 80% of its population, making the European nation one of the world's most vaccinated places on earth. As a result, COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. By next month, the total vaccination number is going to hit 85% in a nation where in fact, less than 3% of the population is vaccine hesitant.
And which of Portugal's regions is the most vaccinated? That would be the Alentejo - a place you can go to escape, feel safe, and enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Europe.
The Alentejo, stretching from the banks of the Tejo River to the mountains that surround the Algarve, is the heartland of Portugal. The Alentejo has inspired countless epic tales and adventures featuring Moors, Romans, Phoenicians and Celts, each leaving their mark on the unique local culture. A land with intense flavors of wine and a local cuisine that is unlike anything else, and as fresh and as local as the land it comes from. A place where you can enjoy both bliss and thrills, surrounded by rolling plains and mountains, blue rivers, pristine beaches, and villages painted in white and blue. And, our sunlight is warm and unique. Discover the Portuguese region rich in natural beauty, adventure, culture, flavors and welcoming smiles. The name of the Alentejo comes from the Portuguese “Além” and “Tejo,” or beyond the River Tejo. Go beyond expectations, and discover a whole other world, just 1 hour from Lisbon.
The ‘montados’ are the cork forests of the Alentejo, home to countless rare species of plants and animals, and largest forests in Southern Europe. The cork oak, or sobreiro, is the soul of the Alentejo, a living landscape that can only be found around the Mediterranean basin. The cork trees extend for miles and each tree plays an essential role in this ecosystem. Their bark is harvested every 9 years, and the tree can live for centuries.