The Alentejo is Portugal’s biggest region, about the size of Belgium with just 600,000 people. The Alentejo began 2022 with the honor of being one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Destinations in the World for 2022. This week, the same magazine declared that the Alentejo was one of the 23 Best Places to Go in 2023. And what a year it has been, for what has become the most celebrated region in Portugal.
Condé Nast Traveler called out the beach town of Melides, saying that “Comporta’s lesser-known sister has been quietly simmering for some time now, but 2023 is set to become the year Melides emerges as the Portuguese beach spot to know. Its alluring landscape of white-sand beaches, pine forests, and rice fields will soon welcome exciting new properties, including Christian Louboutin’s much-awaited Vermelho this coming spring. The designer discovered the charm of Melides early—he’s been visiting for 10 years to design his winter collections, even naming one of his shoe lines Melides—and the boutique property will celebrate Portuguese artisanship and design traditions.”
Just a few weeks ago, Christopher Elliot, travel columnist for the Washington Post, USA Today and Forbes included the Alentejo region as his #4 on the 23 Places to Travel to in 2023. Just before that, Time Magazine rated the Alentejo on their World’s Greatest Places 2022 list. Time wrote that the region was one of “Portugal’s most rural and least populated region—is dotted with picturesque towns separated by cork forests and olive groves. But its many new goings-on offer a contrast with its unhurried pace.”
And, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted Portugal the best country to travel to, specifically citing the "charming village of Marvão with its 13th century walls," set in the Alentejo.
Earlier in 2022, The New York Times named the Alentejo as one of the 52 Places for a Changed World, a list that highlighted places around the globe where travelers can be part of a solution. The Times pointed to the sustainable wine movement in the region, where sheep help clear wine fields, and water is used sparingly.
And, last spring, Travel + Leisure named the walled village of Marvão one of the top Under-the-radar European Villages to Visit, saying “There are dramatic mountainside forts, and then there is Marvão, the king of them all."
Portugal's Alentejo is a sustainable destination, with its cork forests, long protected Atlantic coast, and vast blue skies.
Just an hour from Lisbon, the Alentejo has no big cities but is made up of fortified hill towns featuring traditional crafts and foods. Making up 30% of Portugal, the region has flowing vineyards and olive oil groves with a mild climate. Guests enjoy the traditional cuisine and distinct local olive oils, bold wines as well as hiking or cycling the rolling cork plains, natural reserves and more than 85 miles of Atlantic coastline.