Make a gift during New Hampshire Public Radio's June Fund Drive enters you to win a trip for 2 to Portugal ! If you win, you and a guest will fly from Boston to Lisbon courtesy of Sagres Vacations and spend 5 nights at the Serpa Hotel courtesy of Visit Alentejo. Trip includes car rental so you can explore all that the beautiful Alentejo Region has to offer.
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 coast.
Serpa is a charming town located in the Alentejo region of Portugal. It offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. You can exploreSerpa's historic center and wander through the narrow streets lined with white-washed houses Dominating the town's skyline, Serpa Castle is a medieval fortress. Climb up the walls to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The Serpa Aqueduct is an massive structure that dates back to the 16th century. It was built to supply water to the town and is a remarkable example of hydraulic engineering.
Serpa is surrounded by beautiful countryside, offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a hike or bike ride through the rolling hills, explore the nearby São Domingos Mines, or enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Guadiana River.
The Alentejo is renowned for its wine production, and Serpa is no exception. Take the opportunity to visit local wineries in and around Serpa, where you can learn about the winemaking process and sample some delicious wines. Serpa is also known for its traditional cuisine. Indulge in local specialties such as migas (a bread-based dish), Serpa cheese (a famous regional cheese), and hearty bread Alentejo soups.
Serpa cheese is made from sheep's milk, specifically from Merino and Serra de Estrela breeds of sheep. The production of Serpa cheese follows strict traditional methods and is regulated by the Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP) status, which ensures its authenticity and quality.
The cheese has a semi-soft to semi-hard texture, depending on its maturity. When young, it is creamy and soft, becoming firmer and more compact as it ages. The rind of Serpa cheese is thin and slightly oily, with a pale yellow to orange color.
Serpa cheese has a distinct flavor that is often described as strong, aromatic, and slightly salty. It has earthy and nutty undertones, resulting from the sheep's milk used in its production. The cheese develops more complex flavors as it ages, with a sharper and tangier taste.
Serpa Olive Oil is typically made from local olive varieties such as Galega, Cordovil, and Verdeal. These olives are harvested and cold-pressed to extract the oil, preserving the natural flavors and nutrients. The resulting olive oil is characterized by its fruity and slightly bitter taste, with a golden-green color.