The Alentejo is one of the best preserved landscapes and one of the least populated regions of southern Europe. Its vast open country is home both to tradition and contemporary culture, renewing itself as a region that is global but not globalised. The sense of beauty is found almost everywhere, from whitewashed villages and craggy outcrops to undulating plains peppered with cork oak and olive trees. Fairly close to Lisbon, it occupies almost one-third of Portugal. Yet, somehow, it is still a confined region, inhabited by friendly people and a quiet charm.
|Area||31.603 square kilometres|
|Population||759.000 — 49% men / 51% women|
|Coastline perimeter||182 kilometres|
|Alqueva lake||250 square kilometres|
|Vineyards||220 square kilometres|
|Wine production||1.342.306 hectolitres|
|Olive groves||1.500 square kilometres|
Shaped by more than twenty centuries of history, this world heritage city began a golden age when the Portuguese kings made convents and royal palaces sprung up among medieval streets and houses.Évora
One of the oldest settlements in southern Portugal, Monsaraz retains the marks of hundreds of years of raging battles, conquerors and revenge, all crammed up in its fortified hilltop castle. Climb up and awe at the view.monsaraz
Enjoy your holiday in Alentejo and relax in the shores of the biggest artificial lake in Europe, where water sports and boat rides are available all-year-round. For those loving silence and universe's mysteries, there's an immense clear sky by night to watch the stars.Alqueva Lake
As Portugal's largest pottery centre, São Pedro do Corval has been the home to families of master potters who dedicate their life to the craft. Adobe bricks and terracotta objects are handmade, each day, in the workshops that border the main street and are a living proof of the region booming crafts.
Each village in the Alentejo has its own distinct pattern for the particularly handsome traditional blankets and pillows hand-loomed in wool. The heritage and contemporary designs of Reguengos de Monsaraz are especially lovely, and are perfect for cosying up with on cool nights.
The bread of the Alentejo is justly famous, as befits an area that, thanks to its hot summers and vast open spaces, has for centuries been known as the breadbasket of Portugal. Most villages have their own bakery, such as Telheiro, where bread continues to be baked every morning in a wood-burning oven.