Alentejo: 5 Places to visit
Alentejo is the largest region of Portugal and surprises for its incredible beauty, colors, and unique atmosphere. An amazing coastline with wonderful beaches, which you feel like discovering, diving into the sea, or simply relaxing and enjoying the magnificent view. Alentejo is a place of stories, and traditions rooted in the culture of a people proud of their land and their origins.
There are many places to discover in this beautiful region, but we leave you here with a suggestion of 4 places that you cannot miss on your visit to this destination. Relax and let yourself fall in love with this region.
Castelo de Vide
The castle, surrounded by the town’s white houses, dominates the surrounding landscape and is undoubtedly the first of many surprises encountered by the visitor.
This beautiful village delights everyone who visits it. The view from the walls of the castle is impressive, the Alentejo in all its splendor, with its small villages lost in the midst of the open countryside disappears from sight.
Castelo de Vide has always been known for its rich natural resources, particularly its hot springs, whose waters are said to have great healing properties. Several fountains can be found here, but just one word of warning, however. If you believe in popular sayings, it is believed that anybody drinking water from the Fonte da Mealhada will one day return to Castelo de Vide to get married….
Just a few kilometers from Spain, the village of Marvão is one of the most beautiful fortified villages in Portugal. Its history is full of important battles, conquests, and reconquests. It was conquered from the Moors by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, and was then fought over by our Spanish neighbors for centuries.
Within its wall, we find narrow streets lined with the beautiful popular houses that are typical of the Alentejo with traces of Gothic influence, Manueline windows, and a combination of architectural styles that guarantee a unique atmosphere in this place.
This medieval village, located on top of a hill, is one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal. And so close to the Alqueva, the largest artificial lake in Europe. Walking through the streets of Monsaraz is like going back in time.
The most immediate visual impression of the town is that of the whitewash and schist of its houses and buildings, which inspire peace and tranquility.
A beautiful vision on the vast horizon of the huge Alentejo plain. Its historic center with a vast outer wall represents a valuable cultural legacy that UNESCO classified as World Heritage. This charming and beautiful small city has known many lives: It was Roman until the 5th century, being conquered by the Visigoths, by the Moors for four centuries, and belongs to the Portuguese since 116.
Walk at your own pace, enjoying the unique light of this city and discovering the incredible cultural heritage of this place, with two millennia of history.
The Vicentine Coast
You cannot visit the Alentejo without exploring the beautiful Vicentine Coast.
The South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park is the finest preserved stretch of the European coastline, covering over 100 km, from Porto Covo in the Alentejo to Burgau in the Algarve. The landscape is marked by steep cliffs, represented in the Park’s logo, that have been given various forms and coloring by centuries of erosion. The beaches, are highly popular amongst surfers and are the finest in the country.
But it is the perfect place for pedestrian walks, and you can choose one of the three options: Caminho Histórico (Historical Path), Trilho dos Pescadores (Fishermen´s Trail), and several other Circular Trails.
The Caminho Histórico starts in Santiago do Cacém and goes to the Algarve, and you can discover beautiful small towns and villages with historical richness and traditional heritage.
For sea lovers, the best option is the Trilho dos Pescadores, which extends by the sea through trails that give access to beaches and fisheries over a total of 111 km between Porto Covo and Odeceixe. Always in contact with the sea winds, the coastal landscape roughness, and wild and relentless nature.
The Circular Trails (start and end in the same place), are the best option for those who want to enjoy the Vicentine Coast, but without much effort.
Discover the Alentejo at a slow pace. Discover its towns and villages, full of the soul of this people, and feel the scent of the land of this unique place. And be sure to explore the beautiful coastline, with its little-explored beaches and incredible sunsets. A memorable journey.