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Fortified hilltop villages loom over ancient cork oaks, medieval pathways wind through chestnut forests, sandy trails look down over hidden beaches and clear blue ocean. By using guided transfers, this trip unlocks the startling variety of Alentejo in a way which is unique to Pura Aventura.
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Arrive in Lisbon today, where you are met for a private two-hour road transfer that will take you east to the quietness of the Alentejo's 'montado' countryside. On arrival our local representative will give you a welcome briefing to provide you with maps. This afternoon you can take a stroll around the village or along the rural paths around Beirá before dinner in the village's only restaurant.
Start walking today along the rolling terrain of the Alentejo, discovering its rich montado forest of cork and evergreen oaks. You could stop for lunch or buy yourself a picnic in the small town of Santo Antonio das Areias, after which you will walk along ancient walled paths crossing the Sever River into the picturesque village of Galegos, right on the border with Spain. This area is known for its smuggling history, especially in the years of the Spanish Civil war.
The views of Marvao guide your way in this great walk to a unique town. Perched on a ridge overlooking the Tejo river valley, Marvao has been a site of strategic importance from the earliest times, something you can fully understand when you climb up to the castle to discover the vast views around you. Take time to visit the local museum and explore the narrow streets before dinner at your Pousada overlooking Spain.
Today, drop down through the chestnut tree forest along an ancient medieval road to reach the hilltop village of Castelo de Vide, an untouched gem with layers of history. Stroll around the Jewish quarter and up to the castle. In the afternoon you could do the short steep climb to the Nossa Senhora da Penha chapel to enjoy wide views over Castelo and the Alentejo plains to the North.
Take a break from walking today for the 90-minute drive to Evora, where your private guide unlocks some of the fascinating history of Alentejo's capital. Enjoy a guided tour of the city – most famous for its striking Roman temple - and the surrounding Iron Age monuments. This is also the perfect place to learn about the importance of cork as a crop in this part of the world, home to 60% of the world's cork production.
Today you’ll be driven to the coast to start walking once more, enjoying wonderful views over the Costa Vicentina. You’re walking along the ‘Fishermen’s Trail’, a strikingly beautiful cliff-top path passing deserted beaches and the Cabo Sardão Lighthouse, where you can see the only sea cliff stork nests in the world. At the wild Tonel Beach, you’ll turn inland to arrive at your beautiful accommodation.
Start today's walk with one of the most outstanding views in the entire territory: Odeceixe beach seen from the majestic Ponta em Branco. In fact, today’s route passes any number of beautiful beaches: the last conveniently being the best for a refreshing swim. Towards the end, enjoy a drink in the fishing village of Zambujeira do Mar before covering the last 5km along the coast to arrive back at the Tonel beach and onwards to your hotel.
It's around two and a half hours' drive with your private driver up to Lisbon this morning, so set off with your private driver in time to get to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, spend a couple of days discovering the buzzing city's mix of great restaurants, historic shops and beautiful buildings.
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From the Spanish border to the rugged coastline of the Costa Vicentina, this exclusive self-guided inn to inn trip takes you walking through Mediterrranean forest and along ancient paths in the beautiful, diverse Portuguese province of Alentejo near the Spanish border before moving to the beautiful coast of southern Portugal. Walk through the peaceful Mediterranean forests of inland Alentejo with its traditional lifestyles, the true essence of rural Portugal and its rich cultural heritage. Along the coast you can cool off with a swim in a sandy bay and enjoy the freshest fish after a day of walking along the rocky Atlantic coast. The landscape on this Inn to Inn journey is nothing if not varied.
Although you'll be walking every day, you should also have plenty of time to relax into the slower pace of life in Alentejo.
Distances on your walking days average around the 15km mark. Elevation gains/losses are not dramatic by and large. In some cases, particularly at the coast, these can be lengthened or shortened, and your guide can explain these options at your welcome briefing.
As with all of our inn to inn walking holidays, you don't have to worry about your luggage, this is taken ahead for you each day to your next inn, leaving you to walk with a day pack.
In keeping with the variety of places you see on this trip, your accommodation is equally mixed, comprising welcoming and comfortable guesthouses, a pousada (comparable to the Paradores of Spain) and a couple of more traditionally 'premium' hotels towards the end, one of which has a swimming pool.
For details, please see the summary section of our detailed pdf itinerary.
One advantage of the slow pace of an inn to inn walk is that it allows you to enjoy not only the nature around you, but also gain a deeper insight into the local life of the area.
Life in the contrasting inland and coastal regions through which you'll walk is very different in many ways, and has changed little over the years.
In Evora - the capital of Alentejo - the layers of history are self evident, from the Roman temple to the imposing cathedral, and the eerie Chapel of Bones, to name a few key points.
This exclusive itinerary has been designed so that you have guided transfers between the coast and inland, so have that resource to widen your understanding of local life and history.
If you would like a copy of a detailed itinerary for this trip, please get in touch and we can email it over to you.
The holiday price includes accommodation in comfortable hotels and guesthouses. All breakfasts, 4 dinners and 3 lunches. Private transfers between Lisbon, inland and the coast are included, as are maps, walking notes, pre-loaded GPS and local support. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.
Weather-wise, we advise against doing this trip in July/August due to soaring summer temperatures, and it's probably worth tending away from late June and early September if you find it uncomfortable to walk in the heat.
International flights to Lisbon are quoted separately for this holiday.
Price per person based on two travelling. Departs on a date to suit you from March to June and September to November. However, please note the holiday cannot start on a Monday.
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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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