7 reasons to visit Portugal's Alentejo with Pura Aventura
From greeting the cork oak harvesters of the Montado, to peering at Évora's eery chapel of bones and watching the world's only coastal nesting storks on the Atlantic, Alentejo's experiences reflect the full diversity you'd wish for on a trip which swings you across Portugal, east to west, forested hills to untamed coast.
Here are seven, of many, reasons why we'd love to share this beautifully unspoilt swathe of southern Portugal with you.
#1. A journey across Portugal, by road or on foot
"From Lisbon down, our Alentejo journeys carry you 300 kilometres south-west, from the forested mountains next to the Spanish border all the way out the fishermen trails of a wild coastline, where the Atlantic first touches down on mainland European shores."
#2. Magic of the Montado
"The green stands of cork and Mediterranean holm oaks turn the flowing plains of the Alentejo into a romantic and enchanting place of sun and shadows. The trees are scattered at spaced intervals, providing shade and food for the prized black pigs of the area, who hungrily snaffle up the acorns."
Read more: #2. Magic of the Montado
#3. Évora’s sage advice
"This little chapel is lined with bones and skulls of about 5,000 souls, and is somehow quite peaceful and moving, if (unsurprisingly) a little sombre, being dedicated to the futility of life and such. But there’s something rather uplifting, or better yet let’s call it inspiring, about a little poem on display which invites visitors to stop rushing and running around, calm down, slow your pace and enjoy life while you can."
Read more: #3. Évora’s sage advice
#4. Medieval Marvão
"Climbing up the medieval cobbled pathway, crossing into Dom Dinis’ 13th century castle and sweeping your eyes across the views of the Tejo river valley, you can quite understand what might have moved Portuguese Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago to exclaim that "from Marvão, you can see the whole earth"."
Read more: #4. Medieval Marvão
#5. Fishermen trails & fish on your plate
"While there’s no shortage of options for relaxing, mooching and pottering here, it’ll probably come as no surprise that our favourite way of doing just that is to pull on our boots and go for a walk along the coastal paths. Helpfully in that regard, a network of Fishermen Trails - the Rota Vicentina - snakes its way along the coast."
Read more: #5. Fishermen trails & fish on your plate
#6. Special places to stay
"We know that for every backroad village, cork oak forest or hilltop castle, there’s those quiet moments when you sit yourself down in front of a big roaring fire when it’s chilly outside, by the pool when the sun is out, a glass of something local in hand, a home-cooked dinner on the way and a friendly host to share your day’s travels with. Nowhere to go, nothing to be done."
Read more: #6. Special places to stay
#7. Lisbon like a local
"Whether you’re walking or driving, all roads eventually lead to Lisbon to head for home. But spare us a couple of days here and we’ll share this wonderfully textured city in our own way. That means pairing you up with someone like Luis, our local on the ground, for a very local meander through the backstreets."
Read more: #7. Lisbon like a local