Alentejo Holidays: an Overview

The Alentejo region is all about 'cork, pork and walk', home as it is to beautiful cork oak forests and rural countryside that could tempt even the most committed urbanite to explore by foot and elegant wine estates. 'Pata negra', Portugal's answer to parma ham (and better, in our humble opinion), is also plentiful in the region thanks to the acorn-fed black pigs. With a beautiful beachfronted coastline and a crop of recent boutique spa hotel openings, we've declared this unexplored location as Portugal's next big thing for luxury holidayers.

The Alentejo has a wonderful climate, making it an ideal holiday destination to visit all year round. The summer months can be a little hot for some, but for those who can handle it and can find a spot by a swimming pool, it can be very manageable. In the spring the Alentejo blossoms and the weather is warm and thoroughly conducive to a short break away from still wintery Britain. This is also a great time to see the harvesting of local vineyards. The autumn and winter months are a little cooler but are great for wining and dining and curling up by an open fire.

But the region isn't all about undulating plains, gentle hills and forests; there's also a killer coastline of unspoilt beaches to explore while on holiday in the Alentejo. Among the miles of deserted beaches is the hip town of Comporta, Portugal's best kept secret and a haven for Lisbon's beautiful people. There are big plans for Comporta (including, rumour has it, an Aman) but the jury is out as to whether too much development might spoil an area that just now gets the balance between chic and under the radar just right.

It is worth taking a day or two to explore the Alentejo's UNESCO World Heritage town of Evora. It is architecturally rich, with Roman temples, cathedrals and churches. There are also several authentic cafes and restaurants to fuel a day of sightseeing.

With the Alentejo only being a short distance from Lisbon or the Algarve, a holiday here can be combined with another of our Portuguese favourites.

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Alentejo vineyard
If You Do Three Things
Gastronomy in the Alentejo

The Alentejo is a region renowned for its fantastic food and wine, so it would be a crime not to make the most of this. Enjoy a guided tour of Malhadinha Nova's 450-acre wine estate, before sampling the wine and some of the hotel's home grown produce. Or enjoy a similar experience at Sao Lourenco do Barrocal, where almost all food served is grown and reared on the farm.

Evora, Portugal
If You Do Three Things
Explore Évora and Arraiolos

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Évora is one of the best remaining examples of the 'golden age' of Portugal, after Lisbon was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Tour this walled city, learning about Portuguese heritage, before moving onto the nearby village of Arraiolos, which dates back to the second century BC. The village is famous internationally for its carpets produced by local craftsmen and women.

Archaeology in the Alentejo
If You Do Three Things
Discover the Region’s Archaeological Heritage

Discover the Alentejo's rich historical tapestry (which includes pre-historic monuments) on a guided visit with a local archaeologist, who will take you through the various ancient settlements that have been excavated and restored here, such as a Roman dam and villa, and the largest menhir (standing stone) in the region. Also hear stories of how the centuries-old production of wine and olive oil came to this region.

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The Alentejo
The Alentejo
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Map of The Alentejo

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A Note on Price

All of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like when in the year you will be travelling, how far in advance you book, the class of flights included and the level of accommodation you choose. The guide prices shown across this website are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip.

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