Aspects of The Alentejo

Small Group Walking

Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights

The Alentejo (literally “land beyond the Tagus”) is a warm, dry, mostly gentle region north of the Algarve that has been ignored by all but a few.

Alentejo is a sparsely populated region with open horizons, where the rhythm of life follows the idle sound of regional songs.

It is perfect for walking and experiencing an unforgettable adventure: a land of tradition and heritage.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

The Alentejo (literally “land beyond the Tagus”) is a warm, dry, mostly gentle region north of the Algarve that has been ignored by all but a few.

Alentejo is a sparsely populated region with open horizons, where the rhythm of life follows the idle sound of regional songs.

It is perfect for walking and experiencing an unforgettable adventure: a land of tradition and heritage.

This tour will take us along the remarkable traces of ancient cultures: dolmens and cromlechs. Roman and Arab vestiges mingling with the most recent signs of Christianity of which the numerous medieval castles are but one example.

We will walk alongside vast wheat-fields and vineyards where intense green and golden colours characterise the plains and where, in the spring time, the fields are carpeted with millions of wild flowers to delight the eyes.

We see vast fields dotted with cork or olive trees with herds of grazing animals, cows, sheep or sometimes pigs usually enjoying the shade of the trees.

The villages with their whitewashed houses dazzle the eyes.

The people here are very proud of their heritage and they preserve the ancient buildings and also the ancient practices. This is a region that has a very rich handicraft tradition – pottery, embroideries, hand-painted furniture, wrought- iron works, etc.

The local gastronomy is varied and delicious and perfectly matches the famous local wines.

This is a tour where the quietness and silence of the endless landscapes invite us to share nature in a rural environment and socialize with the people that live and work there.

This is a spectacular tour showing us three very different facets of this remarkable region and it takes us to the most ancient vestiges of our history and heritage.

We start our discovery in Alcácer do Sal. Alcácer combines a beautiful setting on the margins of the Rio Sado with striking scenery and a wealth of historic remains.

The town’s name comes from the Moorish al qasr meaning ‘the castle’, and the “sal” refers to the age-old production of salt in this area.

Another industry, typical of the coastal Alentejo region of Portugal, is the production of the “white gold of Alcácer”, pine nuts, as evidenced by the vast plantations of stone pines.

Moving inland we travel to the heart of the Alentejo, to the picturesque walled city of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here we find an intriguing mix of architecture from various eras dating back to before Roman times and charming streets full of many cafés and attractive restaurants serving local Alentejan cuisine.

In the surrounding countryside wild spring flowers are a great accompaniment to our excellent walks.

Our final centre is in Portalegre, the gateway to the eastern Alentejo.

An absolutely glorious region of genuine beauty, real bucolic life, great landscapes and people very proud of their heritage.

Sited at the foot of the São Mamede mountain range and Natural Park, the region contains a wealth of historical monuments and awe-inspiring views.

Here we will find fantastic food and wines, ancient traditions, beautiful handicrafts as well as superb walking amongst striking scenery.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Lisbon

Arrival in Lisbon.
Transfer to Alcácer do Sal.
Overnight in Alcácer do Sal.

 

Day 2 – Senhor dos Mártires Walk

Today we do a circular walk taking in the town and the surrounding countryside covered with the sweet pines that are the “white gold” of Alcácer, the verdant rice paddies & the abundant birdlife on the banks of the Sado river.
Overnight in Alcácer do Sal.

 

Day 3 – Santa Catarina Walk

A gentle and varied walk up the valley of Santa Catarina. A mix tracks and paths, past rice paddies and fields and through the cork oak woodlands for which the area is so famous.
We walk through the typical village of Santa Catarina on our way to the impressive dam of Pego do Altar, built to enable the irrigation of the rice crops.
Overnight in Alcácer do Sal.

 

Day 4 – Carrasqueira Walk and Transfer to Évora

Our morning walk to Carrasqueira before transferring to Évora takes us to the Porto Palafítico (palaphytic – elevated on stilts) da Carrasqueira, a curious fishing port with a labyrinthine system of piers constructed on props sunk into the mud. A stunning walk with pleasant views over the estuary of the Rio Sado.
Transfer to Évora. Orientation walk around the city. Free time.
Overnight in Évora.

 

Day 5 – Valverde to Nossa Senhora da Tourega

The Ribeira de Valverde passes through the village of Valverde, a typical Alentejo village.
We walk alongside the river through shady woodland winding our way amongst cork oaks to the beautiful lake at Nossa Senhora da Tourega where we will be able to visit the ruins of an ancient Roman villa and bath complex.
Overnight in Évora.

 

Day 6 – Nossa Senhora de Machede Walk

We will walk through open, rolling Alentejo countryside to the very ancient and typical Alentejo village of Nossa Senhora de Machede enjoying along the way the beautiful wooded areas bordering the Rio Degebe.
Overnight in Évora.

 

Day 7 – Estremoz and Portalegre

Free morning and early lunch in Évora then travel to visit Estremoz on our way to Portalegre, our third centre. Orientation walk in Portalegre.
Overnight in Portalegre.

 

Day 8 – Ribeira de Nisa Walk

From the village of Monte Carvalho the path leads us eastwards to meet the Ribeira (stream) which we follow through a small gorge on our way to the plateau with magnificent views beyond. Along lanes, through farmland, we descend through cork oak woodland, beautiful meadows and stunning countryside back to the village.
Overnight in Portalegre.

 

Day 9 – Carreiras to Senhora da Penha and to Castelo de Vide

Walk from the village of Carreiras to Senhora da Penha on an old roman road.
We climb to Senhora da Penha, a little chapel on the top of a hill, for amazing views over Castelo de Vide with its castle and its rows of whitewashed houses.
We then walk along narrow lanes, bordered by cork trees or dry stone walls and descend to Castelo de Vide, another beautiful medieval town, nestled in the cool mountains of the Natural Park of São Mamede, among dense olive groves and chestnut trees.
It is a charming border town complete with impressive ramparts, ruined castle, panoramic views and natural spring waters.
Overnight in Portalegre.

 

Day 10 – Marvão Walk & visit

Perched on a granite crag of the São Mamede Mountains, it was recently considered one of the “1000 Places to see before you Die”, by the New York Times. It stands out for its imposing Castle, the stunning views and the nearby Neolithic and Roman remains, like the Roman road, the Roman Bridge and the ruins of Ammaia.
Marvão is a small medieval town on the top of the hill, surrounded by walls and with a majestic castle that has defended the population from the Spanish armies throughout history. We can admire the spectacular views all around and into Spain and then walk along a medieval narrow road with ancient stone walls.
Overnight in Portalegre.

 

Day 11 – Departure

After breakfast transfer to airport.

What's included

Accommodation

  • 10 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

3 nights in Alcácer do Sal
3 nights in Évora
4 nights in Portalegre

  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 10 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 10 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.