Évora & Portalegre: Golden Alentejo Walking Holidays
Small Group Walking
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Grade: Moderate (4/8)
Alentejo is a scarcely 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. This is a land of unimaginable heritage.
This tour will take you 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. You will walk alongside vast wheat fields and vineyards where intense green and golden colors are the main characteristics of the plains in Alentejo, where, in springtime beautiful fields with millions of wildflowers delight the eyes.
Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax
The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
Dedicated driver and tour leader to make sure everything runs smoothly
One of the most typical sights in this region is a vast field with some cork trees here and there and the herds (sometimes sheep, sometimes pigs or cows) usually enjoying the shade of the trees. The villages with their whitewashed one-floor houses are a picturesque landscape in Alentejo.
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 quite tasty 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 characterized by moderate physical and technical difficulty and it takes us to the most ancient vestiges of our history and heritage.
We travel to the walled city of Évora, at the heart of the Alentejo region.
Évora, one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns
One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is a wonderful walled town with many Roman vestiges, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Here, there is a fascinating mix of architecture and history to enjoy and we will have time to explore the town and relax in the many cafés and attractive restaurants serving local Alentejan cuisine. We also explore the lovely surrounding countryside, local villages, and ancient monuments set in beautiful landscapes.
Cork oak trees and Olive trees, Dolmens and Menhirs more than 10.000 years old.
A beautiful archway in lustrous Castelo de Vide
Then we move on to Portalegre the gateway to the eastern Alentejo, an absolutely gorgeous region of genuine beauty, a real bucolic life, great landscapes, proud people, and full of the Portuguese identity.
Visiting Portalegre is not so much about visiting one interesting town, but about visiting a whole cluster of northern Alentejan towns, each with their own tale to tell, and with Portalegre at their center. The region contains a wealth of historical monuments and anecdotes, awe-inspiring views from the fortified hilltop towns, and a good smattering of pre-historic treasures to boot.
While in Portalegre we will have the opportunity to visit the Serra de s Mamede mountain range and Natural Park.
Today we dedicate the day, to this fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site town. We’ll take time to relax and meander through the town’s narrow streets and monuments. In the afternoon, there will be free time to explore.
In the alternative, there will be an optional walk centered on the beautiful valley of the Rio Valverde.
The Ribeira de Valverde passes through the villages of Valverde and Guadalupe winding its way amongst cork oaks to the beautiful lake at Nossa Senhora da Tourega.
Our walk will take in the classic Alentejo scenery along with the pre-historic monuments dotting the area.
Aqueduto da Água de Prata (the Evora aqueduct).
Day 4 – Estremoz & Portalegre
This morning there will be time to explore the local area or have a relaxed time in the hotel’s swimming pool.
We transfer to Portalegre with a visit to the famous marble city of Estremoz, on the way.
Estremoz is surrounded by spectacular winding walls whose upper city still lies behind 13th-century battlements.
Estremoz, Estremoz is made up of upper and lower towns. The newer, Lower Town is surrounded by a 17th-century wall and is centered on the huge Rossio Marquês de Pombal square, simply referred to as “Rossio” by the locals.
Day 5 – Marvão walk
Marvão is a small medieval town on the top of the hill, surrounded by walls and with a majestic castle that defended the population from the Spanish people many times. There you can admire a spectacular view and then ride walk along a medieval narrow road with ancient stone walls.
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 and its Neolithic and Roman remains, like the Roman road, the ruins, the Roman Bridge, and the Village of Ammaia.
From the village of Monte Carvalho, the path takes leads eastwards to meet the Ribeira (stream) which you ascend through a small gorge to the plateau with magnificent views beyond.
We’ll walk along lanes through farmland and descend through cork oak woodland, beautiful meadows, and stunning countryside back to the village.
Marvao, The charming medieval village of Marvão stands out among the other settlements in this area of the Alentejo.
Day 7 – Carreiras da Senhora da Penha walk & Castelo de Vide
Today we climb to Senhora da Penha, a little chapel on the top of a hill where there is an amazing view over Castelo de Vide, another medieval town, and its rows of whitewashed houses. We will walk along narrow lanes on an old Roman road, bordered by cork trees or stone walls, and descend to Castelo de Vide, a beautiful town in the Alentejo located in the cool mountains of the Natural Park of São Mamede, among dense olive groves and chestnut trees.
Castelo de Vide is another well-kept border town complete with impressive ramparts, a ruined castle, panoramic views, and natural spring waters, which have been revered as curative for centuries.
Evora, Guadalupe, The Almendres Cromlech complex, located near Guadalupe, Evora dates back to 4000-5000 years BC.
Day 8 – Departure
Transfer to airport
7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax
3 nights in Évora
4 nights in Portalegre
Shared ensuite room with a traveling companion of the same sex
Single supplement available with a surcharge
Extra nights available on request
7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
7 Dinners with drinks included
Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first 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
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
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)
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