The opulent travel guide to Alentejo: where to dine, drink and stay
Between cork oaks and historical towns, Alentejo is one of the southernmost regions of Portugal, still little known to many tourists. Among paradisiacal beaches with crystal clear water, golden sand, and a natural charm that steals the heart of any visitor, the Alentejo promises to be an idyllic place for those who want a dream vacation to relax and enjoy the luxury of nature.
To the east, it borders Spain and to the west, it is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. It is an extensive region, essentially rural and sparsely populated, which occupies about one-third of the national territory. The beauty of the landscape and the quality of its archaeological, monumental, architectural, and ethnographic heritage, along with the excellence of its gastronomy and wines, provide exceptional conditions for a discovery that combines nature tourism and cultural tourism.
Today we bring an ideal guide for travelers who want a luxurious vacation full of variety: culture, history, sophisticated shopping and dining, and beautiful landscapes and cityscapes. We saved the best for last! At the end of the article, we present a tour that is based on some of the main wine experiences in the region, private visits to the monuments we will refer to, stays in luxury hotels in Alentejo, in general, a comprehensive private city tour and the most interesting excursions in the region.
Arraiolos is certainly one of the best-known and most visited towns in Alentejo. The proximity to Évora and the short detour that must be made if arriving from Lisbon helps. But those who come already know the peculiarities they will find.
The Tapetes de Arraiolos is famous, a mark in the handicraft in Portugal. This art started, probably, with the Moors in the 12th century due to the abundance of wool in the region and already important textile activity. Suffering obvious changes over time, the rugs are embroidered with wool of various colors on a jute or cotton canvas. It is on Alexandre Herculano Street that we find the largest number of stores displaying beautiful specimens. In the same street, we find the Misericórdia Church and its magnificent tiles, which only find similar beauty in the Loios Convent, just outside the town.
Dream beaches, unmissable restaurants, and hotels where we wouldn't mind living. Madonna vacations here, the princesses of Monaco, Christian Louboutin... And you, will you select this as your next vacation spot? The most hippie-chic area of the country, refuge of the rich and famous, has more and more businesses, from healthy breakfasts to decoration stores, Brazilian parties, or sunsets with hamburgers and cocktails. Still, it maintains a genuine side, with typical restaurants and unspoiled sands.
Serra da Arrábida
The Arrábida, or Arrábida Natural Park, is located near the city of Setúbal, just 45 km from the capital Lisbon, in southern Portugal (Even though it is not part of the Alentejo coast, it is a trip that we recommend, being located only a few kilometers away). The paradisiacal beaches of Arrábida are a work of art of nature and one of the great attractions and sights of the Natural Park. Discover below the unmissable beaches to visit in the region: Praia da Figueirinha, Praia dos Galapos, Praia dos Galapinhos, Praia do Portinho da Arrábida, Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo and Miradouro Portinho da Arrábida are some of the best beaches to visit.
Templo Romano | Templo de Diana
This is an exemplar of Roman religious architecture, from the 1st century. It is part of the historic center of the city of Évora, which has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Roman temple is classified as a National Monument by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage. It is one of the city's most famous landmarks and one of the most significant symbols of the Roman presence in Portuguese territory.
Capela dos Ossos
When we talk about Évora, the Capela dos Ossos comes to many people's minds. Either because it is scary or simply because it is a monument like any other in the city. All of them are spectacular, were it not for the fact that Évora is a World Heritage Site, but some are even more fascinating than others!
Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça
Splendid and grandiose construction of the Elva's Square located on a great elevation to the north. A remarkable example of eighteenth-century military architecture and considered by many historians as one of the most powerful fortresses bastions in the world, the Fort of Graça or Lippe is still original for its design and deployment. This elevation has always been very important: in the fifteenth century was located here the small chapel of Santa Maria da Graça, whose rebuilding at the time was due to the great-grandmother of Vasco da Gama; in the War of Restoration, in 1658, the Spanish built here a stronghold to attack the city of Elvas.
Ride a horse on the beach in Comporta
The experience is unforgettable, but if we lack the memory we can always count on Madonna's Instagram. The singer is one of the most famous clients of Cavalos na Areia, José Ribeira's company in Torre, which makes the best horseback rides in the country. After crossing the rice paddies, in itself already an incredible moment, the horses climb the dunes until they reach the deserted beach, and with a bonus: in the distance, you can see dolphins, which seem to have been hired for the occasion.
Carrasqueira Palafitic Pier
The carrasqueira palafitic pier is the most traditional location to be discovered in Comporta. A masterpiece of popular architecture, the Carrasqueira stilt pier, the only one in Europe, is built in irregular wooden stilts, apparently fragile from the 1950s and 1960s, which serve as a pier for the fishing boats that dock there.
Herdade do Esporão
Located in the heart of the Alentejo, Herdade do Esporão is open to visitors. visit the vineyards, the vegetable gardens, and the Ampelographic Field, and taste the wine, olive oil, and beer. Travel back in time and learn about the History of the Defense of Esporão. Or take a break to taste regional products, unveil the secrets of the wine production in a visit to the cellars and test your senses with a tasting.
José de Sousa Winery
In the heart of Reguengos de Monsaraz, you can visit a one-of-a-kind winery where, in addition to the wines José de Sousa, José de Sousa Mayor, and J, Montado is also produced.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN IN ALENTEJO?
M'ar de Ar Aqueduto
M'AR De AR Aqueduto is a 5 star hotel in the city of Évora. Located in the historic center and the heart of the area classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, it is the result of an adaptation of the old Sepúlveda Palace, a 15th-century building that still preserves a magnificent chapel, vaulted ceilings, and three Manueline windows on the main façade.
L'AND Vineyards, situated in the heart of the Alentejo has a unique landscape. More than a hotel, it promises to be an exclusive, luxurious, and curated retreat, combining modern architecture with nature in an environment of luxury and tranquility.
Between the luxurious and sober interiors by Márcio Kogan, with architecture by Promontório and artwork by Michael Biberstein, this resort promises to be an indescribable journey.
Convento do Espinheiro
Feel the comfort of a spacious living room, whose sofas invite you to sit and contemplate the castle towering on the Monsaraz hills. Open to the endless countryside, these two-bedroom houses are privileged places for socializing and lots of conversation.
São Lourenço do Barrocal
This year, it was chosen by the readers of the acclaimed Condé Nast traveler as the best accommodation in Portugal and Spain. Located on an old Alentejo hillside, São Lourenço do Barrocal has seen the cadence of the rural life it has always witnessed rejuvenated in an unpretentious luxury hotel, amid vineyards, holm oaks, and centuries-old olive trees.
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova
Sustainability, eco-friendly, sustainable luxury are some of the main trends in tourism at the moment. Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, located in the heart of Alentejo, in the city of Beja, celebrates two decades of work in tourism and is increasingly aware of sustainable options.
With six Accommodations, the hotel is the synonym of diversity, blending selected pieces of exclusive and curated interior design (a chandelier designed for Moooi by the famous product designer Marcel Wanders) with a century-old grand piano. And has Michelin star Joachim Koerper as the consultant chef, what more can we ask for?
QUINTA DA COMPORTA
Unique in culture and stories, Comporta inspires us to reconnect with nature and its origins. Due to its calm, peaceful, paradisiacal, and natural characteristics, this Alentejo village is the best option for tourists willing and thirsty to travel. A new experience that is above all authentic and inspired by what Portugal has to offer. Located in the Comporta nature reserve, this project, built and designed by the renowned Portuguese architect Miguel Câncio Martins, is what you need to recharge your batteries.
Here you can enjoy warm sunny days amidst nature, the ideal place to reconnect and enjoy the best that Portugal has to offer. Deserted beaches, sun and sea, montados with cork oaks, and huge and exuberant rice fields, are some of the characteristics that you cannot miss.
The incredible hotel consists of 22 villas and 23 rooms. Each villa has its private pool, fireplace, and large outdoor areas, providing you with the greatest privacy possible. In addition to the room options, the hotel also has 4 restaurants and its new project: Sublime Comporta Beach Club located on Praia do Carvalhal.
Alma da Comporta
Alma da Comporta is the perfect tool for outdoor inspiration! The purpose of this project is to let ourselves loose and in its originality and peace, to experience the simple pleasures and unique experiences that this region offers us.
WHERE TO EAT WHEN IN ALENTEJO?
The Degust'ar restaurant is a restaurant that aims to bring the best of Alentejo cuisine, which is rich in natural and seasonal products. With several restaurants of the group, including in the capital, the Degust'ar is refined, intimate, and comfortable. This restaurant also makes a difference in its location: on the ground floor of the Palácio dos Sepúlveda building with vaulted ceilings, horseshoe arches, and some occasional frescoes, which give it an exceptional character.
Also with traditional Alentejo flavors, this restaurant, located in Convento do Espinheiro as the name implies, enshrines everything superior to nature. It is sublime, wonderful, and intended for the execution of gastronomic dishes with perfection and authenticity.
Herdade do Esporão
With uncomplicated dishes to share. Made with seasonal products, from local and national producers, closely following the cycle of each one.
Sublime Comporta Beach Club
The refined and modern ambiance of the Sublime Comporta was transported to the beach. Ten minutes from the hotel, on Carvalhal beach, the brand has opened a beach club that will be open all summer until October. It is a bar, restaurant and also has a concession with sun loungers and shades. The wine list, in addition to national proposals, includes several international suggestions. They come from France, Italy, and New Zealand. At the bar, some cocktails go very well with the terrace facing the sea.
About the 6 Days Alentejo Luxury Tour
This luxury tour will make you fall in love with the Alentejo, and the little simple things that this region so delightfully presents to its visitors. From elegant upscale wine hotels that are true relaxation retreats full of charisma and charm, to a historic convent from the XV century that turned into a glamorous and lavishing hotel, you will certainly be dazzled by the combination of magnificence and authenticity that the Alentejo offers.
Experience some of the best Portuguese Haute cuisines by renowned Chefs and their signature dishes, with carefully selected wine pairing by the true connoisseurs, stroll around the unique city of Évora and explore the traditional little villages full of Portuguese traditions such as Arraiolos and their renowned rugs, filled with history embroidered by hand over generations and simply admire the beauty of the characteristic vast oak forests, cork and olive trees, and lush green vineyards. This is the ultimate travel experience for food, wine, and history lovers. The Alentejo is “the new region to go to in Portugal” by Forbes and a true hidden jewel of Portugal.
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