HIDDEN GEMS OF ALENTEJO

Regions

East, Southwest

Starting Point

Lisbon

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

7 - 10 days

Minimum Age*

Relax and explore

Activity Level **

2/5

If you are looking for a break in unspoiled scenery where you can experience rich authentic heritage and enjoy excellent local gastronomy and produce, this tour to Portugal's eastern Alentejo region is made for you. Spend a couple of relaxed days outside the historic town of Evora exploring local traditions, culture and cuisine while enjoying the authentic countryside. Admire the dark skies around the Alqueva Dam on a night star gazing canoeing adventure before unwinding at a beautiful rural Alentejo wine quinta, where you will experience exclusive hospitality, gastronomy and wine. To finish off a perfect week in Portugal, you will then travel to the wonderful Costa Vincentina and spend a few days hiking along one of Europe's most dramatic and unspoiled coastline.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ ancient history, culture and UNESCO heritage in the beautiful town of Evora
✓ stay and relax at a beautiful rural farm and learn about traditions, gastronomy and local culture
✓ night canoeing adventure under the star-filled dark sky of the Alqueva dam
✓ unwind at an exclusive wine quinta while enjoying local cuisine and learning about Alentejo wines
✓ hiking tours in unspoiled nature parks and along the historic Rota Vincentina

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TOUR OVERVIEW

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Day 1 - arrival - overnight Evora area
Day 2 - Alentejo heritage and traditions discovery tour - traditional cooking class - overnight Evora area (110km)
Day 3 - visit to a winery and tasting - visit to Monsaraz - dark sky canoeing - overnight Alqueva area (110km)
Day 4 - hiking along the Alqueva reservoir - tour and tasting menu at a rural wine quinta - overnight Alentejo countryside quinta (100km)
Day 5 - traditional cooking workshop - wine tasting - free time at the quinta - overnight Alentejo countryside quinta
Day 6 - Free morning - hiking along the Costa Vincentina - overnight Vila Nova de Milfontes (100km)
Day 7 - hiking and cycling along the Rota Vincentina, overnight Vila Nova de Milfontes
Day 8 - hiking and cycling along the Rota Vincentina, overnight Vila Nova de Milfontes
Day 9 - departure

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DETAILED ITINERARY

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DAY 1 - WELCOME TO EVORA
Transfer to Evora in the heart of Portugal's Alentejo region. The picturesque historic town is UNESCO listed and counts the highest number of National Monuments in Portugal. You will have the rest of the day free to explore the old cobbled streets and to relax in the many small cafes, bars and restaurants.
Overnight around Evora.

DAY 2 - FLAVOURS AND HERITAGE OF ALENTEJO
You will explore the area around Evora and learn about the heritage and some of the interesting traditions, which still form an integral part of everyday life in this region of Portugal. Visit a cork transformation center, a prickly pear farm and an old olive oil mill before retreating to the kitchen of a rural farmhouse for a traditional cooking class on delicious and authentic Alentejo cuisine.
Overnight around Evora.

DAY 3 - EVORA WINE - MONSARAZ - DARK SKY CANOEING
The morning will be all about wine, depending on the season you might join in the harvesting, the tasting of young wines or venture over the vineyards to learn about the grapes. After a full wine tasting and hearty lunch, you will head to the charming medieval Portuguese village of Monsaraz overlooking the Alentejo landscape and Alqueva reservoir. Due to its dark sky the area provides the perfect place for star gazing and you will get to experience the amazing dark sky on a late evening canoeing adventure on the Alqueva reservoir.
Overnight in the Alqueva area.

DAY 4 - HISTORIC ALQUEVA WALK - ESCAPE TO A WINE QUINTA (B, D)
Start the day with a self-guided walking tour along the watermills and fortresses of the Guadiana river. Travel back in time and learn about the days prior the Alqueva reservoir on this authentic route taking you from the small town of Moura along grain fields and river ravines while passing several windmills and a fortress.
You will spend the next two days at an exclusive quinta in the beautiful, unspoiled countryside, where you will have time to pamper yourself, learn about excellent Alentejo wines and enjoy the local cuisine. This afternoon, enjoy a tour over the estate, followed by a tutored wine tasting and a traditional dinner menu.
Overnight Alentejo countryside quinta.

DAY 5 - TRADITIONAL ALENTEJO CUISINE
Enjoy a traditional Alentejo bread workshop at the quinta, which you will then get to enjoy with a gourmet picnic on the beautiful grounds of the estate. Visit the Nossa Senhora de Aracelis, the highest point in low Alentejo with a small chapel on its top, where you will take in the magnificent views over the wide and quiet landscape. Relax at the quinta in the afternoon and enjoy a sumptuous wine themed dinner followed by a tasting of traditional liquors.
Overnight Alentejo countryside quinta.

DAY 6 - HIKING ON THE COSTA VINCENTINA
You have the morning to relax before you will say goodbye to the beautiful quinta and travel on to the Costa Vincentina on the Atlantic Coast. The area is considered to be one of the most authentic coastlines in Europe and you will spend the next couple of days walking over beautiful sand dunes and beaches set against the rugged Portuguese coastline and wild blue Atlantic Ocean.
Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes.

DAY 7 - HIKING ON THE COSTA VINCENTINA (B)
Follow in the footsteps of local fishermen, who have used these coastal tracks to reach the best fishing spots along the coast for many generations. Today you will walk from Porto Covo all the way to Milfontes on a coastal path, where pretty beaches, sand dunes and spectacular views over the ocean and rugged coast are waiting for you.
Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes.

DAY 8 - HIKING ON THE COSTA VINCENTINA (B)
Another walking day with breath-taking scenery along Portugal's wildest coast awaits you today as you will walk from Almograve to Zambujeira. You will pass through pretty fishing harbours, pine forests and along even more dramatic and spectacular red cliffs and sand while enjoying the sound of waves and the Atlantic ocean.
Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes.

DAY 9 - DEPARTURE (B)
Transfer to the airport and departure.

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SERVICES INCLUDED

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- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels, quintas and/or guesthouses
- private care hire for the entire trip
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

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TIMES & RATES

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Description

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GALLERY

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Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

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TRAVEL TIPS

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When to travel
Thanks to its mild climate, Portugal is a great destination all year round. March to May is a great season for outdoor activities or sight-seeing. It is not too hot yet, but temperatures can already be nice and warm, especially on the Algarve or in Portugal's southeast. Nature is in full bloom and forests are lush and green at this time of the year. While average daily temperatures in Lisbon are around 18 degrees, it can be cooler in central and northern Portugal.
Summer in Portugal comes with high temperatures and a lot of sun. While Lisbon has an average of 28 degrees over the summer months, temperatures can rise over 40 degrees in northern and central Portugal between June and August and also easily reach around 35 degrees on the Algarve, though a fresh breeze from the Atlantic makes it feel less hot. The Algarve is perfect for a beach holiday, though the water temperatures hardly go over 22 degrees. Generally the waters around Portugal stay cool with not more than 20 degrees. The summer months in Portugal are full of festivities, which take place in every part of the country.
September and October are again perfect for outdoor and cultural activities as the days are still warm and mostly dry. November until February are the months with the most rain over the year, especially in northern Portugal and there can be snow in the mountains. Temperatures would still reach around 15 degrees on the Algarve and would rarely drop below 10 degrees in Lisbon.

How to travel
Portugal has three major airports - Porto in the north, Lisbon in central west Portugal and Faro on the Algarve in the south. While Faro is much more frequented with charter and holiday flights from other countries in Europe, Porto and Lisbon offer a well developed network of scheduled flights to destinations all over Europe and overseas as well. With a volume of more than 20 million passengers a year (2018), Lisbon is by far the busiest airport in Portugal. Porto and Lisbon airport are well connected to the city centers by subway.
The easiest way to get around Portugal is by car. As it is a rather small country, distances are never far, for example you can travel from Lisbon to Porto or Faro in less than three hours and from Lisbon to Evora in less than 2 hours. There is a dense network of modern motorways linking the major centers, especially in central and Northern Portugal, which are operated through a tolling system. Apart from the motorway connecting Lisbon to the Algarve and the A22 along the Algarve coast, Alentejo is mainly characterized by national and regional roads.
Further, Portugal has a well developed rail network, connecting every corner of Portugal. The high speed Alfa Pendula connects Braga in the north with Faro in the south and stops in Porto and Lisbon on the way. The bigger cities can be reached by ”Intercidades” and the regional trains link to the more remote areas. Further, the ”urbanos” connect the commuter zones in Porto and Lisbon with the city.
The ”Linha do Douro” follows along the Douro river, passing 26 tunnels, 30 bridges and one of the most scenic landscapes in Portugal. Parts of the route are classified as UNESCO world heritage. The journey takes you along vineyards, quintas, small villages and through stations decorated with blue azulejos.
The “Linha do Algarve” runs along the Algarve coastline, offering panoramic views over the sea and the hinterland while connecting Lagos with Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

Travelling with children
Kids are king in Portugal! Family friendly hotels, great beaches, a large choice of activities and a lot of sun turn Portugal into a great destination to enjoy with the whole family. The varied scenery offers plenty of choice for kid-friendly outdoor activities like cycling, swimming, surfing, climbing or canyoning and the rich historic heritage with medieval castles, grand palaces and traditional villages allows for exciting discoveries.
Many hotels in Portugal are very focused on families and offer many extra services and facilities, ranging from kid friendly menus, babysitting service or activity programs for kids. Alternatively, farms cater for families looking for a more rural escape in the countryside.

What to bring
Depending where and when you travel, there are several things you should make sure that end up in your suitcase before setting off.
As summer is generally warm, if not even hot in Portugal, light summer clothes will be a must, including shorts, t-shirts and light summer shoes. Make sure to bring swim gear and the necessary protection against the sun, including lotion, sun glasses and a sun hat, though all of the items are of course widely available in Portugal at reasonably good prices. Due to the breeze, evenings spent at the sea can feel a bit chilly, so don’t forget a light sweater or cardigan. If you are travelling to the more continental mountain areas, a warm jumper will keep you warm in case you experience a colder evening or two. The terrain is fairly dry over the summer months, so solid shoes for hiking tours will work fine, though proper hiking shoes or boots will give you extra stability and grip when hiking in some of the rocky areas.
Winters are not cold in Portugal, but prepare for rainy days, so bring a waterproof coat or rain jacket. Solid shoes are perfect for exploring towns and cities and, if you are planning on hiking or walking in nature, hiking shoes or boots are highly recommended for this time of year. Also pack a few sweaters and cardigans for the colder evenings. Temperatures in central and eastern Portugal tend to be lower than along the coast. The sun can still be strong, especially in the mountain areas, so it is always a good idea to bring sun lotion, sun glasses and a hat.
To catch Portugal in all it’s historic and natural beauty, you should of course not forget to bring a camera. A small backpack or bag will be perfect for storing your valuables while out exploring.

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* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

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For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting to Portugal, please visit our Useful Information on Portugal page.

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