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Autumn getaway - Exploring the splendors of Portugal's Alentejo region

Portugal's Alentejo region is not only famed for it's beautiful scenery made from soft rolling hills, endless vinyards and far views, but it is also a region steeped deep into traditions, history and culture. To visit Portugal’s Alentejo on a getaway region during autumn, when the golden hues of the season adorn its rolling hills, vineyards, and charming villages, is a very special experience. Get inspired by our 5-day getaway itinerary to this charming area, relishing the region's renowned wines, delectable cuisine, medieval towns, and the warmth of its welcoming locals.

Vinyards in Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 1: Arrival to Évora, unveiling a historic tapestry

From Portugal's main airport of Lisbon, Évora can be reached in a comfortable car ride of 1.5 hours. As you step foot in Évora, you will immediately feel its irresistible charm with its cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, medieval walls, and rich historical past. Settle into your accommodation and later explore this UNESCO World Heritage city. It is a treasure trove of architectural marvels and the Grand Cathedral. Wander through its labyrinthine alleys to discover the enchanting Giraldo Square, the heart of the town, amidst lively cafes and cultural event

Streets of Evora, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Prickly Pear Plant, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 2: Wine, prickly pear, and the story of cork

Embark on a unique journey into the heart of Alentejo’s essence. A visit to a local winery introduces you to the craft of winemaking. Delve into the flavors and complexities during a tasting session that unveils the region's finest wines.

Next, experience the unexpected at a prickly pear farm. Explore the vibrant orchards, adorned with succulent cacti bearing colorful fruits, engage in the process of harvesting, and learn the art of plucking this unique fruit as well as its place in local culture.

Your day continues with a visit to an Alentejo cork factory, where the craft of cork production comes to life. Discover the fascinating process of transforming the bark of cork oak trees into a versatile material, witnessing skilled artisans at work. The factory's immersive tour allows you to trace the journey of cork, from raw material to the final products, offering a deep insight into this sustainable industry.

Day 3: Olive orchard visit and the medieval allure of Monsaraz

In the morning, the fragrant air of an olive orchard awaits. Engage your senses with an olive oil tasting, experiencing the liquid gold that flavors the cuisine of Alentejo. Olive oil production is a deeply rooted tradition, and the region of Alentejo stands as one of Portugal's primary hubs for olive cultivation and oil production. The vast landscapes of Alentejo are adorned with endless groves of olive trees, the majority being of the Galega variety. The favorable climate—characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters—provides an ideal environment. The harvesting season typically starts in late autumn. Traditionally, the olives are hand-picked, although modern machinery is also used in many groves. The freshly picked olives are transported to local mills where they undergo a meticulous process to extract the precious oil renowned for its robust taste and distinctive aroma.

Bread and Olive Oil, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

The journey continues as you venture into the medieval town of Monsaraz, a postcard-worthy jewel perched atop a hill. Monsaraz invites you to step back in time. Enclosed by medieval walls, this picturesque village exudes a unique charm, offering panoramic vistas of the rolling plains and the sparkling waters of Alqueva Lake.

The town attracts with its well-preserved architecture, featuring whitewashed houses adorned with blooming bougainvillea. The centerpiece is Monsaraz Castle, a historic fortress standing proudly, offering a glimpse into the town's past. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Monsaraz Megalithic Site, a collection of ancient stone monuments that remind of a distant era.

The vmedieval village of Monsaraz, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 4: The timeless charms of Évora and culinary traditions

Immerse yourself in Évora’s timeless beauty. Today is yours to explore the city's hidden gems, from the majestic Roman Temple of Évora to the hauntingly beautiful Chapel of Bones. Lose yourself in the local markets, savoring the aromas and flavors of regional delights. You can also venture out into the surrounding countryside, with meandering vineyards, olive groves, and majestic cork oak trees for a picnic.

In the afternoon, put on your apron for a traditional cooking class at an Alentejo farmhouse. Learn the secrets of authentic Alentejan cuisine, guided by local culinary masters. Alentejo boasts a delightful array of traditional dishes, such as the hearty açorda, a savory bread-based soup; the flavorful porco preto, featuring black pork; and migas, a delicious dish made with breadcrumbs, garlic, and various accompaniments. From the freshest ingredients to time-honored techniques, indulge in a feast of flavors that capture the essence of this region.

Market Delights, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 5: A winery experience to conclude

Your final day in Alentejo embraces the art of winemaking. Wander through the sprawling vineyards, the vines adorned with autumn colors. Learn about the grape varieties flourishing in the Alentejo sun. Grapes like Aragonez, Trincadeira, and white grapes Antão Vaz thrive in the region's diverse soils. The winemakers and sommeliers guide you through the tasting, explaining the nuances of each wine and the impact of the region's microclimates. You might even engage in a pruning lesson or join the harvest. This experience isn't just about tasting the wines; it's a cultural immersion into the craftsmanship and dedication defining Alentejo's wine production.

Traditional Wine Maker, Alentejo, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

From the ancient wonders of Évora and Monsaraz to the rustic charm of Alentejo's vineyards, olive groves, and welcoming wineries, this five-day itinerary offers a wonderful break full of exploration and indulgence.

Contact us and discover more hidden gems of Portugal and find some inspiration for your next Portugal holiday in our Portugal Adventure Weeks, Portugal Family Adventures and Portugal Adventure Getaways.


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