Alentejo, the charm of its plains and golden sun. To the south of Portugal, beyond the River Tagus there stretches a vast, undulating and seemingly never-ending plain: the Alentejo.
It is easy to become completely enveloped in its landscape, a clear expression of the harmony that can still exist between humankind and nature. Dotted here and there, amidst the vibrant colors of spring or the ochre hues of autumn, are to be seen brilliant white houses, with their doors and windows framed in blue or yellow. Standing like watchful sentinels in the midst of this great immensity are the so-called “eagle’s nests”: centuries-old towns nestling behind their defensive walls and awaiting your peaceful “attack”.
Here you can follow the trail of the many peoples that have co-existed in these plains over the years and left behind them a host of memories to enrich present-day Portugal: the Roman, Mudejar and Jewish cultures have all passed through here and left their indelible marks. Perhaps you would like to go back even further? The Alentejo is extremely rich in archaeological remains that bear testimony to different stages in the development of human life over thousands of years.
Make sure that your tour takes in cities such as evora, classified as a world heritage site and steeped in almost two thousand years of history, Vila Viacosa, the home of the last king of Portugal, or Beja, the home of Soror Mariana, the lovelorn nun, who, shut inside her convent, looked out over the plains from her window and wrote passionate love letters to her dashing French army captain, or perhaps Portalegre, in the heart of the Sao Mamede National Park.
Afterwards, why not relax in one of the region’s several pousadas housed in historical buildings? In addition to the warm hospitality that is an omnipresent characteristic of the Portuguese people, you can also enjoy a varied cuisine, liberally seasoned with aromatic herbs, and the quite unique desserts and sweet dishes made from traditional convent recipes and complemented so perfectly by the region’s full-bodied wines.
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