The Alentejo Region

In the Alentejo the plains that extend as far as the eye can see start close to the Tagus. While to the north, the pace is set by the green of the flatlands, further south the landscape combines with the sun, the heat and a slower pace of life.

Cities like Elvas and Évora (listed as World Heritage by UNESCO), Santarém, Portalegre and Beja, make part of this region. The vastness of the landscape is dotted with cork oaks and olive trees that withstand time. Santarém is a natural viewpoint over the immensity of the Tagus. Here and there, you find a walled town, or an ancient dolmen to recall the magic of the place. Around the hills, low, whitewashed houses stand on small knolls, castles evoke battles and conquests, and the yards and gardens are witness to the Arab influences which shaped the people and nature.

Here are some of the main attractions on the Alentejo Region


On Portugal’s Atlantic coast and south of the capital, you will find Sines, a city that has had a visible growth in recent years, being an important port-industrial complex, increasingly attracting tourists, especially in summer. The municipality is bordered to the north and east by the municipality of Santiago do Cacém, to the south by Odemira and to the west has coastline in the Atlantic Ocean. The coast of the municipality, to the south of São Torpes, is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park. Only 1h45min of road from Lisbon, and about one hour from Comporta, a small paradise suspended between sea and rice field, Sines is a very special place to visit and discover.


Santarém, located Northeast of Lisbon on high ground overlooking the River Tagus (Tejo), is a strategic city with a long history. Santarém has managed to preserve many traces of its original ramparts and the old town climbs up by narrow alleyways, staircases and elegant houses to the Portas do Sol, with tremendous views over the plain and the Tagus valley. Today, Santarém is an important agricultural centre, popular for its annual ten-day fair at the beginning of June, as well as a large-scale gastronomy festival at the end of October.


Located in the São Mamede Hills close to the border with Spain, amidst the vast, golden plains of the Alentejo lies the sleepy district of Portalegre, a serene countryside destination brimming with Baroque architecture, colossal medieval castles and intriguing megalithic sites. This lively city in the North of Alentejo stands surrounded by olive fields, and a vast plain, just at the feet of the Serra de São Mamede, making it an excellent base camp for many of the hiking trails. Nowadays, Portalegre is still loyal to its heritage of fine fabrics, even preserving the a factory producing exquisite tapestries by famous artists and an extraordinary museum of tapestries.


Topped by an imposing cathedral, Évora is laid out over a gently sloping hill rising out of the huge Alentejo plain. It guards its historic centre with a vast outer wall and represents a valuable cultural legacy that UNESCO has classified World Heritage. The city, with its narrow streets of Moorish origin contrasting with squares where the light floods in, holds two millennia of history. There are also excellent restaurants and bars, esplanades, arts and handicraft stores and the youthful nature of those attending its university all adding up to a dynamic of the present with its roots very firmly in the past.


The main city of Baixo Alentejo, is a quiet and welcoming city with a beautiful walled centre and fascinating places within walking distance. Its picturesque squares, good restaurants make it an ideal combination for a relaxing stay and a purely Portuguese experience. This city is set up in the heart of a touristic regional area known as Planície Dourada (Golden Plain) because it is surrounded by a sea of corn fields.