One of the most overlooked and unexplored regions in Portugal is the Alentejo Interior. An agrarian area, it has all the usual things the Portuguese countryside has to offer: traditional lamb dishes, sheep cheese, hearty wines, olives, and forageable plants and fungi. The gastronomy of the region remains true to the traditions established in medieval times, and variation on a theme is hardly known here.
The wines in Alentejo are typically robust, due to the difficult conditions for growing grapes. A blistering sun, coupled with a difficult soil quality, ensures that the vines work overtime to produce succulent grapes, but those grapes are full of flavour that imbues the wine with added zest! The amount of sun time a grape receives definitely contributes to powerful flavours, and when drinking Alentejo wines this fact cannot be overlooked.
Don’t forget adventure! Alentejo Interior is rife with outdoor adventures. Horse riding, hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching and hot air balloon rides are all available in the region. In fact, one of the main highlights of visiting the Interior are that the pace of life slows way down, allowing visitors to bask in the simplicity of the traditional way of doing things. It’s rural and agrotourism at its best.
I’ve chosen my initial bucket list cities in the Alentejo Interior region and reasons for interest:
Évora– considered a museum city, and former home to the Romans, Visigoths and Moors.
Beja– a region surrounded by high quality wineries with unique and memorable experiences.
Elvas– considered the largest fortified city in Portugal, and Europe.
Reguengos de Monsaraz– 2017 winner of “Monument Villages” in 7 Maravilhas de Portugal – Aldeias. Handicrafts galore!
I’m excited to take people out to Alentejo Interior and experience the many pleasures the rural tourism there affords. Ask me how…