Stepping out of the house in the morning to greet our neighbours — wild horses on one side, donkeys on the other — with nothing but birdsong filling the air, I felt a sense of adventure you normally only get with wild camping. The city walls were severely damaged, not just by the earthquake but also the resulting tsunami.
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To the west, the coastal strip that runs from the port of Sines down to Cape St. The climate is not uniform throughout the region though: This much resembles the contrast between Casablanca and the Moroccan interior, where the presence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean gives rise to marked temperature differences between coastal and even nearby inland zones. Usually, the warmest temperatures can be found in the southernmost inland parts of the region, along the Guadiana valley between Mertola and Juromenha , particularly in the areas close to Moura.
If the winds are strong enough another deep and very low lying valley, the one of the river Sado, becomes extremely warm by European standards. Despite the fact that they are relatively close to the coast. The highest temperature ever recorded in Portugal and in fact Europe this century was measured on the first of August in Amareleja and reached This was only equaled over the same period in Cordoba Spain, the average over there however was Many parts, however, are above or even m which leads to clearly lower average temperatures also in summer.
It is very likely that the Guadiana river valley away from the coast is the second-hottest on average in Europe after the inland part of the Spanish Guadalquivir region especlially near Cordoba. Portugal including the Alentejo region are not escaping global warming and the average temperatures are clearly on the rise. By the acceptable standards of a developed country, the illiteracy rate in the region may still be surprisingly high among those older than 60, in contrast with the younger generations.
The rate of coverage of pre-primary education is among the highest in the country. The area is commonly known as the "bread basket" of Portugal, a region of vast open countryside with undulating plains and rich fertile soil. With very few exceptions all the major towns are mainly reliant on agriculture, livestock and forestry. There are several types of traditional cheeses, wines and smoked hams and sausages made in the Alentejo region, among others: But there is plenty of action nearby: Breakfast is a buffet of fruit, eggs, scones, iced tea and homemade custard tart, taken on the terrace.
Guests lounge in daybeds and by water features looking like they never want to leave. And if you make the most of the yoga studio, horse riding and cool pool it would be easy not to. Those who want to walk the Rota Vicentina could not be better placed as it runs right through the property.
Not many people go there — but we often go as a family and love it. A passionate advocate for the area and a mine of information, he helped set up the Rota Vincentina walking route see below. Ten rooms, including two family rooms with kitchenettes, are arranged in two houses, with polished concrete floors, mossie nets and small bathrooms.
Herdade do Pessegueiro is a great riding school offering everything from a one-hour lesson to overnight trekking programmes, staying at hotels en route. In the low season they also offer rides along the beach. Few are safe for children to swim from, so the gently sloping sands of Farol beach, protected from the rollers by a headland, are perfect for families.
At low tide, kids can also busy themselves searching for crabs under the rocks. Odeceixe beach is breathtaking: The cherry on top of this natural gorgeousness is Bar da Praia, a tiny space with just three or four tables inside, and benches outside for taking in the view.
Every child loves rockpooling, and at low tide Almograve is a great place for hunting down crabs, shrimp and small fish in the many pools.
In July and August, Alteirinhos is the beach of choice for holidaying Lisboans, who prefer its slightly more isolated location over the busier beach at Zambujeira. But if you want peace and quiet, even in the height of summer, try Carvalhal, an idyllic cove that is rarely crowded.
There are no restaurants or kiosks at either beach so remember to take food and water with you. Of the few tourists I saw in the Alentejo, most were wearing hiking boots. The route comprises two sections: There are several surf schools along this stretch of coast. If surfing is too hardcore, kayaking offers a gentler way to enjoy this coastline. Want to give us feedback on our content? Click below to contact us. Get Our Newsletter Deals. Quinta dos Ferreiras — Alentejo.