Alen­tejo’s finest ru­ral life

A sun-baked stretch of south­ern Por­tu­gal be­tween busy Lis­bon and the beaches of the Al­garve, the Alen­tejo is an ideal match for a slower-paced style of tourism. Read on for top sights and ac­tiv­i­ties that high­light the re­gion’s na­ture and tra­di­tions, plus

Lonely Planet (UK) - - In this Issue... -

SIGHTS Ar­raio­los (cm-ar­raio­ The small town of Ar­raio­los is famed for its ex­quis­ite tapetes – hand­wo­ven car­pets made here since the 12th cen­tury, which VKRZ 3HUVLDQ LQÁXHQFH 2Q D VWUROO you may see lo­cals stitch­ing in IURQW RI WKHLU KRPHV 3DWWHUQV DUH EDVHG RQ DEVWUDFW PRWLIV ÁRZHUV ELUGV RU DQLPDOV 7KH WRZQ LWVHOI com­prises tra­di­tional white­washed and blue-trimmed houses ZLWK WHUUDFRWWD URRIV Castelo de Marvão Marvão’s for­mi­da­ble cas­tle, built into the rock at the western end of the vil­lage, dates from the late 13th cen­tury, but most of what you see to­day is from the 17th FHQWXU\ 7KH YLHZV IURP WKH bat­tle­ments are stag­ger­ing, and WKH VLWH KDV D KXJH YDXOWHG FLVWHUQ Cromeleque dos Al­men­dres Set in a beau­ti­ful land­scape of olive and cork trees, this huge oval of stand­ing stones is the Ibe­rian Penin­sula’s most im­porWDQW PHJDOLWKLF JURXS 7 KH rounded gran­ite stones spread down a rough slope nine miles ZHVW RI eYRUD 5HDFK WKH VLWH E\ D dir t road sign­posted from Nossa 6HQKRUD GH *XDGDOXSH Y LOODJH Par­que Nat­u­ral do Vale do Gua­di­ana (nat­u­ The hills, plains and val­leys around Serpa and Mér­tola towns shel­ter WKH 5LR *XDGLDQD RQH RI 3RUWXJDO·V ODUJHVW ULYHUV $PRQJ WKH SDUN·V ÁRUD DQG IDXQD DUH UDUH RU en­dan­gered species, in­clud­ing the black stork, lesser kestrel (most likely around Cas­tro Verde and at Con­vento do São Fran­cisco), %RQHOOL·V HDJOH UR\DO RZO JUH\ NLWH DQG KRUQHG YLSHU 7KHUH DUH DOVR SUHKLVWRULF UHPDLQV $ VN LQ 0pUWROD IRU GHWDLOV RI ZDONLQJ WUDLOV AC­TIV­I­TIES Beira Rio Náu­tica £ (; Rua Dr Afonso Costa 108, Mér­tola) 5HQW ND\DNV IRU WULSV GRZQ WKH 5LR *XDGLDQD DW WKLV RXWÀW UXQ E\ WKH %HLUD 5LR JXHVWKRXVH ,W DOVR RՖHUV ERDW WRXUV DQG ELF\FOH KLUH Ca­bal­los Marvão ££ (ca­bal­los­mar­ For eques­trian ad­ven­tures, get in touch w ith this friendly, SURIHVVLRQDOO\ UXQ RXWÀW ZKLFK RՖHUV D UDQJH RI RXWLQJV <RX FDQ head out on a one-hour ride through ty pi­cal A lente­jan scener y, ex­plore the lit tle-v isited ODQGVFDSHV DORQJ WKH 5LR 6HYHU or ride along old smug­gler routes past v ul­ture colonies near the 6SDQLVK ERUGHU 7 KH VWDEOHV DUH lo­cated about 3 miles nor th­east RI 0DU YmR &DOO IRU GLUHFWLRQV Her­dade do Es­porão ££ (es­po­ There are many winer­ies around 5HJXHQJRV GH 0RQVDUD] LQFOXGing the ac­claimed Her­dade do (VSRUmR PLOHV VRXWK RI WRZQ Un­der the di­rec­tion of David %DYHUVWRFN LW SURGXFHV D ZLGH va­ri­ety of wines for the do­mes­tic DQG RYHUVHDV PDUNHWV 7KHUH DUH tours through the wine cel­lars, DPRQJ WKH ODUJHVW LQ 3RUWXJDO 5HVHUYDWLRQV DUH HVVHQWLDO IRU din­ing at the restau­rant, and UHFRPPHQGHG IRU ZLQH WRXUV EAT­ING Café-Res­tau­rante Alen­tejo POR­TUGUESE £ (00 351 286 655 133; Rua Grande 3, More­anes) This at­trac­tive place in the Vale do Gua­di­ana is al­most a mu­seum WKDQNV WR LWV DQWLTXH H[KLELWV ,W serves great-value, hearty true Alen­te­jan cui­sine, with stand­out dishes like javali (boar), veado (veni­son) and mi­gas com en­treFRVWR D EUHDG GLVK ZLWK ULEV Sa­bores de Mon­saraz POR­TUGUESE ££ (sa­bores­demon­; Largo de S Bar­tolomeu, Mon­saraz) Perched high above the plains, with views reach­ing as far as Spain, this stone-built tav­ern is a UXVWLF IDPLO\ IULHQGO\ VSRW *RRG hon­est Alen­te­jano home­cook­ing stars on the menu, with dishes such as ten­der black pork and mi­gas com ba­cal­hau e co­en­tros FRG ZLWK EUHDG DQG FRULDQGHU Don’t pass up dessert – the rich ser­i­caia (an egg cus­tard tart) with VXJDUHG SOXPV LV PDJQLÀFHQW Tasca do Celso POR­TUGUESE £££ (tas­cado­; Rua dos Avi­adores, Vila Nova de Mil­fontes) Lo­cals and trav­ellers rave about the cui­sine pro­duced in the kitchen of this charm­ing, ‘up­mar­ket UXVWLF· EOXH DQG ZKLWH EXLOGLQJ You’re safe try­ing any thing here, though the seafood is out­stand­ing DQG ZHOO SULFHG *UHDW VHUYLFH RSHQ ÀUHV DQG DQ DSSHDOLQJ EDU DUHD WRR %RRN DKHDG IRU GLQQHU

A cob­bled street lead­ing down from Marvão’s cas­tle

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