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Sun holiday in Alentejo: discover this part of Portugal

I was road tripping in Portugal to explore all the different regions. Undiscovered roads, vast vineyards, picturesque towns; I was going to find them all. I always hope to be surprised when driving into the unknown. But this time around, I fell in love at first sight! I had found a hidden gem between the Costa de Lisboa and the Algarve. A dream destination for hikers, surfers and epicureans; a holiday in Alentejo. Driving through the hilly landscape, I was struck by the peace and quiet. Despite being one of the largest regions in the country, Alentejo turns out to be a small-scale destination for a sun holiday that remains undiscovered by the masses. One of those unique places where I feel right at home. Could it be that I stumbled upon Portugal’s best-kept secret?

Small-scale hotels and apartments in Alentejo

A holiday in Alentejo is all about the peace and quiet. And yet, there is plenty to do! I just love waking up at a B&B with gorgeous panoramic views. The rolling hills and vast vineyards are things I'll never grow tired of. When I'm travelling with a larger group, I try to find a quinta or a holiday home, which is also perfect for a holiday with children. Plenty of space for them to run around and have fun. Are you looking to spend a week away from home in late summer? Alentejo is a great place to unwind.

My small-scale recommendations in Portugal are very popular and tend to be fully booked in advance. Do you want to book a holiday in breathtaking Alentejo? Be sure to secure your place away from the masses in time. Don’t forget to check out my last minute holidays in Portugal or be the first to experience my latest discoveries.

Fly & Drive in Alentejo

Good to know: a flying holiday to Alentejo always includes a rental car and a place to stay.

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Eliza's tips

What to do in Alentejo?

A region the size of the Netherlands but nowhere near as densely populated. With plenty of space and serenity, authentic towns and stunning green landscapes, Alentejo is perfect for a road trip. To forget everyone around you and just be alone in the world for a bit. I highly recommend taking the unbeaten path in this rural region of Portugal . There is so much to discover! From runes in Miróbriga to the marble quarries of Borba. Plenty of history for you to explore. And if you find yourself longing for some hustle and bustle, why not pay a visit to Lisbon?

One thing is for sure: I will always bring my hiking shoes on a trip to Alentejo. Just like Madeira, I can spend many hours in the great outdoors here. With over 1,000 kilometres of hiking trails, I still have plenty of exploring to do in the years ahead. Do make sure to hike the Historical, one of the best hiking trails in Europe. And for fans of mountains, there is Serra de São Mamede.

During a fly & drive holiday in Alentejo , the region’s vast vineyards are sure to catch your eye. It is the largest wine producer of Portugal, so I can’t help but take my rental car to countless towns and see what they have to offer every time I'm there. Don't forget to pay a visit to the famous Alqueva reservoir, where red wine is kept at a depth of 30 metres for up to 8 months. The constant water pressure and temperature add an extra dimension to the wine. And while you’re there, make sure to spend the night. It is one of the best places in the Mediterranean to gaze at the stars. They even dim the lights just to bring out the starry sky. A UNESCO ‘Starlight Tourism Destination’ for good reason.

Culinary trip in Alentejo

Alentejo’s local cuisine is made up of family secrets. Recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation. And prepared with fresh products from the land to create authentic Portuguese dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. Their fish dishes stole my heart, just like in northern Portugal. And that isn’t all! One night, I left my quinta for one of many little restaurants in town. That is where I discovered açorda à Alenteja, traditional bread soup from Alentejo. Simple yet heavenly: white pieces of farmer’s bread floating in watery soup, garnished with two eggs on top. The fresh ingredients add up to a true flavour explosion in your mouth. An unforgettable experience!

The weather: from Alentejo with love

Thanks to the Mediterranean weather and climate, Alentejo is a pleasant destination for a sun holiday. The best time to go is between May and October, which is when there is almost no rain and temperatures can rise to 30°C. Well worth a visit in spring, summer and autumn. This Portuguese region has a mild climate in the colder season; perfect for a late summer or winter sun holiday. I love spending winter or even Christmas in Alentejo. Just make sure to pack an extra sweater.