As soon as you enter Alentejo, the south-central region of Portugal, time seems to slow down. The sun and heat beat down on the vast plains that run down to the Atlantic Coast, begetting a slow and rhythmic pace of life. The vast, deserted beaches of the coastline feel wild and unexplored, inviting you to kick off your shoes and go for a long walk along the shore. The vivid, uninterrupted colors of land, sea and sky come together to create a beautiful canvas that you’ll want to be able to hang on to and take home with you in the form of a thousand photographs.
The heat can be intense in the summer, which together with limited rainfall makes the region a good place for growing olive and cork oak trees. You’ll see these beautiful, gnarly trees as you cross Alentejo, interspersed with small villages of earth- and white-coloured houses and castles which recall battles and victories of times past. As you travel through, you’ll also see many traces of the Moorish occupation of Portugal, which ended in 1249 with the ‘Reconquista’ of Algarve and had a strong influence over the country’s culture, architecture and cuisine.
Make sure to stop by Evora, a city whose history dates back more than two millenia and whose well-preserved historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical center is still partially enclosed by medieval walls and boasts a large number of historical monuments, including a Roman temple called Templo de Diana, the impressive Capela dos Ossos and the beautiful Igreja de Sao Francisco.
If you’re a beach lover like us, then you won’t want to miss out on Comporta. Soft, white, sandy dunes and beaches that go on for miles and miles, this is by far one of the most beautiful beach areas in Europe! And because of it’s relatively remote location, it never attracts the masses and always preserves that wonderful feel of an unexplored beach. It does, however, have a restaurant, so you will have the option of eating lunch on a terrace overlooking the spectacular view!