Alentejo: On the trail of the original Portugal
In the beautiful region of Alentejo, a calm and relaxed rhythm of life has been practiced for centuries and carries on today. With around 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, the region offers the ideal setting for both active holiday-makers and those seeking peace and quiet. Let yourself be enchanted by the Alentejan magic and immerse yourself in a colourful landscape characterised by almost untouched coastal landscapes, secluded sandy beaches, traditional fishing villages and extensive nature reserves. The hospitality of the Alentejans, the authentic delicacies and the power of nature ensures the perfect conditions for a successful and unforgettable hiking tour.
Alentejo – Rota Vicentina
Alentejo – an Eldorado for active nature lovers: hike the spectacular Rota Vicentina along picturesque coastal landscapes, sandy beaches, fisherman’s paths and inland pine forests. Discover the diverse flora and fauna, listen to the sound of the sea and the cheerful tweeting of birds, breath in the scent of delicious aromatic herbs and get to know the hospitality of the Alentejans. On our hiking tour you walk in time with the Alentejan rhythm!
- Find out more details and route information of our walking holiday Alentejo – Rota Vicentina.
Did you know … ?
Wide sandy beaches, extensive nature reserves, picturesque hills and pristine landscapes – Alentejo offers all this and much more. What should you definitely know about the southern paradise in Portugal:
- Although Alentejo takes up a third of the total area of Portugal, only about eight percent of the entire population live in the region.
- Great attention is paid to the maintenance of traditions - For more than 2000 years the traditional handicraft of cowbell making has been practiced here and is regarded as an intangible cultural heritage.
- Tradition also plays a role in culinary terms: in the Pastelaria Conventual Pão de Rala in the beautiful town of Èvora (capital of Alentejo and world cultural heritage site), the heavenly delicacies made by nuns, such as the famous almond cake are still offered today.
- Customs also find musical appeal in Alentejo – the Cante Alentejo. This special musical tradition is traditional polyphonic singing without the use of musical instruments. The Cante has been on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage since 2014.
The country and people
Alentejo is located on the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal and at the westernmost point in Europe. The region takes up around a third of the country’s total area. Nevertheless, the area is sparsely populated and only makes up around eight percent of the countries’ total population. Soil conditions in the east of the region offers the ideal conditions for viticulture, with the focus on cattle breeding in the south due to the soils characterised by cork and holm oak.
An authentic and decelerated lifestyle has been lived by the Alentejans for centuries – in harmony with nature and mother earth. Today, great importance is still placed on the production and use of regional products. The production of cowbells is one particularly well-known traditional goods, which has been manufactured according to unique craftsmanship for more than 2000 years.
Climate in the Alentejo region
A true Mecca for all sun worshipers: with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and an average temperature of around 18 degrees, Alentejo enjoys a calm and pleasant Mediterranean climate all year round. These climatic conditions with Atlantic influences make a hiking holiday ideal all year round. The sun-seeking hikers among you will find the much-anticipated warmth in the usually cooler winter months in Alentejo. In the warmer months, the ocean winds refresh and offer wonderful conditions for an active holiday in Portugal.
Culinary delights in the Alentejo region
Alentejo is known as the gastronomic heart of Portugal – and rightly so. Because if you decide to go on a hiking trip in Alentejo, you will soon be able to enjoy the regional delicacies. The dishes and delicacies are based on centuries-old traditions and secret recipes, which have not lost their popularity. The focus is on the use of simple, local ingredients. Taste your way through a diverse selection of ‘petiscos’, small starters with various dishes such as olives, ‘pimentos assados” (roasted, small peppers), or ‘migas’, a traditional farmer’s dish made from breadcrumbs with olive oil, garlic and hot water. Due to its’ location on the Atlantic coast, freshly caught fish and mussels, as well as soups such as cold gazpacho are an important part of the Alentejan cuisine.
Sweet as in seventh heaven
And finally – heavenly sweets, in the truest sense of the word. The story goes back to the 15th century, when nuns started making sweet treats. And even today, some desserts such as the traditional almond cake with egg yolk and lemon peel are still made by nuns and known under the name ‘monastery sweets’. Let yourself be enchanted by the Alentejan cuisine and taste the authentic dishes of the country that follow the motto “simple but tasty”.
Particularly beautiful hiking regions in the Alentejo are located directly on the coast. The route of our walking holiday Alentejo – Rota Vicentina takes you in eight days from the small coastal town of Vila Nova de Milfontes to São Luís inland. You can enjoy the wonderfully quiet hiking paths and fishing trails along the beaches of e.g. Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados and Amália.
- Discover more about coastal hiking with Eurohike.
Portugal is home to a total of 16 UNESCO heritage sites and one natural heritage site.
The historic center of Évora, capital of the Alentejo region, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.
A hiking holiday in the Alentejo not only ensures a pleasant, active break in the fresh Atlantic air, you can also enjoy moments of peace and the wonderful nature of this special region in Portugal on our walking holiday Alentejo – Rota Vicentina. Here you can hike away from the crowds on good hiking paths, sandy paths, impressive routes along the cliffs and through the pristine flora and fauna in the Costa Alentejana Natural Park. Although the Alentejo occupies a third of the total land area of Portugal, the area is home to only eight percent of the total population.
When hiking, you not only explore the impressive Atlantic coast, but also the regional life, the cuisine and much more about the country. You should definitely try the wonderful dishes and specialties based on centuries-old traditions and secret recipes that have been handed down. These include wonderful fish dishes with freshly caught fish from the region such as the barnacles "percebes", the pork with mussels "carne de porco à alentejana" or the typical dish with squid, sweet potatoes and spices "polvo com batata doce". Another delicious dish is the typical peasant dish "migas" made with breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic and hot water.
- Find out more about hiking in Portugal.
All-round organised hiking holidays in the Alentejo
The long-awaited holiday is finally here. And to make sure it is perfectly organised, we at Eurohike take care and give you a stress- and worry-free time. From travel planning and organisation to the complete booking of your ideal accommodation, the provision of complete travel documents and daily luggage transport on-site, we are there for you. And if something should not go according to plan, you can reach us at any time via our service-hotline and we will take care of your concerns immediately. Our team is already looking forward to making your most wonderful time of the year unique.