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Alentejo, Portugal - Rural & Charming Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels & Pousadas

Photo by: Joaquim Alves Gaspar, Lisboa, Portugal
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Alentejo is a south-central region of Portugal. Its name's origin, "Além-Tejo", literally translates to "Beyond the Tagus" or "Across the Tagus". The region is separated from the rest of Portugal by the Tagus river, and extends to the south where it borders the Algarve. Alentejo is a region known for its polyphonic singing groups, comparable to those found on Sardinia and Corsica. Its main cities are Évora (region's capital), Santarém (formerly belonging to Ribatejo region), Portalegre, Beja, and Sines.

Being a traditional region, it is also one of the more recent seven Regions of Portugal (NUTS II subdivisions). Today Lezíria do Tejo subregion, formerly belonging to Lisboa e Vale do Tejo region, is part of Alentejo NUTS II region.

To the east of Portalegre is the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, a Nature Park Area that includes charming medieval villages that have changed very little from those days.

In the south near Mértola is another Nature Park Area named Parque Natural do Vale Guadiana. This is mainly uninhabited and a contrast to the other above. To the west, the coastal strip that runs from the port of Sines down to Cabo de São Vicente is the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The climate of the region is typically very dry for a large part of the year with summer temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius and mild winters. Most of the yearly rainfall occurs in the late autumn to early spring.

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 wood. There are several types of typical cheeses, wines and smoked hams and sausages made in Alentejo region, among these: Queijo de Serpa, Queijo de Évora and Queijo de Nisa (cheeses); Vinho do Alentejo and Vinho do Redondo (wines); and presunto (ham). Marble, cork, olive oil and mining industries are other important activities in the region. The Alqueva dam is an important irrigation and hydroelectric power generation facility which supports a part of Alentejo's economy.

FEATURED RURAL HOTEL:
FEATURED POUSADA: 
Herdade dos Barros, Terena is a rural hotel whose main goal is to provide you with the privacy and comfort you are looking for with Accommodation, Restaurant, Bar with terrace, lounge with fireplace, private and free parking, and all the area surrounding the estate.... read more Pousada de Estremoz - Rainha Santa Isabel - In the sixties, the castle, became a luxury hotel named after the Queen. From the private palace gardens and swimming pool, you have the most superb view over the city of Estremoz and the vast Alentejo plain..... read more
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Latest update: June 10, 2012