The New York Times pronounced the Alentejo as one of the 52 Places for a Changed World, a list that highlights places around the globe where travelers can be part of a solution. The piece points to the sustainable wine movement in the region, where sheep help clear wine fields, and water is used sparingly.
This came just a few weeks after Condé Nast Traveler named the Alentejo as “one the Best Destinations in the World for 2022.” Editor David Moralejo put it this way: I call the road to the sea through Portugal’s Alentejo region the place where the beatniks read Pessoa; you can imagine Kerouac breezing through its small hotels, surf camps, and villages scattered with craft shops, markets, and bohemian bars. For me it’s a place of happiness. There are boutique hotels like São Lourenço do Barrocal and Dá Licença and olive groves, cork oaks, and infinite horizons. The road ends at Vicentine Coast National Park, a wild, protected coastline in southern Europe. A paradise for surfers, it has electrifying sunsets, but the icy waters stop it from ever getting too crowded.” Lastly, Travel + Leisure named the walled village of Marvão one of the “top Under-the-radar European Villages to Visit,” saying “There are dramatic mountainside forts, and then there is Marvão, the king of them all. Located in the southeastern Alentejo region of Portugal, this town is centered on a Moorish castle that was Christianized in the 13th century. The stone complex, now laid open to the elements in a kind of tumbledown glory, sits atop a rocky hill, dominating the red-tile-roofed houses and convents that spill out onto curving streets to the East.”
And, with its rolling cork forests, long Atlantic coast, and vast blue skies — the Alentejo is emerging as the place people go to reconnect and appreciate life. Just an hour from Lisbon, the Alentejo has no big cities but is made up of small fortified towns with low, whitewashed houses and narrow cobblestone streets, where the traditional crafts and food are the experience: Imagine cork forests, vineyards and fields of sunflowers. Romans, Moors, Greeks, Carthaginians have all been drawn to these landscapes and beauty. Discovering the traditional cuisine and delicacies as simple as dipping bread in our distinct local olive oil, sampling the wines and exploring the rolling plains, natural reserves and more than 85 miles of coastline. You can get out and hike the Atlantic trails of the Costa Vicentina, or follow the local Caminos de Santiago. Not to forget birding, cycling, and exploring the cork forest-you can even take a cooking lesson, or explore a royal palace. But do it all on your time, at your own pace — under the night sky of the Alentejo.