The inner Alentejo is made up of breathtaking plains. They are green and covered in wild little flowers until June, slowly turning into different shades of gold, brown, grey and dark green until November. This is an ideal region to explore by bike. Cycling in Alentejo is easy, roads are long and deserted, and you will feel you are entering unspoiled territory. Along the way you will come across lovely “montes” (white-washed rural estates mostly in ruins…) and tiny sanctuaries, medieval castles, perfectly preserved villages and an almost unblemished authenticity.
As in all our tours, you will be picked up from the airport (in this case, the Lisbon one). You will be driven to the inviting Monte da Fornalha, a rural and beautiful guesthouse, where you will stay for 2 nights. You will cycle for 8 days, in an average of 50-55 km a day, through some of Portugal’s best scenery. Here are some of its highlights: the preserved and hilly Estremoz and its walled castle, vineyards and gastronomy. The region’s traditional bread soups seasoned with local aromatic herbs, the sheep cheese and “enchidos” are starters you must have before your main course of pork! And do not forget to buy some of Estremoz typical clay dolls: they are really sweet and very well done; b) Vila Viçosa and its Ducal Palace (once the residence to the Portuguese royal family) as well as a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Conception, Portugal’s patron; the delightful village of Alandroal and its irresistible gothic castle; the Unesco heritage site of Évora with its Roman temple, spooky Capela dos Ossos (a chapel coated with bones), great inexpensive restaurants and the cozy Piparoza where you will feast on small plates of tender and zesty octopus salad, melt-in-your-mouth codfish fritters, and a huge selection of wines – just behind Praca do Giraldo, Evora’s main square; the fortified, white-washed Monsaraz, with breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape and the typical Arraiolos, famous for its beautiful hand-woven rugs and circular castle. Alqueva, for the contemplative type, is a remote dam attracting people who love stargazing, silence and hot nights!
We would not be surprised if you would like to prolong your stay in the region. Choose one of our getaways and enjoy peaceful days reading or lingering by a swimming pool. If that is the case, you can always ask us to pick you up from Évora to take you back to the airport.