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BAIXO ALENTEJO
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BAIXO ALENTEJO  map
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regional overview

Between Lisbon and the Algarve, the lower (Baixo) Alentejo covers a vast area of inland plains and un-spoilt coastline. It is provincial, agricultural and sparsely-populated, making it a good place to escape the crowds. Inland, there are cork forests and fields of wheat, along with sleepy historic towns such as Beja and Mertola. There is abundant birdlife in this region, including the Greater Bustards near Castro Verde. The coast, between Odeceixe and Milfontes is spectacular and empty, with some of the best surfing in Europe.

properties in BAIXO ALENTEJO

The Baixo Alentejo is rural and unpopulated. As a result, farms are on vast estates (Herdades), with regional farmhouses. Some of these have been converted into places for rural tourism, as holiday homes on a self-catering basis or as charming country hotels offering bed and breakfast and outdoor activities. These Herdades have often been in the same family for generations. On the coast, accommodation is in charming renovated farm cottages near small villages between Odeceixe, Zambujeira do Mar and Vila Nova de Milfontes, ideal accommodation for those who enjoy the outdoors, with a stunning coastline at hand.

the great outdoors

Cliffs, headlands and sandy bays facing west make the Alentejo one of the best areas for surfing and kite-surfing in Europe. The coastline here is undeveloped and many beaches are empty outside August. Popular too is fishing from cliffs into the surf, as well as sea kayaking and deep water solo climbing on cliffs. In the early spring and late autumn in the Alentejo temperatures are ideal for walking and mountain-biking. Nature lovers and birders will be in their element in the Baixo Alentejo, between coastal estuaries, grassy plains and hill-country.

historic towns & local culture

Between long empty stretches in the Baixo Alentejo, there are small agricultural and fishing villages, where life is slow-paced, traditional and rural. Alcacer do Sal, surrounded by salt pans on the Sado river estuary, was founded by the Phoenicians and was a Moorish regional capital (Al-Ksar). Inland is Santiago do Cacem with its Roman ruins and Beja, the historic regional capital. On the coast are charming fishing villages such as Zambujeira perched on a cliff top and Milfontes on the Mira estuary which once harboured Hannibal during a storm.

best times to visit

This is one the warmest and driest areas of Portugal, with summer weather lasting much of the year, and only a short and mild spring, autumn and winter. Inland areas have recorded the hottest temperatures in Portugal, exceeding 40 degrees in July and August. On the coast, cool winds keep temperatures more moderate. For those wanting temperatures in the mid 20s along with empty beaches, Easter and autumn in the Baixo Alentejo are ideal. By winter, big waves arrive for serious surfers, and it is not a bad place for some winter sun.

getting there & around

Lisbon and Faro international airports are the best bet for the Baixo Alentejo, with most places easily reached in two hours. A car is highly recommended, almost essential in this sparsely-populated region. If visiting one of the larger towns, buses will be periodically available from the larger cities.
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