4 Day Alentejo Portugal Itinerary

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Despite sudden popularity as Europe's new tourism darling, it is still possible to sidestep the tourist mill a little to discover some of Portugal's most beautiful and historic countryside.Located in south-central Portugal, covering nearly a third of Portugal's landmass, the Alentejo accounts for less than 8% of Portugal's population. It is in this mostly unpopulated countryside where you will find much of Portugal's charm.A place where kilometres of ancient aqueducts weave like dragons through the flourishing countryside and whitewashed villages spill from medieval castles that rise from the hilltops.We have put together this 4 -day Alentejo and Evora itinerary based on self-drive. Some of these destinations can be reached by train, bus or day tours from Lisbon. However, self-drive opens up some of the regions more charming locations not easily reached by public transport. We will include train, bus and tour options where reasonably available. Short on time in Lisbon? You can still see the best things in Lisbon in one day. Driving in Portugal is very easy. The entire country is well connected by a good highway system, even the secondary roads are usually in good condition so driving is relatively stress free.Some of the smaller back country roads may be narrow and not so well maintained, but driving is never challenging. Driving through the Alentejo is very picturesque which makes a self drive itinerary so worth while.Tolls in Portugal can be quite expensive on certain roads, so this should be factored in your budget. Without a doubt, spring and autumn/fall are the best times to visit The Alentejo. The weather is beautiful and landscapes in full colour one way or the other. That said, winter is also nice as Portugal tends to experience relatively mild winters. There have been a number of occasions we have enjoyed alfresco lunches in the sun during the winter months in the Alentejo.We would suggest avoiding the months of July and August as summer temperatures can reach the high 30s' ℃ and it is also when many Portuguese are on holidays. Strangely, these are also peak months for foreign tourists as well. The capital of the Alentejo, Évora, is the perfect base for exploring the Alentejo and a fabulous side trip from LisbonThere is so much to see in Évora and the surrounding area; two nights allows time to explore the city and sights close to the city without having to rush. Aim to arrive in Évora mid-morning – Spend the rest of the day exploring the historic centre, visiting some of the cities main attractions.Some attractions close daily at lunchtime or early on certain days. Others, such as the roof of the Cathedral of Évora or the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones) are very popular. You may wish to plan your visit for early the following morning – before the day trip tours arrive.The historic centre of Évora is not very big and is very walkable. You shouldn’t have any problem seeing a lot in a short space of time, especially if you plan your visits to popular attractions. The immaculate UNESCO listed city has five millennia of history magnificently on display within the medieval walls. The remains of the Roman temple of Diana tell us of an ancient civilisation dating back to Caesar in 57BC.Through the Corinthian columns, the spires of the 18th century Gothic Cathedral dominate the skyline. The Capela dos Ossos – a 16th-century chapel lined with thousands of human bones and skulls is a slightly grim reminder of our mortality but a fascinating spectre none the less.Évora is loaded with authentic Portuguese charm and culture as is evident in the regions celebrated gastronomical heritage. Anywhere you travel in the Alentejo; you will encounter the region’s enthusiasm for their exceptional local produce and Évora is no exception.