There's so much to do and see in Portugal's Alentejo region, that it would be very difficult to cram it all into one trip. Of course, that means you'll always have an excuse to return. Whether you're planning your first trip to Alentejo or figuring out what to do the next time you make a return visit, check out our guide to discover the best tours and attractions in the region. You're sure to find plenty of things to suit your fancy when you travel to the area.
Researchers believe that the impressive granite megaliths at Almendres Cromlech were originally used to decipher meaning from the movements of the cosmos, but nobody's really sure exactly how they worked. They date back to at least 6,000 BC, and remained obscured by history until the mid-1960s. You can find guided tours of this mysterious prehistoric relic advertised in the nearby city of Evora.
If you have a fascination with historical timepieces, then you absolutely must tour the Museu do Relogio in Serpa. The museum's collection consists of more than 2,000 watches and clocks, dating all the way back to the early 1600s. Many of these timepieces still keep time every bit as precisely as the day they were lovingly assembled.
Erected by the Romans in the days when their empire stretched from the Nile to the Pacific, the Temple of Diana in Evora is certainly worth a visit. While not as expansive as other Roman ruins found elsewhere, it is an impressively preserved piece of history, and a wonderful place to take a stroll or to sit in quiet contemplation.
Beja Castle dates back to the Roman occupation of what is now Portugal. Over the years, it was occupied by the Moorish conquerors, until it was finally retaken by the Portuguese in the 1200s. Now, it stands as one of the most impressive examples of medieval architecture in all of Portugal.
Surrounded by impressive gothic and Romanesque architecture, Giraldo Square of Evora is always a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists, alike. There, you'll find the breathtaking Se Cathedral and St. Anton's Church, not to mention plenty of charming boutique shops and quaint historical accommodations for visitors.
If you're the type who likes to experience new places on foot, then you can't go wrong with backpacking on the Rota Vicentina. This trail stretches more than 200 miles along one of Europe's most pristine coastlines, from the city of Santiago do Cacem to the Cape of St. Vincent. Of course, you don't have to walk the whole trail to appreciate its natural beauty. Driving Portugal can be equally rewarding.
One of only four pre-Roman churches left in Portugal, Igreja de Santo Amaro is quite a sight to see. Immaculately preserved columns and carvings from the early sixth century are distinct highlights of this enchanting holy place in Beja. The site has been turned into a museum, and visitors are always fascinated with the wealth of historical relics and information housed within its walls.
One of the best-preserved castles in Portugal, a visit to Castelo do Marvao feels more like a trip back in time. Its excellent state of repair isn't the only thing that wows visitors - when seen from its stone walls, the sweeping, panoramic views of the Portuguese countryside are completely awe-inspiring.