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.
Almendres Cromlech - 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.
Museu do Relogio in Serpa - 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.
Temple of Diana in Evora - 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.
Castelo de Beja - 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.
Giraldo Square - 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.
Rota Vicentina - 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.
Museu Visigotico - Igreja de Santo Amaro - 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.
Castelo de Marvao - 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.
Things to Do in Alentejo
There are so many things to see and do in Alentejo, Portugal, that you'll have a tough time experiencing them all. We're sure you have plenty of items on your itinerary already, but if you're still looking for ways to fill a few spare hours, we're here to help you out. Check out our guide to the best things to do and see in Alentejo, Portugal.
Go Backpacking in Alentejo - If you're having the urge to stow your rental car for a few days and experience Alentejo on foot, then you're sure to find plenty of wonderful places to go. Here, unforgettable landscapes abound, from vast fields aglow with wildflowers to coastal mountain ranges with breathtaking vistas of the mighty Atlantic. From bird watching to rock climbing, fishing to kayaking, if you're the outdoorsy type, this city has what you're looking for.
Attend an Alentejo Festival - Portugal's Alentejo region has festivals throughout the year. During October, you can catch Marvão's Al Mossassa Festival, which celebrates the area's history with Arabic food, dance, music, horseback riding, and more. August brings the Festival do Sudoeste to the small town of Zambujiera do Mar. This music festival brings musical artists and fans from all over the world to visit Alentejo. In July, you can experience the World Music Festival in Sines, which gathers exotic sounds from the far reaches of the globe and puts them all together on the sunny beaches of Alentejo.
Take to the Skies in Alentejo - A ride in a hot air balloon is a wonderful way to experience the true majesty of the region. One of the most popular balloon rides takes visitors from Cabeço de Vide to the town of Évora. Once you're there, you can skydive from more than half a mile above the city at the Evora aerodrome.
Visiting Alentejo? Why Not Go Surfing! - The Alentejo has a wide variety of choice surfing spots, and many say it has some of the best waves in all of Europe. If you've never surfed before, don't worry; the region is also home to several highly rated surfing camps.
Go on a Wine Tour - Did you know that Portugal's Alentejo region is home to some of the finest wineries in the country? It's true. Here, you'll find a wide variety of delicious examples of the vintner's craft; friendly, helpful people; and beautiful, pastoral vineyards that stretch out as far as the eye can see.
Follow the Marble Route - Portugal's Alentejo region is the source of some of the world's finest marble. Start your journey in Estremoz, then drive your Portugal Car Rental through Borba, Vila Viçosa, and other villages that positively glitter with "white gold." You can even visit working marble mines.
Visit Castelo de Vide in Alentejo - Castelo de Vide is one of the most enchanting places in all of Portugal. There, it's almost as though time stopped many hundreds of years ago. Its cobblestone streets and bone-white gothic houses seem lifted from storybook illustrations, and the 14th century castle that looks down on this quaint little town is positively astounding.
What to Expect from the Weather in Alentejo
If you're considering making your first trip to Portugal a visit to the enchanting Alentejo region, then you're probably wondering about the weather there. After all, you don't want to be miserable because you've packed the wrong types of clothes. And further, you probably don't want to reserve a convertible rental car if you won't be able to cruise the countryside with the top down, without getting caught in a rainstorm! So what is the weather like in Antelejo? Read on for answers that will help you determine the best time to visit Portgual.
Typical Temperatures in Alentejo, Portugal
In most of the Alentejo, the climate is classified as Hot-Summer Mediterranean. This means that average temperatures during the warmest month of the year tend to be above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but much hotter days are common, with high temperatures reaching into the upper-90s. There is a small part of the Alentejo, in the southern area surrounding the Beja district, where summer temperatures get even hotter. The climate there is classified as semi-arid, so make sure to wear light colors and breathable clothing if you plan on visiting Beja during the summer. Winters in the Alentejo tend to be quite mild. Temperatures rarely drop much below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and high temperatures in the region's coldest months (November through February) are typically in the mid-50s.
Alentejo, Portugal Rainfall
In the Alentejo region, the wettest months in terms of average inches of precipitation are October, December, January, and April, in that order. The months with the highest number of rainy days are April and October, when it rains an average of 15 days during each month. December and January average 14 and 13 each, respectively. The driest months (which are also the warmest) are June, July, August, and September, when the average is 4-7 rainy days per month. If you're planning to enjoy the unspoiled coastlines of the Alentejo, this is definitely the best time of the year to do it.
The summer months are the most popular time to visit the Alentejo, and Portugal in general, but they're also when hotel rates and prices for accommodations are the highest. Really, any time is a good time to visit Portugal's Alentejo region. Spring sees the region largely uninhabited by tourists, and it's still quite pleasant, even ideal if you don't like the heat and don't mind the occasional drizzle. Autumn is also quite beautiful, with its balmy evenings and short lines for common tourist attractions. Winter may be a bit chilly, but it's also quite affordable, and as long as you dress for the weather, you'll still have a great time.