The Alentejo is an extensive region covering almost a third of Portugal. It stretches from the river Tagus to the north, which flows out to Lisbon, to the hills of the Algarve in the south. In the east the Alentejo shares a border with Spain, and to the west it opens onto the Atlantic Ocean. Essentially rural and sparsely populated, it offers a landscape that is uncommonly well conserved in this age of either intensive over cultivation or over commercialisation. Its scenic beauty, moderate climate and the abundance and quality of its heritage (monuments, architecture and ethnography); make the Alentejo an exceptional place to visit. Motorways make the region easy to reach but on leaving these routes visitors enter the rich landscapes of cork-oak woodland, wheat-fields, vineyards and olive groves, beaches and cliffs. Whilst walking, you will see the region’s traditional ways of living and working; meeting with local people who are by nature friendly and hospitable
The best period for walking is from February till December. July and August are not wise due to the heat that makes it uncomfortable for walking.
The area’s value at some points, in terms of geology, landscape, flora and fauna; has brought about their classification as “Protected Areas”. Such regions offer a warm welcome to lovers of nature, these coupled with the wonderful coastline, ensures that anyone seeking water and sun will find them throughout the interior of the Alentejo.
The area offers over 20 lakes. The Alentejo is excellent for easy to moderate walking as the landscape is rolling rather than mountainous. The area enjoys a very pleasant climate and is warmer in the spring and autumn than most other parts of Europe. This has traditionally made it extremely popular with Portuguese tourists in July and August, and yet it remains largely undiscovered by northern Europeans who tend to flock to the Algarve. You can also walk in January; generally the daytime temperatures will be around 16 or 17 and night time temperatures of around 9 degrees centigrade. The days can be clear and sunny but of course there is a greater risk of rain during these months.
Rota Vicentina is a long distance route of more than 300 km, between Santiago do Cacém and Sagres, along the historical route that once connected main towns and villages and an alternative route by the sea. It is planned for travelers and locals, with the underlying objective to provide the territory with a simple but structured way to enjoy the region and nature, of one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe. Rota Vicentina, with its two complementary itineraries, is an open path to travel on foot and get to know one of the best preserved coastlines in all of Europe. On your way you’ll cross charismatic small villages and towns, that through its people, traditions and memoirs will help you to grasp the essence of this rural region, with a very unique connection with the sea.