So you’re planning your holiday trip and you are wondering where to stay in Alentejo Portugal?
Alentejo is the largest region of Portugal and covers one-third of the country. Alentejo only contains 5% of its population.
Though Portugal in itself has a lot to offer, where to stay in Alentejo will depend on your needs and wishes. Since the population in Alentejo is very low, it is possible to enjoy the beauty of the region in silence.
The region of Alentejo is well known for its rural interior. The inland has rolling hills, with olive and cork trees as far as the eye can see.
On the coastline, you can find some deserted beaches where surfing is possible. And coastline where beautiful fishermen’s towns can see. This is a place to stay and spend your time.
If you are planning a road trip, then staying in Alentejo has a lot to offer. Alentejo has many medieval and fortified villages that seem to have stopped in time.
The influences of Arabs arriving in the 8th century are still quite visible. Aas can be still seen today by the narrow and cobbled alleys and white washed houses.
Something which is worth doing is to have a tour through the Cork Tree plains, which covers 28% of Portugal. This is not that surprising when you know that Alentejo in Portugal produces half of the world’s cork. Portugal handles around 70% of the world trade.
Where is the Alentejo region of Portugal?
Alentejo for many people is not well known. When you stay in Alentejo you find that Portugal has so much more to offer. Alentejo has much more history to discover.
Beyond the Tagus river, the Alentejo region starts. Alentejo sits in the south-central and southern part of Portugal . The name Alentejo originated from alem-do-Tejo and means: beyond the Tagus river.
Cities mentioned in Alentejo are: Évora, Beja, Sines, Serpa, Estremoz, Elvas and Portalegre. Do visit the more picturesque and less known towns, as these are worth the visit.
When is the best time to visit?
During Summer, times the inland of Portugal might be way too warm. For many years there has been a lack of water. Landscapes will change color from vibrant green and flowers to a carpet of golden yellow
From my own experience, I would recommend visiting Alentejo from the end of October to mid-may. Of course, I do not say that you should not visit Alentejo in the summer. In Summer you will experience Alentejo in a different way. Be aware that in Summer temperature may well rise above 40 degrees.
What is the capital of Alentejo?
Évora, is the capital of Alentejo and part of the UNESCO world heritage city in Portugal. This city is a must to put on your list if you are wondering where to stay in Alentejo. Évora is less than 90 minutes from Lisbon and makes it ideal for day trips.
Reasons to visit Évora
Évora has more than enough historical highlights to fill a day or two. A few to mention are:
- Sé (Cathedral)
- Museu de Évora
- Roman Temple
- Termas Romanas
- Palácio dos Duques de Cadaval
- Igreja São João Evangelista
- Igreja de São Francisco
- Praça do Giraldo
- Convento dos Lóios
- Universidade de Évora
Besides the historical highlights, you will definitely enjoy gastronomy.
Being a Portugues myself it’s easy to say that gastronomy is amazing. So it will be up to you to judge if I was right on this one. Black porc, fresh baked bread from Alentejo, and pastries are some examples to mention.
Évora has a lot of vineyards in the surrounding area. It is the perfect location to indulge yourself in wine tastings. Rota dos Vinhos do Alentejo is your starting point to plan your wine trip around the region.
There are several tour operators that guide you to this and other cities. Guiding tours for one day, if you do not want the hassle of organizing the trips yourself. Several tour operators leave from Lisbon itself.
How do I get from Lisbon to Évora, Alentejo?
If you are more of a hiking kind of person than from Lisbon it is possible to take a bus. Rede Expressos drives several times a day and will cost around €8 to €12,50.
Alentejo covers one third of Portugal and traveling by bus is not the easiest way. I therefor recommend you to always opt for hiring a car.
Where to stay in Évora, hotels and hostels?
What once was a 15th-century convent, is now a 5-star Hotel. This hotel is 4 km from Évora city center and offers free parking. Guest rooms are luxurious and have spa facilities available.
This 5-star hotel resides in a 16th-century palace, overlooking the aqueducts of Évora. The hotel has an extensive spa with an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is in the city center and has many highlights on walking distance. A few to mention are: the Temple of Diana, Cathedral of Evora Se and Praca do Giraldo, all 600 m away. The Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos) is 800 m away.
This hotel is in the city center and is 600 m from the Chapel of Bones. Giraldo Square, the Roman Temple of Évora and the Cathedral are only 15-minutes walking. It has a rooftop terrace with a view overlooking the historical city center of Évora. The hotel has a spa on the 5th floor where you can find a sauna, gym and outdoor swimming pool.
Are you looking to stay more on a budget than ZOETIC is the place to be and particularly liked by solo travelers. ZOETIC offers bike hiring. And is 10-minutes walking. from Évora Cathedral and Roman Temple. A shared lounge and garden is available.
A hostel which also offers family rooms in case needed. This hostel is 1,2 km from the Cathedral of Evora Se and the Chapel of Bones. Points of interest near the hostel are the Roman Temple of Evora, Praca do Giraldo and the Royal Palace of Évora.
Each morning a continental breakfast is available.
10 recommended places where to stay in Alentejo, Portugal
The first one on our list, which I mentioned in depth, is Évora, the capital of Alentejo. Though I will not elaborate more about this city, it is worth the mention as it is part of my top 10 and a must to visit.
Elvas in Portugal, is close to the border of Spain. It was once seen as a strategic point between Portugal and Spain. It’s this history that made Elvas one of the most fortified cities. Walls all around feared for attacks and domination. What were once the first lines of defense, has now become a magnificent highlight to visit.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Elvas.
Where to stay:
3. Castelo de Vide
Castelo de Vide, its castle surrounded by the town’s white houses, only has around 3000 habitants. This beautiful village located in the North of Alentejo. It sits at the bottom of a double hill. On one side you can find the Medieval castle of D. Dinis (13th century) and on the other side the São Roque Fortress.
There are few highlights to visit, the history and the surroundings are worth the visit. The views are amazing to see during sunrise and sunset.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Castelo de Vide.
Where to stay:
A paradise for influencers, bloggers, travel journalists and Europe’s elite. Only one hour away from Lisbon. Although it is not the same as the medieval towns I mentioned before, it does deserve mentioning.
Unlike anywhere else in Portugal, this charming town has become popular with Europeans. This town is chic, stylish and laidback. Comport offers wellness retreats, delicious seafood restaurants, and wonderful gold sandy beaches.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Comporta.
Where to stay:
Mértola is an old medieval town with traces of Islamic influences. The town which sits above the hills, has its castle, white houses and church that for sure will impress.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Mértola.
6. Peninsula de Troia
The Tróia Peninsula is a coastal gem. It has stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and pine-forested sand dunes. When you love sports, there are more than enough activities to keep you busy and entertained. Tróia Peninsula has great opportunities for cycling, golfing and water sports. When luck is on your side you might even spot some dolphins.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Peninsula de Troia.
Where to stay:
- Aqualuz Troia Mar & Rio Hotel by The Editory
- Troia Residence by The Editory – Beach Houses
- Troia Residence by The Editory – Apartamentos Praia
Estremoz, nicknamed the White City or Cidade Brance, is no coincidence. The white marble quarries in Estremoz, Alentejo, are famous and nearby. Quarries that have used since the Roman days. Making Estremoz one of the most important cities for exporting white marble.
The city Estremoz is a wonderful city where you can stay. Where Roman and Arabic influences can seen. The Castle built in the 13th century remains the biggest highlight till this date.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Estremoz.
Where to stay:
8. Vila Viçosa
Vila Viçosa is a beautiful white marble-decorated city. This city has also the name of “Princess of Alentejo” in Portugal. Vila Viçosa, which means lush village, gets its name due to the fertile land and surroundings. Is is also the hometown of Florbela Espanca, one of the most notorious poetesses in Portugal.
Vila Viçosa is full of history. Nature is still the provider of marble as its raw material and comes out from around 160 quarries. The quarries in itself are open to viewings when joining a guided tour.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore Vila Viçosa.
Where to stay:
- Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa
- Alentejo Marmòris Hotel & Spa, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World
- Tapada do Padre Rosa
9. Vila Nova de Milfontes
Who walked The Fishermen’s trail has also passed one of these smaller fishermen’s towns. Vila Nova de Milfontes is on the western coast of Portugal, between Lisbon and the Algarve. Is located in Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. Tourism seems to be increasing a bit every year, but it is still one of my favorite towns.
Since beaches have some strong currents it is not recommended for family holidays. It is a great spot for surfing and kite surfing and worth the visit.
Where to stay:
10. Zambujeira do Mar
Zambujeira do Mar is a very sereen village. Also this village is well known when walking The Fishermen’s trail. It is next to the Costa Vicentina and Sudoeste Alentejano Nature Park.
The village has a great beach to spend your time, with a Blue Flag award. This means that clean bathing water and a seasonal lifeguard service is available. Zambujeira is also well known amongst surfers.
On one of the cliffs at the northern end of the beach is the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar where you can enjoy the sunset.
Highlights: Best highlights to explore in Zambujeira do Mar.
Where to stay:
Where to stay connected with nature in Alentejo, Portugal?
If you feel the need to retreat from urban life, there are Natural Parques and Reserves to visit. Below a few to mention:
- Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede
- Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina
- Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana
- Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado
- Reserva Natural das Lagoas de Santo André e da Sancha
Note: Be sure to also enjoy the “Montado”. These are agroforests where the main tree species exist of Alentejo. For example the cork oak (Quercus suber L) and/or holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia L).
My experience on staying in Alentejo, Portugal
Where to stay in Portugal does not matter, as Portugal and its diversity has many things to offer. Alentejo has never been the attraction of many travel agencies. And because of this, I did feel the need to talk about its beauty.
When you enjoy the beauty of nature, tranquility and history, Alentejo is something for you.
For me Alentejo is a place that can throw you out of your comfort zone when you live a hectic life in the city. Alentejo is for me a place to slow down. Enjoying all there is, without the need of rushing or time pressure. Enjoying the simplicity of life itself.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click on them, at no additional cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.Bruno