The Portugese region the Alentejo – according to Lonely Planet one of Europe’s top 10 destinations in 2017 – attracks not only lovers of quietness and piece, but also people searching for remarkable accommodations. No mass tourism, but small authentic places to stay; wineries, Casas Brancas, Pousadas and venues with incredible views. The answer to the question of a more sustainable tourism industry, with eye and respect for saving the local identity, culture, landscape and ecologic balance. Perfect for a stay, this late summer!
Sleeping in between the vineyards
A good example of the melting of tourism and local businesses – and therefore sustainable tourism – are the accommodations at the vineyards or the region: the wineries. During a visit at for exemple Herdade da Malhadinha Nova or Herdade do Sobroso, visitors are getting the chance to learn about the whole proces of wine making: from grape to bottle.
Life in a Portugese rural house
During a stay in a Casa Branca, a renewed rural venue, guests are tasting of the authentic Portugese experience. This type of accommodation is mostly found near the famous hiking route the Rota Vicentina, an initiative of the owners of the Casas Brancas. Furthermore, the Associação Casas Brancas is working in a creative way to promote the ‘green way of accommodating tourists’ in touch with the locals and with respect for nature and traditions.
The label Pousadas de Portugal is given to luxurous accommodations in a larger network of historical venues in Portugal. In the Alentejo you can find 9 accommodations with this label. From castles, monestaries till exclusive venues in the architecture of the region and places with views on the incredible nature. In the Pousadas, like Convento Arraiolos and Castelo de Alcácer do Sal, regional traditions are kept alive and local recipes still are been cooked. You can find the Pousadas of the Alentejo in the following places: Estremoz, Évora, Arraiolos, Beja, Crato, Marvão, Alvito, Vila Viçosa and Alcácer do Sal.
Breathtaking views and original concepts
Besides the typical Portugese accommodations, there are also some venues with incredible views on the surroundings where you can look at the endless rows of cork trees, vineyards, olive trees and animals. The eCork Hotel that is made entirely out of cork, is surrounded by cork trees and the house boats on the Alqueva lake offer a stunning view on the magical star skies of the Alentejo.
I’m definitely a fan of sustainable tourism. Trying to keep the soul of the region alive by respecting the surroundings, the architecture, the traditions, the languages et cetera. I feel like travelling to the Alentejo after reading this article, what about you?
More info about the region can be found on: www.visitalentejo.pt
A sua saúde!