If you want to visit Portugal in summer 2022 or autumn and love water, you should definitely go to the Alentejo region. Inland, there are rivers, lakes and reservoirs for water fun. Alentejo's Atlantic coast is surprisingly diverse. Here are the top six water pleasures!
The Alqueva reservoir, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe with an area of 250 km2, is a major spot for water sports. Not only for sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking, but also for water-skiing, supping or wakeboarding. But there are other lakes in the interior of the Alentejo for sporting water fun. Well-known spots include Montargil, Caia, Odivelas, Divor, Vale de Gaio and Santa Clara.
2. Action at sea
The beautiful weather, beautiful waves, quiet beaches, surf schools and surf clubs make the Alentejo coast a fantastic surfing destination. In the north, in the area around Comporta, the novice surfer will appreciate the somewhat calmer waves and the casual atmosphere. The further south, the more challenging the waves. Surfers enjoy metres-high waves in Porto Covo, Malhão and Aivados. São Torpes beach is a spot for experienced surfers. The surf school there is open all year round and there are international competitions. Vila Nova de Milfontes, in the south-west of the Alentejo, is one of the best surfing destinations.
3. Fun on the river
The river beaches in Mértola, Odemira, Mourão and Monsaraz are Portugal's best spots for canoeing, kayaking, rowing, water-skiing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and swimming. A tip for a peaceful canoe trip is the Mira River near Odemira. There is everything to see along the water, from herons and lots of greenery to farmlands or abandoned farms.
4. Beach and swimming fun
The Alentejo coast has many faces. Steep cliffs, idyllic beaches in small sheltered bays, kilometres of sandy beaches, white dunes and blue lagoons. Nowhere is it really crowded. Many beaches have the eco-label 'Blue Flag'. One of the favourite places to stay is Comporta. The water there is crystal clear and the white sandy beach is lined with pine forests.
Vila Nova de Milfontes is also a popular resort that is really not too crowded. It is a travel destination for sunbathing, hiking, bathing in the mouth of the Mira River and water sports. Where the rivers flow into the sea, the beaches are on calm waters anyway and children can also bathe safely. The Mourão river beach on the Alqueva reservoir is also super quiet, ideal for relaxing and fun for young and old alike.
5. Boating and dolphin spotting
The wide Sado estuary near Tróia is home to one of the last colonies of river dolphins in Europe. There are organised boat trips to observe the animals up close. But even without dolphins, you can feast your eyes here!
For quiet boat trips, the Alqueva reservoir is of course also very suitable. By the way, you can rent a houseboat, sail by yourself and spend the night on the lake.
6. Carp, trout or zander?
Fish it!Alentejo's reservoirs and rivers are full of fish. Fishing is possible for pikeperch, trout, barbel, catfish and carp. Popular fishing spots include the reservoirs of Santa Clara, Fonte de Serne, Maranhão and Montargil. Anglers flock to the Raia river with its ten-kilometre-long angling zone. And the ocean coast is ideal for anglers. Of course, you can also join a fishing boat, out into the ocean for the big time.
About the Alentejo
Wide vistas, green hills, vineyards and cork and olive trees as far as the eye can see. A 100-kilometre-long coastline and characteristic towns like Évora, Elvas and Monsaraz that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites for good reason: that is the Alentejo. The region covers a third of Portugal, has the same pleasant climate as the nearby Algarve and is the country's largest wine producer. The diverse and pure Alentejo is full of outdoor activities in unspoilt nature, its inhabitants are hospitable and its gastronomy traditional and refined at the same time. In short: the Alentejo surprises, surprises, moves and offers something for everyone. www.visitalentejo.pt.