Alentejo: Preserved Traditions

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Join us to discover the food and wines of the Alentejo–the beautiful little known region that surprises the traveler with traditional cuisines, hearty red wines made from native grape varieties, lovely villages, age-old crafts and friendly people. Start your trip in Lisbon and drive to the Alentejo–a part of Portugal that feels undiscovered, even though the main city–Evora–has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Alentejo is a traditional agricultural region, supplying the world with cork, olives and wine. The villages carry on in many ways as they have for centuries. One charming formerly Moorish village near the Spanish border sits atop a hill, recalling centuries of defending against invaders from the east. The cuisine is hearty, the wines evolving, and the people couldn’t be nicer. 

Trip starts and ends in Lisbon.

4 days / 3 nights

Highlights

  • Undiscovered region near Lisbon
  • Visit wineries
  • Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine
  • Cook with a local chef
  • Taste the Portuguese Iberian ham while you see how it's made
  • Charming boutique hotel

Itinerary

Alentejo: Preserved Traditions

Day 1 – A driver will pick you up in Lisbon. Private guided visit to the historic city center of Évora, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Visit the historic estates of wine estates of Monte da Ribeira and Herdadinha and taste their wines. Dinner in the historical center of Évora in a restaurant specialized in the traditional cuisine of the Alentejo region. Slip into sleep at the charming hotel in the city walls.

Day 2 – This morning you will have a cooking class in a traditional 18th-century family house inside the walls of historic Évora, near the ancient Jewish quarter. Cook alongside the chef using local seasonal ingredients. After lunch you will drive to the charming hill-top village of Monsaraz. Perched on the top of a hill, this little known village is a “jewel in the crown” of the Alentejo, if not Portugal itself. The views from its 13th-century castle walls are spectacular over both the plains of the Alentejo, the waters of the lake and views towards the Spanish border. Dinner at a local restaurant in Monsaraz. After dinner you will have a guided night-sky viewing with a sky guide in Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve.

Day 3 – This morning explore the wines of the Alentejo. Visit the Cartuxa Winery, closely connected to the Jesuits and the nearby Cartuxa Monastery. After lunch in Évora leave to visit an artisanal ham producer who raises Alentejo Black Pigs–nearly identical to the famed Iberian pata negra Iberian pigs from across the border in Spain. Tasting the ham you will realize that the breed and the free-range diet have much in common with their Spanish cousins.

Day 4 – Transfer with a driver to the Lisbon airport or central Lisbon to continue your Portuguese experience.

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