The Alentejo – Castles in the Air

The Alto Alentejo is a joy and considered by the National Geographic Magazine as one of the best places to visit in the world! Virtually unknown, its rich rolling landscape covered with groves of cork, chestnut and olive trees and carpeted in spring with wild flowers is a treat to walk through. Situated on the Portuguese – Spanish border in the Serra de Sao Mamede, the fortress towns of Castelo de Vide and Marvão remain almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, their castles are magnificent monuments to former bloody battles.

This group walk will allow us time to explore the true beauty of the area before moving south to the tiny medieval village of Terena with its brooding castle. The countryside here is very different and we will along side the Lucefit lake and also to the spectacular walled town of Monsaraz with its famous bull ring.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wide open spaces and verdant mountains
  • Wild flowers in Spring, golden leaves in Autumn
  • Medieval castles, historic towns, unspoilt villages
  • Fine wines

ITINERARY

Day 1. Transfer from Faro or Evora to Marvao (Evora is easily reached by bus from Lisbon). Overnight Marvao.

Day 2. A walk in the amazing countryside below Marvao, where we have time to step over the border into Spain. We eat lunch in the shade of the trees by the river before walking through an ancient landscape following goat tracks, 12km. Overnight Marvao.

Day 3. A walk close to Reguengo where the countryside is a mixture of ridges and peaks, escarpments and hills; very beautiful with stunning views over the plains towards Lisbon, 14km. Overnight Marvao.

Day 4. A walk in the ancient countryside to the north of the historical town of Castelo de Vide where traditional farming is still practised. Afterwards we will visit the magnificent castle of Castelo de Vide and the beautiful old Jewish quarter, home to the oldest synagogue in Portugal, 12km. Overnight Marvao.

Day 5. A leisurely day as we drive to Terena, stopping for lunch in the historical town of Estremoz, with time to visit the old palace. After lunch we have a tour of one of the best Alentejo wineries and a tasting of some of the wines. Overnight Terena.

Day 6. Today we will walk from Terena through its traditional countryside to Hortinhas and then north to the Lucefecit river gorge and dam. On the hill tops we will discover ancient castles and in the valleys wild birds and flowers, 13km. Overnight Terena.

Day 7. A walk to the west of Monsaraz through olive groves and ancient scenery before climbing gently up to visit this famous village. From here we will drive to the tiny village of Sao Pedro do Corval which has more than 20 pottery workshops and we will visit at least one, 12km. Overnight Terena.

Day 8.Transfer back to the Algarve or to Evora to catch the bus to Lisbon.

 

INCLUDED

  • 7 nights accommodation in a twin –bedded room with en-suite facilities, 4 nights in Marvao at a small hotel next to the famous castle and 3 nights at a comfortable Quinta in the village of Terena .
  • All dinners and 5 picnic lunches for the walks
  • Transport to and from Faro or Evora by minibus.
  • Transfer to and from all the walks and movement of luggage during the week.
  • Visit to winery and tastings.
  • Experienced walk leader

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • 1 lunch
Closest Airport: Faro Airport or we can meet you in Evora (easily reached by bus from Lisbon)
Dates: MAY 13 2018 and SEPTEMBER 13 2018
Cost per person: 920 euro
Single room supplement: 140 euro