February 28, 2017 | Visit Alentejo
… with a great 3-night short break prize to be won at each Regional Meeting, including 4-star B&B accommodation, flights and car hire, for two people
Says Antonio Lacerda, General Manager, “This is a first for us and we are very pleased to be able to spread the word about the Alentejo in the UK via the ABTA meetings. Everyone in the UK has heard about Porto, in the north of Portugal, via our country’s longstanding links with the British port wine companies. And many British people flock to the narrow coastal strip of the Algarve, just south of the Alentejo.
“The Alentejo takes up a third of our country – from just north of the Algarve, up to and slightly beyond Lisbon. We produce 46% of the wines in Portugal – wines now well recognised on the world stage – yet just 6% of Portugal’s population lives in our vast region, with its 225 km of pristine coastline and beautiful, unspoilt countryside. Our ancient cork oak forests supplied the Space Shuttle with insulation for its re-entry into earth’s atmosphere, our hilltop villages are as picturesque and charming as those you will find anywhere in Europe, and our ancient cultural sites and monuments (including prehistoric and Roman) are world-class.
The month of March on the long, sandy Atlantic beaches is regularly in the mid-20s, and summer temperatures can hit 40-degrees-plus in the centre of the Alentejo. There are well-marked and stunning coastal and inland walking and cycling routes, both long and short, magnificent surfing, miles of white-sand beaches and bays, superb sea-food and fish, our locally-reared acorn-fed pork dishes, all with great wines to match, plus desserts to die for – and superb value for money for visitors.
Evora is just 75 minutes’ drive from Lisbon Airport, with its marbled pavements and fountains and its mediaeval city walls. They also brought back from their voyages herbs and spices from the Far East, which have influenced our cuisine over the centuries – we grow rice in paddy fields, and we have our own tasty pre-dinner canapés, called petiscos. We produce liqueurs from wild herbs such as Penny Royal, and our Kings and Queens have bequeathed us palaces, castles and much heritage.
There’s little traffic on our quiet roads, and much scenery to delight, plus of course the interesting and important traditions of the cork harvest, in May/June, and the olive harvest, in November.
“We hope to create increased awareness of – and interest in visiting – our wonderful region, through the Alentejo ABTA meetings. Winners of the short break prizes at each meeting will be able to discover the Alentejo for themselves, and I hope they will help us to spread the word.”
For more information on the Alentejo region, visit www.visitalentejo.pt/en/.