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Alentejo ABTA join forces

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A first for the Alentejo Tourism Board: Sponsorship of three ABTA regional meetings in March, April and May 2017 

… 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 

Alentejo Cycling

The Alentejo Tourism Promotion Board is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the Southern, North-Western and Eastern Regional ABTA Meetings in March, April and May 2017.

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, however, is still a hidden secret, despite being a mere two-hour flight away!

“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.

“We offer blue skies and sunshine nearly year-round

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.

Alentejo - paddling

“Our 15th century explorers brought wealth, reflected in UNESCO-accredited towns such as Evora

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.

“The Alentejo is a vast area to explore, with birdlife galore – including, in spring, thousands of nesting storks and an astonishing array of spring flowers.

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.”

Dates are: 

  • ABTA South Regional meeting, Gatwick  – Tuesday, 28th March, 2017
  • ABTA North West Regional meeting, Alderley Edge – Thursday, 27th April, 2017
  • ABTA Eastern Regional meeting, Stansted – Wednesday, 17th May, 2017

For more information on the Alentejo region, visit www.visitalentejo.pt/en/.

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