Discover the city of Beja, full of Roman and Visigoth ruins, Manueline churches, and charming squares. In Mértola, the capital of the Portuguese archaeology, get lost in its historic centre and the Guadiana Natural Park where you’ll see nature in its rawest state and one of the most beautiful sites in the area, the Minas de São Domingos.
Here the cuisine is queen. Amongst traditional dishes, amphorae wine in Cuba, and sheep cheese in Serpa, the area is rich in delicacies. In the south, time goes by slowly and invites you to unwind and rest, without ever leaving tradition behind.
For those travelling from the Algarve, the south of Alentejo is their first introduction to the region. Full of History and beauty, you’ll have plenty of reasons to stay for a little longer.
Over the Guadiana River, surrounded by walls and guarded by castles, we’ll come across Mértola and Serpa. Wandering its streets is to witness the past and feel the power of its heritage. At the historic centre of Mértola, that dates back to the Arabic period, the maze of alleys and streets take you to monuments like the Mértola Castle, the Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower), and the Igreja Matriz (Mother Church).
In Serpa, overlooking a plain covered in olive trees, the church Igreja de Santa Maria, the old Torre da Prisão do Castelo (Tower of the Castle Prison), and the Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower) are the main attractions. Outside the walls, visit the grand Aqueduto de Serpa (Aqueduct) and the museum Museu do Relógio.
All this cultural heritage is joined by natural beauties like the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park.
All this cultural heritage is joined by natural beauties like the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park. This protected area in the mid-valley of the Guadiana River includes the counties of Mértola and Serpa. One of its main attractions, Pulo do Lobo, is a beautiful geological site. From hiking to water sports, there are plenty of opportunities to spend a wonderful day outdoors.
Beja is the district’s capital and the connection between the south lands. With a vast cultural heritage, the city is proud of all its History and that shows in the well-preserved churches, monuments, and convents. Sites like the Beja Castle, Praça da República (Republic Square), Convento de São Francisco (St. Francis Convent), Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Convent of Our Lady of Conception), Ermida de Santo André (St. Andrew’s Church), Igreja de Santo Amaro (Santo Amaro Church), or the Ruínas Romanas de Pisões (Roman Ruins) are a journey into the region’s past.
Going north, places like Cuba and Alvito are real hidden gems. In Cuba, in a landscape of pastures, drylands, and olive groves, we find villages like Vila Alva where the houses keep their traditional backyards and gardens. The wine is also homemade in humble warehouses or garages turned into cellars where walls are covered with clay amphorae. These are the same warehouses where family and friends gather for big lunches to the sound of the ever-present Cante Alentejano.
Your trip through Baixo Alentejo is not complete without a stop at Vidigueira. Known for its wine, this region is marked by wineries, orchards, and gardens on a typical Alentejo plain. Calm and tranquil, with the typical atmosphere of an Alentejo town, it offers as much History and culture as it does entertainment. There is a lot to see, from the many wine tourism businesses and restaurants to monuments like the Castle, church Igreja da Misericórdia, convent Convento de Nossa Senhora das Relíquias, or the church Ermida de São Pedro. Don’t skip Vila de Frades, a quaint village where you can visit the Roman Ruins of São Cucufate.
Things to do (4)
Herdade do Vale da Rosa
Herdade da Ribafreixo
Quinta do Quetzal
Waters of the Alentejo Coast
Escape in Natural Alentejo
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