Baixo Alentejo, Portugal’s Most Undiscovered Region 

Baixo Alentejo is a corner of Portugal that has captured my heart more than any other. If you’ve known me for any period of time you’ll hear of my unwavering love for Portugal’s Alentejo region. This  is the region I lovingly refer to as undiscovered, because even as Portugal’s popularity soars Alentejo remains under the radar for most. While tourists flock to the increasingly popular Lisbon, Porto and Algarve, Alentejo waits warmly and patiently for your arrival. Some of the best places to visit in Portugal can be found here in Alentejo.

Baixo Alentejo Best Places to Visit

Baixo Alentejo is a land of wine (delicious, full-bodied reds and tropical whites), hearty food, rolling fields, colourful wildflowers, cork forests, + hilltop castles. Home to Portugal’s friendliest people + some of the countries’s most enjoyable roads.

My obsession with Alentejo came in 2020 and it was only then (already 4 years into living in Portugal) did I get to witness the spirit of Alentejo.

10 DAY ROAD TRIP ALENTEJO

Since then it has been my go-to escape destination. While I love all of Alentejo, it is usually the warmth of Baixo Alentejo that I long to embrace. Whenever I need a break from busy Cascais and the crowds of Lisbon I hop in my car for a few hours until the city bustle fades away and is replaced by cork forests, sunflower fields and vines. 

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve found myself driving around Baixo Alentejo, eating something hearty in a little-known but memorable tasca, drinking wine with local friends in one of the billion vineyards Baixo Alentejo has woven into its land and snapping photos of big, brown cows out of my car window.

Alentejo is much more than that too. It also has pockets of innovation tucked away in its natural beauty. 

I figured it was about time I jotted down all my favourite places to “just be” in Baixo Alentejo because there is magic to be found for those prepared to take the journey to reach it. Are you ready to see the  best places in Baixo Alentejo?

HOW TO GET TO BAIXO ALENTEJO

One of the frustrating things about this region is the lack of quality public transport. Its inaccessibility, I realise, is also one of the reasons it is undiscovered. 

To explore here and get beneath the surface of Alentejo you need a car. Either that or a private driver and tour guide. 

HOW TO HIRE A CAR IN PORTUGAL

You can hire a car from Lisbon, Faro or Porto (and in some cases Évora) for a very reasonable price. For those of you concerned about driving in Portugal – it is easy, I promise. Outside of Lisbon and Porto the roads are quiet. In Baixo Alentejo it is even quieter. The further East you go the quieter it becomes.  The traffic you’re more likely to come across here has four hooves not four wheels.

Alentejo cows car window

I’m going to recommend my usual broker – Zest. I’ve used them for all of my trips around Portugal, Spain and Italy and I love them dearly for the experiences I’ve had. It is tricky to find reliable and straightforward car hire but these guys seem to get it right every time.

WHEN TO VISIT BAIXO ALENTEJO

There is pleasure to be found during all the seasons but spring and autumn bring the most accommodating temperatures.

From March through May you can expect red, yellow and lilac wildflowers to bloom across the land. Early summer warms up considerably and by July it’s scorching with a dry heat. The heat can be intense in the middle of summer but if you take it slow you’ll get to experience a stillness like no other.  Winter can get chilly in Baixo Alentejo, especially during the evenings but the cosy tascas and hearty food become even more appealing.  

THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BAIXO ALENTEJO

Writing this section was so enjoyable as I was able to look back over the last years of travel around Baixo Alentejo and remember all the best places I’ve visited to date. The list of places includes some bigger towns and smaller villages that will offer you a chance to shimmy a bit closer to the region.  

MONSARAZ

Probably the most “famous” place to visit in Alentejo with the exception of Évora is Monsaraz. This very picturesque hilltop village is only small but houses a castle, a couple of much loved restaurants, a few artisan shops and the best view of Europe’s biggest dam – Aquelva. It’s more popular than the rest of the places on this list but it is definitely still one of the best to visit.

ALVITO

This teeny tiny village is a joy to wander around. Stop for an hour or two to walk the streets and sip coffee next to the church or stay the night at the impressive pousada. 

FERREIRA DO ALENTEJO

One of the  towns that surprised me the most is Ferreira do Alentejo. `It is bigger than you expect and there is plenty to see. It also has some really fantastic restaurants for typical Alentejo dishes. Don’t miss O Portão

VIDIGUEIRA

THE place to go if you want to indulge in some wine experiences because this town is surrounded by excellent vineyards. See best wine tastings further down the post.

Also, make sure you book a table at Quinta do Quetzal.

MOURA

The city of Moura is one of the best places to visit in Baixo Alentejo and deserves a spot on your itinerary. Moura has some of the best Moorish quarters in the country.

REDONDO

A traditional and authentic  village with a picturesque square and all the white and blue houses your heart desires.

SERPA

Small town very close to the Spanish border with a great local market and some of the best cheeses in Portugal.

MÉRTOLA

Located on the Guadiana river just a short hop over the border from Algarve.

Mertola best places to visit Baixo Alentejo

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My Favourite Places to Stay in Baixo Alentejo

I’m now in my 8th year of living in Portugal which means I’ve got a tonne of personal recommendations when it comes to places to stay all over the country. I’ve travelled all over Alentejo and these are my favourite finds that I’ve either stayed in or visited personally. Below is a full mix of prices from budget, to luxury.

Quinta da Espada, Évora | Traditional stay with a pool and relaxing garden.

Octant, Évora | A family-friendly modern hotel with farm animals, pool + spa. Or for a traditional + cosy stay try 

São Lourenço do Barrocal, Monsaraz | Understated luxury. Where a stay is not just a hotel but an entire experience.

Burrico d’Orada | One of my all time favourite stays in Portugal. Country lodging with heart. 

Casa Grainha, Vidigueira |  A comfy thoughtful apartment in the centre.

Best Experiences in Baixo Alentejo

Driving

Driving the quiet country roads is one of the most enjoyable experiences in Baixo Alentejo. You can visit all the best places by car and probably find your own gems too.

Hire a car in Alentejo.

Wine Tasting

It would be crazy to come to Alentejo and not drink the wine. I recommend booking a tasting or two to test your taste buds with this lesser known Portuguese wine region; I think you’ll be surprised by what you discover.

Try Vidigueira Cooperative, Herdade do Grande, Herdade do Rocim and Quinta do Paral.

Pottery Shopping

You know all those pricey ceramics you can find in Lisbon? This is where they are made and without having to look too far you’ll find some wonderful workshops and studios selling unique pieces for a fraction of the cost. Add São Pedro do Corval into your itinerary and thank me later. 

Typical ceramics Alentejo

Traditional Tascas

Definitely don’t leave Baixo Alentejo without sampling the local produce. This part of Portugal manages to hold on to the authentic tascas better than anywhere else. 

What to Eat & Drink in Baixo Alentejo

Add these to your foodie bucket list while in Baixo Alentejo.

  • Açorda Alentejana 
  • Migas
  • Serpa Cheese
  • Porco Preto
  • Wine – Antão Vaz or Arinto

And there we have it – a list of the best places to visit in Baixo Alentejo. I visit Alentejo several times a year so I’ll continue to update this as I go.


My main work is travel consulting; I dedicate my time to research and planning so that I can help people make the very best out of their travels around Portugal, Spain and Italy. I focus solely on these countries because I have tonnes of personal experience living in and travelling here. If you want to plan a trip to Alentejo or Portugal but are overwhelmed with all the options get in touch.

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