As you drive through the Alentejo plains, the landscape changes as you approach the Alqueva region. It becomes the kind of oasis you want to go to decompress from your daily routine.
This great lake region is around 2 hours away from both Lisbon and Faro. So, you’re driving right into the quiet Alentejo scenery and its small villages.
Right by the Guadiana River, you can see the biggest artificial water reservoir in Western Europe, the Alqueva Dam. This dam changed the region completely, since whole villages had to be moved. However, this investment also allowed the whole region to have stable water and energy supply, clear advantages for a rural region.
The lake opened a wide range of opportunities for surrounding villages such as Reguengos de Monsaraz. The village has the most privileged position from the top of a hill facing the lake. A beautiful view for its people and one perfect point of attraction for tourists.
The dam also made its contribution for the local economy. Around the lake beaches were created and local businesses invested in an extensive offer of water sports to cater to all those who chose those spots for a leisure time.
The Alqueva region has been internationally recognised as a Dark Sky Reserve.
What does this mean? It means Alqueva is one of the very few places in Portugal where one gets to see such a starry sky. It’s actually known as the first starlight tourism destination in the world.
Imagine that you are looking at Van Gogh’s Starry Night, when suddenly the painting gains life! This is what it feels like, given the low light pollution in the area.
If you lay down, you’ll see the centre of the Milky Way for one. If you end up owning an estate here, this is definitely one of the plus sides. Make the most out of this by having very little or no lights at night.
There is another natural wonder in Alentejo, one comes straight from the ground. We are talking of Alentejo Wine of course. Be it red, white, rosé or sparkling, wine is a treat around here.
Wine tourism has been around for ages but has now become a trend, specially if partnered with local gastronomy. As many other regions of Portugal, Alentejo has its own delicacies regarding food.
Around here, the food is a reflexion of the region’s History: migas alentejanas, the lamb stew, the gaspacho, the açorda and any other plates of rabbit, hare, partridge or wild boar. Most of these dishes are made out of simple ingredients, yet extremely tasty.
If you become the proud owner of an estate in Alentejo or of a Monte Alentejano, you can get the most out of the land. As a more or less extensive rural property, normally ate the top of a hill, and overseeing Alentejo plains, a Monte Alentejano is great to relax and enjoy the slow rhythm and quiet know of this region.
Either a big estate or a Monte Alentejano enables you to enjoy the best of rural tourism, a diversity of activities ranging from horseback riding to water sports and the southern sun. On the other hand, if you choose to invest in a rental such as a wine-focused estate, you get to enjoy the multiple kinds of wine available and a wide range of delicacies that come with those wine tasting spots.
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