Alentejo has around 300km of Atlantic coast fringed by long sandy beaches, backed by dunes, sandstone and rocky cliffs and broken by secluded coves and bays.
If the Largo Conde de Vila Flor is the spiritual heart of Évora, then the Praça do Giraldo is its secular heart. This is where the modern city meets, on the handsome Portuguese paving and under the cloisters of the buildings which line the square.
Longer than a football pitch, the Ducal Palace dominates the centre of sleepy Vila Viçosa; it was used by the Braganza dynasty until Portugal became a republic in 1910.
Ringed by a perfectly preserved medieval wall, criss-crossed with cobbled streets and with whitewashed bell towers brilliant under the burning sun, Monsaraz is the kind of fortified hill town that should come with an Ennio Morricone soundtrack.
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Évora’s grisly, Baroque chapel of human bones was built as a reminder of our mortality.
Perched romantically on a barren hill in the Serra de Ossa, high above the surrounding plains, the massive round towers of the Castelo de Evoramonte are visible for tens of kilometres.
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Marvão’s 13th-century castle offers views over the 15th-century parish church and medieval town, and further to the Serra de São Mamede.
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Tiny alleys cut through the medieval streets of old Elvas. Getting lost in them and exploring the city’s many churches is a delight.
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The Roman Temple that dominates Évora’s Largo do Conde de Vila Flor is a reconstruction of the only remnant of ancient Ebora.
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With sugar-white cottages, coloured pink and violet with hanging flower boxes and tumbling down a steep hill from a massive Crusader castle, Castelo de Vide is one of the Alentejo’s most enchanting towns.