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Authentic Alentejo

Portugal’s tranquil heartland to the coast
 
From its tranquil inland hills to the Costa Vicentina’s virgin beaches, the little-known Alentejo region will entrance as you explore by car (hire included) on this self-guided journey. Discover smugglers’ trails, atmospheric hill-top villages and the walled, medieval city of Évora.
Authentic Alentejo . 9 nights
Authentic Alentejo . 9 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Alentejo

Portugal’s colourful history reads like the highs and lows of an epic movie, studded with swashbuckling adventures on the high seas, border clashes and revolution, tempered by a wistful sense of saudade  – a nostalgic longing for a past out of reach that adds a melancholic tinge to the national character.
On this journey through the Alentejo, the country’s largest but least-populated region, there are frequent historical reminders, but also the sense of being drawn into an authentic, timeless present that few would imagine possible in modern-day Europe.
Travelling from the tranquil borderlands of the Serra de São Mamede, you reach vast, sun-kissed plains, where Évora's walled treasures trace an evocative timeline from Roman occupation to the Golden Age. Continuing south-west, you eventually come to the sea, where the cliffs and dune-backed beaches of the Costa Vicentina are washed by the restless ocean, siren to the Portuguese spirit.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Marvão
    Night 1: at Pousada de Santa Maria (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Marvão
    As you explore Marvão itself, take in views across the rugged Alentejo plain and across to Spain, the quiet hills and valleys of the Serra de São Mamede forming a natural border that once endured troublesome and turbulent times. A glorious peace now reigns in this land of laid-back villages and cork-oak woodland, and you can get to know it by following smugglers’ trails on foot, admiring neighbouring fortified towns such as Castelo de Vide, and witnessing the timeless traditions of this deeply rural – and distinctly sleepy – corner of Portugal.
  • Marvão to Évora
    Driving south-west into the vast Alentejo plains, perhaps stopping along the way at enchanting Elvas with its pentagon fort and four-storey aqueduct, you arrive at the mightily impressive, walled city of Évora and the Albergaria do Calvário, your base for three nights.
  • Explore Évora
    Thanks to our self-guided walking notes, this fascinating city reveals its innermost treasures: the 13th-century Gothic and Romanesque cathedral; the superb Temple of Diana which has stood since the 2nd century AD, withstanding the great earthquake of 1755; the Roman Baths; a superbly preserved collection of 16th-century mansions and palaces; a delightful tangle of Moorish alleyways whose whitewashed houses are decorated with azulejos  tiles and wrought-iron balconies; and the macabrely-compelling Chapel of Bones constructed from 5,000 skeletons. You are in the heart of Alentejo wine country, so we suggest a visit to the historic Cartuxa winery – producer of the renowned Pêra Manca red – for a tour and tasting on the outskirts of Évora. You could also head to nearby Arraiolos, famed for its hand-embroidered rugs and circular castle; or drive east through vineyards to the medieval village of Monsaraz, which is known to known to locals as Ninho das Águis (‘Eagle’s Nest’) because it overlooks the Spanish border and Lago Alqueva, the largest man-made lake in Europe.
  • Évora to Touril
    The last leg of your odyssey takes you to the rugged, unspoiled Costa Vicentina, whose virgin beaches are backed by dramatic cliffs and washed by a restless, deep-blue ocean. The pace of life here is refreshingly unhurried, and the down-to-earth inhabitants of sleepy fishing villages offer a welcome that's as warm as the sun. Your last three nights are spent at the Herdade do Touril.
  • Explore the Costa Vicentina
    Gaze out from the lighthouse of Cabo Sardão at the offshore sea stacks where storks nest in spring; discover the coast’s rugged beauty using sections of the Rota Vicentina long-distance footpath; savour a leisurely lunch overlooking the ocean at Zambujeira do Mar; and enjoy fiery sunsets over the restive ocean that lured so many Portuguese adventurers – an emotive finale to your journey.
 

Accommodation

Your  comfortable accommodation is appealingly varied.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 9 nights: 01 April - 30 June 2019 & 01 September - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 11 April £1095 £740
    12 - 21 April £1175 £720
    22 April - 23 May £1095 £740
    24 May - 21 June £1145 £765
    1 - 15 September £1195 £770
    16 - 24 September £1145 £765
    25 September - 22 October £1095 £740
    3rd & 4th person discount -£110 to -£145
    Single traveller supplement £110 to £145

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: 9 days’ category C car hire (e.g. VW Polo or similar with manual transmission)

    Driving time to first hotel: Lisbon 3h
    Driving time from last hotel: Lisbon 3h, Faro 1h45
    Pay locally for one-way drop off charge when returning from Faro

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Pousada de Santa Maria
    Suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £22
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £22
    Albergaria do Calvário
    'Premium': 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £6
    'Premium': 01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £13
    'Premium': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £13
    Herdade do Touril
    Superior in Casa Principal: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £12
    Superior in Casa Principal: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £12

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day's hire car.
    Pousada de Santa Maria (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 05 Apr 2019 £74 £130
    06 Apr - 11 Apr 2019 £94 £170
    12 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £100 £176
    22 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £94 £170
    01 Sep - 15 Sep 2019 £100 £176
    16 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £94 £170
    Albergaria do Calvário (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £86 £144
    13 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £93 £156
    22 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £86 £144
    01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £93 £156
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £93 £156
    Herdade do Touril (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £98 £178
    13 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £105 £185
    22 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £98 £178
    01 May - 31 May 2019 £98 £178
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £110 £200
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £110 £200
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £98 £178
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Lisbon (with the option to return from Faro)

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Aberdeen TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Lisbon easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Bristol easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Lisbon easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Edinburgh jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Lisbon Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Glasgow easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Lisbon easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Liverpool easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Lisbon TAP Air Portugal 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - London City British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Lisbon Air Europa,  Azores Airlines (SATA),  easyJet,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Gatwick British Airways,  easyJet,  Norwegian,  TUI 
    Faro - Gatwick (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Lisbon British Airways,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Heathrow British Airways 
    Faro - Heathrow (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Lisbon easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Luton easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Lisbon Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Stansted British Airways,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Lisbon easyJet,  Ryanair,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Manchester - Lisbon (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Manchester easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Return route Airline
    Faro - Newcastle easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 9 nights
  • 1 dinner
    9 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • 9 days' category C car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is Portuguese. The currency is the Euro. Portuguese time is the same as GMT/UTC. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on the same time as BST.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/19/2019 9:06:07 AM