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Why Portugal’s Alentejo Region Should be on Your Clients Bucket List (and how you can see it for yourself!)

The current buzz word in travel these days is “experiental travel.”

Your clients are looking for authentic places where they can immerse themselves in the culture. Many travelers are saying that they want to avoid crowds, teeming cities, and long lines. For many, that experiential travel plan puts Portugal on the list. What if you could recommend a place that is authentic and offers a wide variety of places to stay, from rural luxe, to castles, to quaint inns set in small towns, or on the long Atlantic coast. And that has a host of experiences, from wine and olive oil making, to cooking, to birding, to pottery, to living on a houseboat.


If that all sounds good, then put the Alentejo on your client’s bucket list. Just an hour from Lisbon, the Alentejo region has no big cities but is made up of small fortified towns with low, whitewashed houses and narrow cobblestone streets, where traditional crafts and food are the experience. Imagine cork forests, vineyards and fields of sunflowers.


The Alentejo has been on many people’s lists, from the Romans, Arabs, Phoenicians and Celts. Each of these ancient peoples came to the Alentejo – and each left a lasting imprint. With the birth of the Portuguese nation in the 12th century, the Alentejo became a country within a country — with its own arts, pottery, rugs, songs, styles, cuisine, and unique way of seeing life and a way of speaking. It is a place of poets, captains, builders, farmers, artists and ranchers. The cultural past of the Alentejo is alive and vibrant.


Natural Attractions
The pace of life is different here. The landscapes, beaches and people make it unlike any other place. The feeling starts when driving along the rural roads, surrounded by groves of cork oaks, olive trees and vineyards. On the western coastline, surfing is popular on sandy beaches. The coastline is preserved as a natural park — with breathtaking Atlantic beaches and small fishing towns such as Zambujeira do Mar, Porto Covo, and Vila Nova de Milfontes. Look for sandy bluffs, great hikes, forts and great beaches. In the east, there are ancient fortified towns waiting to be explored. Unlike most areas in Portugal, the Alentejo is mostly flat and there is no better way of exploring the region than with a bicycle. There’s a list of cycling trails you can choose, from north to south, east to west, all with beautiful stopovers in towns with their own charm, or in small farms with sheep and pigs living under the cork and olive trees.


Few places have the mix of history and food that you find in Évora, a World Heritage City, still thriving in its ancient city walls. The grand Giraldo Square gives way to tiny streets, full of outdoor eateries, ice cream and pastry shops. Places like Estremoz or Monsaraz will also let you travel in time inside their walls.


The food of the Alentejo is 100% local too— with dishes of bread, olive oil, fish and pork that you won’t find anywhere else in Portugal. Traditional Alentejo cuisine is based on the local crops. On the coast the fish is as fresh as can be, as are the crabs, goose barnacles, and clams.


Any new bucket list destination has to have unique experiences — and the Alentejo has that. You can visit farms and learn firsthand how the cheese, wine, and olive oil is made. There are pottery towns such as Corval and Redondo where pottery shops welcome guests, and you can see potters at work. Many small towns have a host of local artisans, as is the case in Évoramonte, where weavers and potters work right next door to each other.


Romans, Moors, Greeks, Carthaginians have all been drawn to these landscapes and beauty. Discovering the traditional cuisine and delicacies as simple as dipping bread in distinct local olive oil, sampling the wines and exploring the rolling plains, natural reserves and more than 85 miles of coastline. You can get out and hike the Atlantic trails of the Costa Vicentina, or follow the local Caminos de Santiago. Don’t forget birding, cycling, and exploring the cork forest. Clients can even take a cooking lesson, or explore a royal palace.


Reasons To Go
Some of the reasons why travel professionals should consider selling Alentejo to their clients include:
Unique Experiences: Alentejo offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is not found anywhere else in the world. Visitors can explore ancient castles and historic towns, enjoy traditional cuisine and wine, and experience the region’s cork forests and stunning beaches and countryside. With mostly local lodging, growing interest and a unique culture – travelers can use the help of a trvel agent to get the most out of this region.


Affordable Luxury: Compared to other popular destinations in Europe, Alentejo offers luxury experiences at a more affordable price point. From five-star hotels and spas to boutique wineries and restaurants, visitors can indulge in the best of what the region has to offer.


Easy Accessibility: Alentejo is easily accessible from major cities in Portugal, such as Lisbon and Faro. It is also well connected to Spain, too, making it a convenient and accessible option
for travelers.


Growing Popularity: Alentejo is an up-and-coming destination that is quickly gaining popularity among savvy travelers from around the world. By selling Alentejo to their clients, travel agents can tap into this growing market and offer a unique and memorable travel experience.


The Alentejo is a charming and peaceful region that offers visitors a unique glimpse into Portugal’s rich culture and history. Whether clients are interested in exploring ancient ruins, tasting delicious food and wine, or simply enjoying the beautiful cork forest, the Alentejo is definitely worth a visit.


Overall, Alentejo is a great destination for travelers looking for a unique and authentic travel experience that is both affordable and accessible. By promoting Alentejo to their clients, travel agents can help their clients create unforgettable travel memories.



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