To get to know history and culture, one of the best options is to visit real open-air “galleries”. From prehistoric times, in the São Mamede mountains, the highlight is the Meada Menhir, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. From Roman times, without having to leave Évora: the ancient walls, the baths, the arch of Dona Isabel, the Casa de Burgos and the Temple of Diana, the latter being an ex-libris of the city. In Mértola, by the River Guadiana, the Arab heritage is at its peak, with the mosque (now the main church), the only well-preserved mosque in Portugal, standing out. Dozens of castles and fortified towns, such as Marvão and Estremoz, are marks from the Reconquest times. The Portuguese Discoveries and the Renaissance created a unique style, the Manueline, with the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa being an example of the Renaissance. Sines, Évora and Vidigueira celebrate one of the greatest Portuguese navigators: Vasco da Gama.
One of Portugal's most emblematic demarcated regions, the Alentejo represents about 10% of its total area. Here, the flatness and lack of orographic barriers prevent the condensation of the humidity coming from the sea, taking away the Atlantic elements in the wine, except for some projects in Costa Vicentina. It should be noted that it is the few orographic accidents that distinguish the profiles of the 8 sub-regions. As an example, the wines from Serra de S. Mamede, Serra do Mendro and Serra d'Ossa are characterised precisely because of their altitude. Another identifying mark of this region are the talha wines, a practice developed by the Romans, which consists of using clay jars for fermenting must and storing wine.
3 REASONS TO COME HERE
- A peaceful getaway
- Charming towns
- Cork oaks and olive trees
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