Unidade de Hemodiálise de Portalegre

Alentejo, life happening slowly

After the Tagus, before the Algarve we can found Alentejo region. Looking at the map of Portugal, it is easy to identify the limits of this region, but it is more difficult to embrace all its dimensions.The East borders Spain and the West is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, so vast and distinct is the Alentejo. Lands of white houses and historic centres, green marshlands and plains as far as the eye can see, megalithic ruins and monuments, Roman and Arab heritage, rivers, mountains and beaches. Alentejo is all this and so much more.

What to do in Alentejo?

To explore the entire region, it is important to define priorities because, for each explorer, there will be a route. Évora, the museum-city where one of the four existing NephroCare dialysis centres in the region is situated (the other three can be found in Grândola, Santiago do Cacém and Portalegre), is an excellent starting point to take the pulse of a region that breathes history. With a historic centre classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Évora holds attractions such as the Roman Temple or the Chapel of Bones, but also megalithic monuments such as the Cromlech of Almendres, considered one of the most important in Europe. Scattered all over the Alentejo, megalithic monuments proliferate in Serra d'Ossa or in the Monsaraz area, where you can visit, among others, the Cromlech of Xerez.

Elvas and the walls that make it the largest bastioned fortress in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are also worth a long visit. Those who, in turn, seek an immersion in the Arab heritage of the Alentejo, should head to Mértola - a city on the banks of the Guadiana river where the expression of this culture reaches its peak, represented by its well-preserved mosque.

Equally unmissable is a walk around Alqueva, whose dam not only transformed the landscape but also brought a touristic glow to a destination that has been able to remain calm and quiet. The wonderful dark velvet sky of the Alqueva is the world's first starlight destination. Here we can observe with the naked eye a large number of celestial objects.

Nature lovers can also visit the Natural Reserve of the Santo André and Sancha Lagoons, the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, which extends to the south coast of the Algarve.

Eat, sleep and enjoy

Land of churches, castles and palaces, Alentejo also has its landscape marked by simple houses, in a statement of simplicity and authenticity that even today is a recipe to describe the region. The same can be said of its cuisine. Famous for doing a lot with little, it has elevated foods considered less noble to icons of national gastronomy, such as “migas” and “açordas”, two types of traditional delicious bread based dishes. Bread, pork, olive oil and wine are unavoidable, but so are the aromatic herbs that harmonize the dishes and perfume the places. At each stop, there are several accommodation alternatives, but it is in the rural tourism that you will most quickly find the essence of this region.

While to the north you can glimpse the green of the marshlands, further south are the plains that stretch as far as the eye can see, in a horizon line punctuated by cork and olive trees. This is the landscape you can find all the way to the coast, where the Alentejo reinvents itself on popular beaches like Zambujeira do Mar or Vila Nova de Milfontes. Halfway through there are other beaches, not always marked on the map, but whose discovery will remain engraved in your memory.


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