Home #WHERETONEXT Europe What’s New In the Alentejo, Portugal

What’s New In the Alentejo, Portugal

Image by Frank Nürnberger

To many Portuguese – the Alentejo is a country all its own. The distinct dialect, unique countryside and flora, the local slower pace of life is far from the norm. Certainly this has confounded many travel writers who seek common denominators as they try to boil the place down to its essence. If you want to see and breathe in a unique place, this is it. And, it has evolved in a way that getting about and exploring is much easier — but the essence is still the same. The rest of the Alentejo is spread out — and often towns are miles from each other, and the areas between are connected by cork forests, olive groves and patches of big round top pines.

The hill and plains of the Alentejo can appear purple at sunset, and the cork forests, fields of sunflowers and olives, are only occasionally punctuated by fortified hill towns. Moors, Romans, Carthaginians and other great civilizations have been drawn to its natural beauty. Évora, the center of the Alentejo could be called a living museum. But, despite its Roman temple, Gothic cathedral, and ancient ramparts, Évora is a thriving place for life, commerce, palatial hotels and a cuisine as rich as its past. One of Portugal’s hidden treasures, is a wild and historic region that combines grand Roman and Moorish ruins, with medieval towns, whitewashed villages and baroque cities (such as Évora and Portalegre) with some of the most evocative natural scenery in Europe. Alentejo Atlantic coastline combines rocky coves and cliffs with some of Europe’s most sandy and undeveloped beaches.

But the wonder of this region is a slow discovery. The pace of life is slower, the people are very welcoming and kind. And there are all kinds of surprises. For example, you could drive for 40 minutes in the Northeastern corner of the Alentejo and see nothing but cork forests and a clear blue sky. Then, the road leads to Portalegre, a bustling little city, full of life and movement.

Hotels Scheduled Openings for 2022

Hotel do Cante, Evora, now open

The Hotel O Cante is a love-letter to Alentejo culture. With contemporary decoration, with colors and textures there are traditional notes of local culture, country life, daily life, the household chores of its people, giving it authenticity and providing its guests with a unique and culturally enriching experience.


Vidigueira’s first luxury wine hotel opens in 2022

Set in a wine town, under the development of the Saraiva & Associados architecture firm and with a restaurant space in the hands of chef José Júlio Vintém.  Dieter Morszeck will take his Vidigueira winery further and transport his guests on private planes to this wine-producing sub-region of Alentejo. A Boutique Wine Hotel comprising 23 rooms, the building, which is being built from existing ruins, two steps from the winery, will maintain the original features of Alentejo houses.

A luxury eco-hotel opens in 2022 in Santiago do Cacém

São Francisco da Serra is the location for the construction of a “unique structure” that combines sustainability with the comfort sought during vacations. The project is scheduled for April 2022. In São Francisco da Serra, town of Santiago do Cacém, a “unique structure” will be built: a hotel complex that combines luxury with sustainability.

Arraiolos Railway Station to be inn

The former Arraiolos Railway Station will be transformed into a small hotel, through private investment. The project consists of transforming the Old Train Station in Arraiolos into a 15-room Inn and Restaurant Unit, a project under the management of the group that owns the Convento do Espinheiro, in Évora.

Hilton Garden Inn Évora

Évora will have a new  Hilton Garden Inn Évora, a project by the Mercan Group in partnership with the RA Group. The hotel will be located less than 10 minutes from the city’s historic centre, next to Rossio de São Brás. The planned investment is 21 million euros. The Hilton Garden Inn Évora will have an area of more than eight thousand square meters, with 130 rooms and an outdoor pool on the roof with bar and terrace. The hotel will also have a restaurant, gym and a meeting room.

Jardins de Grândola to open in 2022

“Jardins de Grândola” is the name of the new hotel by Qantara Capital to be built in 2022 in the town of Grândola and scheduled for completion by 2023. This new 4-star hotel will have 50 rooms and 100 beds. It is an urban rehabilitation project in the center of the village, just off the Jardim 1º de Maio park.

Planned for the near future: Costa Terra, Development in Torre (Comporta),  in the Brejinho D’água area, conversion of the “Hotel de Lives” for 5 stars

Theme park dedicated to gin: A Vila do Gin opened in Santiago do Cacém

The concept of the theme park, which according to its designers is “unique in the world,” in the space where the Black Pig gin distillery is located, more precisely at Herdade do Sobral, in Vila Nova de Santo André.