This region stretches out to cover around one third of the whole of Portugal, with a mixed diverse topography ranging from vineyards and wheat fields to rolling plains and large cork plantations. Two of the towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of which is Elvas, a fortified medieval village with defensive gates and bastions that contains the Amoreira Aqueduct, which was completed in the early 17th century and is an astounding sight. The second site is Evora, boasting a grand Gothic Cathedral, medieval walls over 2,000 years old and a Roman temple. Just an hour south-east of Evora is Lake Alqueva, a large man-made reservoir which is extremely popular for boating and water-sports.
Other popular destinations include the great marble towns of Villa Vicoca, Borba and Estremoz, the captivating eucalyptus forest in Serra de Ossa and Carvalhal with its resident flamingos in the Rio Sado estuary. If you’re a wine lover, this region is renowned for its delectable wines. You can visit the estates for tastings and in some cases, a delicious lunch too. The Castle of Marvao is worth visiting, sitting atop an almost 1,000m high hill overlooking the surrounds. It was first established in the 8th century by the moors but has since had different occupants. There are magnificent views from the top of the towers and you can explore the cistern underground.
Cabo Espichel is a famous cliff located just an hour south of Lisbon where people go specifically to watch the sunset over the Atlantic with the backdrop of the limestone cliffs. The beaches are sandy, clean and have good facilities. Water-based activities include kite surfing, kite sailing, swimming, fishing and snorkelling. If you enjoy food markets, then Portalegre is a great place to visit. It is well known for its wine and markets, where you will be able to purchase freshly made delicacies, fruit, vegetables, honey, olives and cheeses.
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