Alentejo


alentejo


ALENTEJO (ah-lehn-Tay-zhu), meaning “beyond the Tagus River”, is a beautiful, mostly agricultural region, remarkable for its wide horizons, filled with soft hills that change colour along the year, from deep brown to green with white, red and purple to golden, rolling hills and plains, with conspicuous  shrubs.

There are native CORK OAKS and the HOLLY/HOLM OAKS, the established olive trees and grape vines, plus some naturalized eucalyptus trees and some native trees.  In the north, traditional economic activity may be more livestock-based as typified by cow, sheep and pig (both white and black) farming.  To the south agriculture is more predominant.

Evora,_Alentejo


Sunsets and the light-play are stunning.  As the warmest weathered region in Portugal, its inhabitants are known for their slow-paced, easy-going lifestyle and sing-song accent that are in harmony with ALENTEJO’S calm-inducing topography.  So, if you are there, do like the ALENTEJANOS, and go slow.  No stress, please.


Alentejo


The main city is EVORA, in central ALENTEJO, with historic monuments, churches and museums.  Also in Alentejo, in the Evora region, was one of the development centres of early European MEGALITHISM (standing stones).  There are more than 1000 of these standing stones.  There are Neolithic ruins where you can see cave paintings and Stonehenge-era structures scattered across the countryside near Evora.
The origin of the name ALENTEJO —– alem + Tejo combined as ALENTEJO, literally translates to “Beyond-the-Tagus” or “Across-the -Tagus”.
The area is commonly known as the “bread basket of Portugal”, a region of vast open countryside with undulating plains and rich fertile soil.  There are several types of cheeses, wines and smoked hams and sausages made in the ALENTEJO region, among others : QUEIJO SERPA, QUEIJO de EVORA and QUEIJO de NISA (cheeses), VINHO do ALENTEJO, & VINHO de REDONDO (wines) and PRESUNTO (smoked ham).  Marble, cork, olive oil and mining industries are the other important activities in the region and tourism is expected to still have growth potential.

Cork trees and sunflowers in ths vast plains of Alentejo, Portugal


The ALQUEVA DAM is an important irrigation and hydro-electricity generation facility which supports a part of the ALENTEJO’S economy.  The region is also home to the world’s important area for the growing of CORK.  Cork-oak, known in Portugal as SOBREIRO, has been grown commercially for the past 300 years, with the areas between the trees typically given over to grazing, or, on the more productive soils, to the growing of citrus fruit, vines or olives.  As a consequence, a uniquely rich and varied ecosystem has developed.

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