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Alentejo is one of the seven regions of Portugal. This is the region where are located, among others, the cities of Beja and Évora, where the latter is the capital.

The Alentejo region and its cities

In the past, the traditional region of Alentejo consisted of two of the former provinces, Alto and Baixo Alentejo. It was smaller than the current one and included the districts of Évora, Beja, Portalegre and the southern half of the district of Setúbal. The municipalities of Setúbal are now part of the current sub-region of Alentejo Litoral, such as Alcácer do Sal, Grândola, Santiago do Cacém and Sines.

Alentejo is divided into 5 sub-regions. They contain 58 municipalities and approximately 400 districts: Alto Alentejo, Alentejo Central, Alentejo Litoral, Baixo Alentejo and Lezíria do Tejo. Among the cities in the Alentejo region, we highlight Évora, Santarém, Beja, Elvas, Samora Correia, Portalegre, Sines, Montemor-o-Novo, Almeirim, Vendas Novas, Cartaxo, Vila Nova de Santo André, Rio Maior, Moura, Ponte de Sor, Estremoz, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Alcácer do Sal, Santiago do Cacém, Serpa and Borba.

Among the towns that are the county seat, the most populous are Benavente, Grândola and Campo Maior.

The union of Elvas and Badajoz forming a Eurocity in Alentejo

In 2013, the cities of Elvas and Badajoz signed a union protocol, becoming a Eurocity, the so-called Elvas-Badajoz. The purpose of this union is to attract jobs, investment and development. Especially when it comes to tourism.

The urban centers of the two cities are separated by a distance of 8 km and are connected via the A6 highway. There is also a secondary road, called “Estrada da Torre de Bolsa”.

In 2015, the city of Campo Maior applied to join the Eurocity. Elvas and Badajoz approved the adhesion, but the parameters of this union are still being defined.

Olivença between Alentejo and Extremadura

Olivença is currently a municipality in the Spanish autonomous community of Extremadura. Portugal claims this municipality since the 19th century, for which there is a movement that advocates that Olivença is a Portuguese municipality in Alto Alentejo.

How is tourism in Alentejo

The main tourist attractions in Alentejo are the two cities classified by UNESCO as World Heritage of Humanity, Évora and Elvas. In addition to these two, the attractions of Alqueva, Monsaraz, Marvão, Castelo de Vide, Vila Viçosa and the Alentejo Litoral region such as Sines and Tróia draw a lot of attention. However, throughout the Alentejo it is possible to find numerous points of historical and cultural interest. The Rota Vicentina passes through this region.

In 2014, Alentejo won the title of “Best Wine Region” in the USA Today newspaper’s world competition. In the same year, the beaches of Alentejo Litoral were also highlighted by the British daily The Guardian as the best in Europe.

In 2016, the region broke the record for international tourists. There were more than one and a half million foreign tourists staying in hotels in the region. the main emitters are Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Italy.

Alentejo has already won four times (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) the award for best tourism region in Portugal.

Best types of transport in Alentejo

In 2016, the Eastern Line passenger rail service was reopened. This line has 7 stations: Abrantes, Ponte de Sôr, Marvão, Crato, Portalegre, Elvas and Badajoz. It also has 7 other stopovers: Bemposta-São Facundo, Fazenda, Chança, Mata, Assumar, Arronches and Santa Eulália.

In addition to the train, there is the transport of passengers by taxi in all Alentejo counties. The region is mostly served by Lisbon International Airport, but in the Elvas area there is Badajoz Airport. There are those who choose Madrid International Airport, because of its proximity and price difference.


This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil) Spanish

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