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The Alentejo spreads from the southern bank of the great river Tejo down to the mountains of the northern Algarve in the south – bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Spain and the River Guadiana mark the border to the east. This region occupies more than fifth of Portugal, with only a small fraction of the population.

Roman relics are everywhere, from the still-standing temple at Évora to the mostly intact Roman villa at São Cucufate. This region flourished under centuries of Roman and then Moorish rule, and both conquerors left behind breathtaking architectural and cultural gems that can still be seen today. In this fertile land, more than half of the world’s total cork supply is produced, as well as wine and wheat.

The northeast of this region is famous for its villages, especially Nisa, Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Portalegre and Alter de Chão, whilst the land towards the Algarve becomes flatter and warmer, with the walled towns of Monsaraz, Villa Viçosa, Estremoz and Arraiolos. We have chosen a few of the more popular towns in this area to take a closer look into:

Évora
Evora is a beautiful walled city, with the renowned Roman temple. The narrow streets of the old town and many other sites here have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.

Portalegre and Arraiolos
These towns are well known for the internationally famous tapestries, whilst Beja is well known for its production of wheat, olives and cork.

Castelo de Vide
Castelo de Vide is often referred to as the Sintra of the Alentejo, and is located among olive groves and chestnut trees in the cool mountain region of São Mamede. The town is known for its thermal spa, medieval castle and a Jewish quarter (with a 15th-century synagogue).

Marvão
Marvão is just south of Castelo de Vide, set high in the hills above the valley, and is notable for its magnificent views and impressive castle.

Vila Viçosa
Vila Viçosa is dominated by the lovely old church and castle, while wild boar and deer run free in the nearby royal hunting grounds (known as the Tapada Real). The economy of the region depends on marble quarrying and everything around Vila Viçosa's streets seems to be made of marble – and lined with orange and lemon trees! The pavements, all the benches and even the toilets in the bus station are made of rock.


Further reading for Buying In Portugal

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Viewing Guide

Finding the right property can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?
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Hidden Costs

The price of the property as listed is never the price that you will end up paying. There are a host of other costs.
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Legal Matters

Buying a property in Portugal has very different legal requirements to the UK.
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Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?
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