Located just about 90 minutes east of Lisbon, the peaceful town of Évora is the heart of Portugal's Alentejo region. It gets a fair number of day trippers, but relatively few overnight visitors, so I like to spend a few nights here and use it as a base to visit the surrounding area. There are plenty of sights in the town to see in the morning, before the day trippers arrive from Lisbon.
To avoid the throngs of day trippers during the late morning and early afternoon, head out into the countryside, where plenty of of interesting sights await. You'll need good directions to find this group of standing stones, known as a cromlech, complete with pre-historic engravings. It's Évora's own little Stonehenge.
Nearby is a grove of cork oaks, where you can see how the bark has been stripped from the trees to produce wine corks and other cork products. The bark can only be harvested every 8 to 10 years, so cork producers have to have a lot of patience.
And speaking of wine, the Alentejo produces some of Portugal's best wines, so be sure to include a visit to a winery, but you'll need to make an appointment in advance. Very few wineries in Europe are open to walk-in visitors, and this is true for Portugal, as well.
You can even have a picnic in the vineyards, while tasting the local wines.
Évora is just one of the many hidden gems you can discover – with the help of Hand Crafted Travel – on a trip to Portugal. Whether you want a guided tour with a small group, a private tour, or want to do it on your own with a self-guided trip, Hand Crafted Travel can create a trip that will become a lifelong memory. Contact Bryan to start planning your 2021 adventure.
Travel always involves some level of risk, and lately people have not been willing to risk planning too far in the future. Understandably concerned that they won't be able to reach their destination due to COVID-19 restrictions, travelers are putting off buying plane tickets, even for travel in 2021. Monday United Airlines announced that they are 'permanently' dropping change fees for travel within the US, and won't impose change fees for other destinations through Dec 2021.
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