Alentejo hike & drive

Alentejo is a vast and sparsely populated region in the southern half of Portugal. Fortified towns surrounded by thick walls are dotted around on the hills near the Spanish border. Impressive sandy cliffs conceal idyllic beaches, hiking trails and small villages along the ocean.

10 days


  • Castelo de Vide and Marvão: picturesque and impressive at the same time
  • Hiking along medieval paths
  • Natural Park Serra de Sao Mamede
  • Activities at the Alqueva lake such as water sports, cycling, hiking, cooking workshop and stargazing
  • Menhirs and Megalithic Structures
  • Walled towns and castles of Monsaraz and Mourão
  • Guided tour in Évora city
  • Some of the most beautiful stages of the Rota Vicentina
  • Impressive cliffs, beautiful beaches and charming fishermen's villages
  • Discover vibrant Lisbon
  • Optional activities such as make your own wine, go canyoning, ...
  • Optional visit to Arraiolos, famous for local handicrafts/rugs and the circular castle

This travel plan shows various options in the Alentejo region and can be fully adapted to your wishes. Spring and autumn are the best travel times for this area. During the summer months it can get too hot so we tend to recommend other regions in Portugal for that time of year.

Would you like fewer or more days in a specific place, combine with Central Portugal or even with the Azores? Be inspired by the example itineraries on our website and contact us. Together we will create your ideal travel plan.

DAY 1 Arrival in Lisbon & self-drive to Castelo de Vide

Upon arrival in Lisbon, you can immediately pick up your rental car and head to Castelo de Vide, a picturesque village in the Serra de Sao Mamede Natural Park. This area includes the largest mountain range South of the Tagus and heaps of cultural heritage. Due to different microclimates, it is greener than the rest of the Alentejo region.

The extensive, personalized roadbook which you receive after booking, contains tips and tricks on what to visit, where to eat, elaborate descriptions of hiking trails and so much more. If you arrive early today, we can suggest points of interest where you can stop along the way or you can already visit the historic center of Castelo de Vide, the small alleys and colorful houses. Afterwards enjoy a terrace and a delicious meal. There are also a number of small supermarkets in Castelo de Vide.

To visit the vast and sparsely populated region of Alentejo, a rental car is necessary. Public transport is virtually non-existent.

Overnight in Castelo de Vide.


DAY 2 Castelo de Vide hike

After breakfast you can take a nice circular walk from/to Castelo de Vide. The path begins at Castelo de Vide near the church of N. Sra. dos Remédios, leaving the urban area it goes up the slope of the Serra de Sao Paulo's rugged rock formations. Beautiful nature and views unfold themselves as you follow a well-preserved medieval cobblestone road which leads to the highlight of the journey: the Chapel of N. Sra da Penha, an old pilgrimage spot.

Adventurers can also enjoy an optional stretch of via ferrata on the way. It is necessary to make a booking in advance and subject to confirmation.

Walk 9.2 km | about 3.5 hours | +/- 235 altimeters

Would you rather drive to Ammaia roman ruins or visit the olive oil mill at the little hamlet of Galegos?? There are many options for non-hikers as well. Contact us to learn more.

Overnight in Castelo de Vide.


DAY 3 Hike or drive to Marvão

From Castelo de Vide you can either drive or hike to Marvão. Marvão is an impressive settlement on top of a hill, with meters thick walls, old cannons still in place, and if you climb the stairs up to the tower you have infinite visibility over the surroundings. The center of  Marvão has been very well preserved and renovated.

The hike takes you along rural areas and over old roads. Part of the medieval pavement is still intact and is flanked by walls. You will come across countless farms along the way. Livestock and olive cultivation are the main activities, sheep run around happy in the meadows. Portuguese cork oaks alternate with stone remains from a bygone era. Chestnut (castanha) forests emerge as you approach Marvão. The Castanha de Marvão is a protected, local product. The last 3 kilometers it goes steeply uphill before reaching the gate to the town of Marvão, at an altitude of 800 meters. If you opt for the hike, we provide a transfer back to Castelo de Vide.

You can also opt for a shorter walk along old smuggling trails and cork oaks. Contact us so we can customize your travel itinerary together.

Walk Castelo de Vide to Marvão 9.6 km | about 3.5 hours | +/- 603 height meters.

Overnight in Castelo de Vide.


DAY 4 To Alqueva Lake, Monsaraz and Mourão

On the way south, towards Monsaraz / Mourão, a stop near Campo Maior is recommended. Visit the Centro de Ciência do Café, a winery and sample a local lunch at the farm's restaurant. Then continue to Alqueva lake. The lake offers many opportunities for relaxation, both on the water: canoeing, rent a boat, water ski,… and on land: walking, cycling, horseback riding ...

The largest artificial reservoir in Europe is perfect for a few relaxing days. With more than 250km2, this lake extends over several municipalities. The fortified town of Monsaraz is located on a rocky hill and dominates the surrounding plains. It offers the most beautiful views of the Alqueva lake. Both Romans and Arabs have lived here. The nearby medieval settlement of Mourão also reveals a rich history in which this country was inhabited by the Moors before Christians conquered it. Just like in Monsaraz, you will find a castle on the outskirts of this town.

This sparsely populated region with little light pollution allows the stars to shine brightly. If you like stargazing, it is best to plan your trip so that you are in this spot at the time of a new moon. With UNESCO support, Alqueva became the first place in the world to receive the “Starlight Tourism Destination Certification”. The Dark Sky Reserve was established and equipped with an observatory.

Overnight in Mourão.


DAY 5 Mourão and Monsaraz

Today you can either choose one of the many beautiful walks in this region, visit the local market and enjoy a cooking workshop with a local, a bike ride, horseback riding or one of the many water activities on the lake.

We suggest a circular hike from Monsaraz, past menhirs and megalithic structures, a baroque fountain and beautiful landscapes. There are many other hiking possibilities. Contact us to customize to your wishes.

Hike 13 km | about 3 to 4 hours | +/- 306 altimeters

Overnight in Mourão.


DAY 6 to Évora

This charming city with mainly white and yellow painted buildings is the favorite of many locals and travelers alike. Because there are several gems not to be missed, we provide a local guide to show you around this university city for half a day.

There are also several places worth while visiting around Evora as well, if time allows. To name a few options:

Arraiolos is a nearby village, famous for its carpets and a peculiar, completely circular castle. The typical Alentejo landscape is dotted with cork trees so you also find a lot of cork items in the small shops. 

Near the lovely town of Estremoz you can make your own wine and take it with you, bottled and labeled!

Please contact us to create a customized itinerary.

Overnight in Évora.

DAY 7 To the coast - Costa Vicentina walk

After breakfast it is about a 2.5 hour drive to Zambujeira do Mar at the Atlantic Ocean. After check-in, we provide a transfer to Cabo Sardão so that you can walk back to your new home along one of the stages of the Rota Vicentina. This walk is 9 km long and the duration depends on the number of stops you make on the way.

Overnight in Zambujeira do Mar.

DAY 8 Costa Vicentina hike from Odeceixe

Our transfer to Odeceixe allows you to hike another stunning part of the Rota Vicentina. This is one of the most beautiful stages along the coast. It is mainly a flat coastal hike of 14 km. However, there are stretches where you have to walk through loose sand, along steep cliffs and slippery ground. Sometimes ropes are provided to help you. In case you have any problems or concerns about ankles, knees or vertigo, let us know so that we adjust the program accordingly.

Other possible activities include relaxing by the sea, cycling or surfing.

Overnight in Zambujeira do Mar.

DAY 9 To Lisbon city

Catch a glimpse of beautiful Lisbon before you return home! Count on a 2.5 hour drive to the city. At your city hotel you will receive an envelope containing a VivaViagem card which allows you to use all forms of public transportation in and around the city (bus, metro, train ...). Enjoy exploring the different neighborhoods by the Tagus river!

Overnight in Lisbon.


DAY 10 Bye bye or extension

Today you can fly back home from Lisbon airport or you can choose to extend your trip and combine with other regions in Portugal or even in the Azores. Have an inspirational look at the example itineraries on our website.

We look forward to design a personalized itinerary according to your interests, accommodation preferences, desired travel pace and the time of year you wish to travel.

Pricing and options

This price is always subject to availability. It can also vary according to personal wishes, extra services, changes in the itinerary, amount of travelers, type of accommodation and so on. Only the confirmed price on your definite order form is valid. Please contact YŪGEN tours to request a personalized itinerary and quote according to your personal wishes. 

You can always contact us by email at However, it is recommended to fill out the YŪGEN compass in case you like a personal travel plan. The compass helps you to show us what your holiday should be like and at the same time provides you several images, inspiration and possibilities. There is also space to write down any question you may have or additional information you would like to give us. 

The YŪGEN compass

Use our compass to let us know what kind of holiday you would like and let us guide you in the right direction. Together we will create your custom-made itinerary which fits your style and wishes.



Rental car

You are free to book with any supplier of your choice. Several companies are present at both Porto and Lisbon airports. Or you can book directly with our preferred supplier through the link below. Please contact us first to check availability for your travel itinerary with the desired accommodations and other service providers before booking a car.

Important information

Best time to travel

The best travel times for this tour are spring and autumn as the weather is normally excellent then. During summer months it may get too hot inland and crowded at the Oceanside.

Travel insurance

It is aways recommend to take out a travel insurance, covering for cancellation and curtailment, medical situations, baggage, emergency evacuation. Always check the specific conditions and coverage of your insurance policy, especially when participating in more adventurous activities.

YŪGEN tours does not provide travel insurance.

Medical Precautions

  • Check with your local immunization authority, travel clinic, public health facility or personal physician.
  • Visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION website for up to date information

Travel documentation

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire at the embassy in your country. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:

  • A valid Belgian identity card or an international passport. 
  • A visa is not required.
  • Children need their own identity card. Within the Schengen Zone it is recommended to bring a copy of the passport of the parent which does not accompany the other parent and the minor during the trip, as well as a document of consent of the non-traveling parent. This can prevent delays.
  • Belgian citizens should consult the website of the Federal government for all travel related advise:


  • Flights are not included in the price of the tour. You are free to choose your flight dates, route, price and airline company if you wish to fly to Portugal.
  • If you opt for flights with a stopover or transfer in the United States of America, please note that you must complete a VISA WAIVER. You can do this up to a minimum of 72 hours before arrival, and this on the website of ESTA ( The permission is valid for 2 years and costs approximately 14 USD per person.
  • Before booking your flights, please contact YŪGEN tours first to check if our local partners are not fully booked on the desired dates.
  • The closest international airport depends on your travel itinerary. For this tour, Alentejo Hike & Drive, you should fly to Lisbon. Also Faro airport can be an option, for example for a tour on the reverse (first coast, then inland). However, sometimes it is recommended to fly to Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, for example if you like to travel around Northern Portugal. Please contact us so we can advice you according to your holiday plan.

Drive and self-drive tours

Several car rental companies are present at both Porto and Lisbon airports. Cars can also be rented in smaller towns like Viana do Castelo and Evora, according to availability. Please consult the tab Pricing and Options in case you like to book with our preferred supplier.

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire in your country of nationality. Travelers from the Netherlands can consult the website of ANWB. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:

  • Your identity card and drivers license should be sufficient. In case of renting a car, do check the specific regulations of the rental company. Often a credit card is required to be able to rent a car and you need to be in possession of a drivers license during a certain amount of time already and/or a minimum age may apply.
  • More information on driving in Portugal and regulations can be found here:
  • Please note that there are several toll roads in Portugal. Rental companies offer different solutions. On some highways you can pay in cash, but some are fully electronic and you need a special device to use them. Car rental companies can provide the device against an additional cost. Dutch speaking travelers can consult In case of renting a car always consult the car rental company.

Feel free to contact YŪGEN tours for more information. We will be more than happy to assist.