When we talk about UNESCO World Heritages we mean the cultural expressions that are part of the social and cultural history of the communities. Come on this tour to Évora and Elvas, UNESCO World Heritage sites, where culture manifests itself in defense sites, legends, flavors and traditions. In the heart of Alentejo it is possible to witness the voices of local Choirs and Ethnographic Groups singing the “Cante” – elevated as an UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Centered in Alcáçovas, near Viana do Alentejo, cowbells are still being manufactured, earning the recognition of UNESCO, thus elevating this art to the status of intangible heritage. Another example of UNESCO recognition are the figurative ceramics of Estremoz, crafted in clay – this technique stretches back more than 300 years. Portugal is proud of having 17 Portuguese sites that make up the UNESCO list, 7 intangible and more to come!
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Minimum Travellers: 4 (Van Tour); 1 (Self-guided)
Recommended Months: April – June; September – November
Arrival at Lisboa Airport
Welcoming at Lisbon airport, briefing and transfer to your charming hotel in Salvaterra de Magos. The tour starts with a visit at the Royal Falconry, an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Witness a presentation on falconry, the noblest of the hunting arts. Passing by the rice fields, you’ll then visit Escaroupim, a small fishing village with peculiar houses and piers. Seafood dinner at a local restaurant.
Check-out of the hotel and follow the road-book directions, passing through Vendas Novas, till the museum-city Évora – UNESCO World Heritage Site. The day is reserved for exploring the city within the ancient fortified walls, without missing the Bones Chapel and the city’s Cathedral. At the end of the day, check-in at a local Wine Estate and have a relaxing stroll in the vineyard and wine tasting accompanied by food tasting of the flavors of Alentejo.
Leaving Évora towards Viana do Alentejo, you’ll pass by Alcáçovas and visit one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at a local Cowbells Manufacturer. In this small village, the art of manufacturing the cowbells has been preserved and they are still used in cattle. Arriving at Viana do Alentejo, in the center visit the Cathedral and Castle. Check-in at the Hotel.
Nature & Cante
Starting the day with an adventure, we’ll go to Beja and in the heart of Alentejo, visit a local Estate and do a hike combined with an outdoors lunch. The rest of the day is to explore Beja, visit Santiago Maior Church and discover the Saint James Way of Alentejo and Ribatejo. In the evening, dinner in a local restaurant and feel the emotion of the Cante Alentejano – intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, sung by locals. Check-in at the Hotel.
Stars & Night Sky
This day your next references will be to head to Alqueva Dam and visit Aldeia da Luz and its Museum. Check–in at the hotel in Moura. As night falls, you’ll walk a Dark Sky Route alongside the dam. Relax and enjoy the display of stars and the breathtakingly Milky Way.
Before leaving Moura, we’ll go on a boat trip and Birdwatching in Alqueva. Leave in direction of Elvas, where its fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage. Explore the Aqueduct with 7 km length and 843 arches, the Forte de Santa Luzia and Forte da Graça. In the ancient part of the town explore the Castle. Check–in at the Hotel.
The morning will be reserved to visit the sites in Estremoz. You’ll explore the Castle’s Keep and Gadanha Lake. Learn of the origins of the clay craftsmanship of the Estremoz Clay Figures – Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the evening a special dinner on a Marble Stone extraction site is expecting you. Check–in at the hotel
Day of Departure
A transfer will take you back to Lisbon, where the tour ends. Feel free to ask for an extension of your Tour, to rest and explore the Capital.
4* or Boutique Hotels; Charm Rural Houses