The Alentejo and the Algarve occuppy nearly half of Portugal stretching from the Tagus river in the north to the beautiful sandy beaches in the southern coast.
The Alentejo has large farms in rolling countryside which stretch as far as the eye can see, and very little population. Hilltop towns, often with a castle that has been converted into a hotel in the Pousada group. The western coast has long, sandy deserted Atlantic beaches. Evora (UNESCO World Heritage site), Estremoz, Arraiolos and Beja are some of the most important towns in the Alentejo offering history, hospitality, a gastronomy with a mix of flavours and some of the most famous wines produced in Portugal.
The Algarve has something to offer everyone, tempting golf courses on which international tournaments are played, superb tennis and riding and every watersport you can think of. There's an excellent choice of holiday apartments and villas. Walk through the busy local markets to choose from traditionally- made handicrafts such as matgrass baskets and rugs, beautiful hand-painted pottery and tiles, beaten copperware and intricate bobbin-lace. At night visit one of the many glittering casinos or clubs, or simply sit outside beneath the stars and sample some freshly-caught seafood.
The most convenient international airports are at Lisbon, Faro in The Algarve and Beja in The Alentejo.