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Rural life in Alentejo

A sun-baked stretch of southern Portugal between busy Lisbon and the beaches of the Algarve, the Alentejo is an ideal match for a slower-paced style of tourism. Read on for top sights and activities that highlight the region’s nature and traditions, plus hotels and restaurants for all budgets.
A cobbled street leading down from Marvão’s castle
COMPILED BY RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM REGIS ST LOUIS. PHOTOGRAPHS: MICHAEL HOWARD/4CORNERS, MATT MUNRO

SIGHTS

Arraiolos

(cm-arraiolos.pt)

The small town of Arraiolos is famed for its exquisite tapetes – handwoven carpets made here since the 12th century, which show Persian infuence. On a stroll you may see locals stitching in front of their homes. Patterns are based on abstract motifs, fowers, birds or animals. The town itself comprises traditional whitewashed and blue-trimmed houses with terracotta roofs.

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