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Favorite family hotels and activities in Alentejo

Found yourself thinking about surfing, hiking, going on a safari or simply relaxing on the beach surrounded by cliffs, but can’t figure out where? We found just the right place for you. We’ve created a list of our favorite family hotels and activities in Alentejo.

Alentejo is a region in Portugal that is very much off the tourist circuit, although it is a definite favorite among Portuguese families.

Where to stay?

Craveiral Farmhouse

Located near Lisbon within the breathtaking Portuguese hills, Craveiral Farmhouse is a one-of-a-kind holiday destination, and a perfect place to create memories with your loved ones. Spread out among 9 hectares of land, you’ll find 38 carefully-designed studios, lofts, and houses. The property’s several radiant white buildings and spacious set-up will give you a cozy, yet refreshing village-like feeling.

If you can’t wait to enjoy freshly-baked local delicacies for breakfast, spend the afternoon horse-riding, beach hopping, or vegetable-picking, and the evening star-gazing from your private wooden patio, then we’ve found the place for you. Additionally, Craveiral is, in many ways, dedicated to leaving an environmentally-friendly footprint. A gem, if you ask us! 

São Lourenço do Barrocal

This boutique eco farm village celebrates natural beauty with organic treatments and airy spaces. There is a treasure map and a chest filled with surprises for kids of all ages, waiting to be discovered by your little ones. Go hiking and ask for a picnic basket to take with you, or take stroll to the stables to pick a horse for your ride through the country side. This estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. The current owner, José António Uva, is passionate about supporting the local community and protecting the land. The farm is partnered with the Green Globe brand and together they aim for sustainable tourism.

Where to go and what to know?

Beaches

The beaches of Portugal are a must-visit. Due to the Atlantic Ocean’s giant waves, only a few are safe for children to swim at. Farol Beach is a great beach to visit with the little ones, as its gently sloping sands are protected from the waves by a headland. There’s a restaurant on the beach where you can enjoy a cold beer while the kids paddle in the shallows. Another great beach is Odeceixe beach. There’s a shallow river running though the beach which is ideal for young children. On the beach, you’ll find Bar da Praia, a tiny space with only a couple of tables inside and benches outside. The bar serves good Portuguese wines and high-quality tapas. Nextdoor, you’ll find a more traditional restaurant and bar with the same amazing view.

Take on the waves with Odeceixe surf school, who offer 1-, 3- and 5-day courses. The sandbanks and small waves in the white water provide comfortable and safe surfing conditions for beginners. Due to the unbroken waves rolling in from the Arctic, advanced surfers will have a great time too. The instructors are local surfers certified by the Portuguese Surfing Federation. All have lifeguard licenses and a huge knowledge of the region’s beaches and its conditions.

Cities

The Alentejo is a region with a very well-defined culture. All villages have their own stories and traditions, and every city is a new discovery waiting for you. A UNESCO World Heritage since 1986, Évora is also known as the ‘museum city,’ and truly has everything it takes to amaze you.

The city Serpa is surrounded by a gorgeous landscape of hills and vineyards. Its centre is filled with white-washed houses. Serpa is known for producing “queijadas” (cheesecakes) so make sure to get one (or more)!

Monsaraz is a city located on top of a hill, offering endless views over the valley and the Alqueva lake – perfect for your next family shot.

Best sights

Cabo Espichel 

Cabo Espichel is possibly the best place in the world to watch the sunset. The sight of the Atlantic Oceans, incredible limestone cliffs, a gorgeous church, and even well-preserved dinosaur footsteps, make this breathtaking landscape a must-see.

 

Sado Estuary Nature Reserve

Sado has many secrets to unravel. Go on a boat trip and get acquainted with the dolphins, or gaze away in the bird observatory. The contrast between the white of the salt flats, the blue river, the green of the pine forest, and the golden sand make for an amazing afternoon view. During the autumn and winter months, the estuary is covered by flamingos – your kids will love it! There’s also the possibility to take a hot-air balloon ride; breathtaking views are guaranteed!

Castelo de Marvao

This is one of the best-preserved castles in Portugal and a visit to Castelo de Marvao feels like a trip back in time. The castle is in excellent condition and definitely a must-see. From the top, the panoramic views of the Portuguese countryside will put you in awe. 

Badoca Park

Here in Badoca Park, you can take some of the best shots of your life. Hop in a Jeep and let a guide take you through the foresty- and open lands of over 200 different animals. At Badoca Park there’s also a zoo, a petting zoo, a playground and a restaurant.

Food

  • Stop at kid-friendly restaurant Passarinho in the center of Cercal. Incredible hospitality, combined with typical Alentejan food make for a memorable evening.
  • O Dinis Restaurante dos Pescadores is located on the beach of Carvalhal and serves great fresh seafood. Enjoy a whole sole, plate of sardines or a platter of shellfish, while gazing ocean views and letting time go by under the sun and stars.
  • Family-run restaurant Taverna Os Templários in Monsaraz offers dinner with a view. Its outside terrace offers a marvelous view over the Alqueva reservoir – a family meal to remember!
  • On the beach at Vila Nova de Milfontes you’ll find Restaurante Coupana. Fresh BBQ grilled fish and other seafood treats, accompanied by great Portuguese wines – a true treat!

Craving your perfect Portuguese vacation yet? Find out more!