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Discover The Alentejo Planice Dourada in Portugal

Oct 10, 2007
The landscape is strong, endless and impressive.

The plain defines the territory, a wavy plain that changes its colours each season: in Winter green is dominating, in Springtime a blanket of flowers of different shades transforms the region into a festival of colour, in Summer we are struck by the sense of dryness and heat conveyed by the golden that conquers everything; finally, in Autumn the fields are ploughed and sown, and the colour brown rules in countless shades of land. And everything starts over again!

The landscape is the first sensation we have on arriving to the region, we should find out what is beyond this first impression.

Landscape is life..
..it is the wild nature that has shared this territory with mankind for thousands of years.

There are several habitats included in the Natura 2000 Network, such as the Special Protection Area (SPA) of Moura/Barrancos and Mourao home of birds of prey, black storks and cranes; the SPA of Castro Verde, that has the only zonal plan of the country and is a sanctuary for the steppe birds; or yet the SPA of Guadiana which includes the Natural Park of the Guadiana Valley, where the famous waterfalll of Pulo do Lobo is located.

It is the reflex of history!

In this area we have evidence of human presence since remote times: archaeological sites, castles, churches, old mines, museums where pastime artifacts are on exhibition, or simply small hamlets and villages with their traditional buildings show the various cultural influence this region underwent throughout time.

It is the people who live here, with their knowledge and experience, with their traditions and culture. The religious and popular feasts are scattered throughout the whole region: all the villages are embellished to celebrate their patron saints, especially in summer.

The fairs and markets, former occasions for meetings and trade, are today modernized to be a show of the local products and activities; the Cante (traditional polyphonic singing) is also a pretext for meetings and festivals in all the places with tradition in this art.

It is the scents and smells that are wisely transformed into flavours!

The gastronomy is one of the region's best visiting cards. The cheeses are of goat and sheep's milk, and the most famous is the one from Serpa; the smoked hams and sausages, especially from Barrancos, are prepared from black pig. The local wheat bread together with herbs as coriander, pennyroyal or mint is the base for several delicious dishes such as the "migas", "acordas" and "ensopados". Some of the choice dishes are "gaspacho", "ensopado de borrego" (Lamb stew), "carne do alguidar", "sopa da panela", "sopa de Beldroegas", "sopa de cacao" and "acorda de bacalhau"; but there are also the stewed broad beans, peas with eggs, chick peas stew or game dishes.

Sweetmeats are also a must and they reach their peak with the old convent recipes such as "pao de rala" or "trouxas de ovos", but popular cakes like the "popias", "nogados" or "pasteis de grao" are also a temptation.

The wines from Vidigueira, Moura and Pias have tradition but outside these areas new vineyards are growing and new wines are being created.

And because we're talking about landscape and food, we cannot forget the olive oil one of the best known regional products, particularly the one from Moura.

However, not everything is landscape and there is a lot to do in this Region: open air activities like hunting, fishing, birdwatching, cycling, horse riding, canoing, paragliding, karting, and also cultural activities from the annual calendar of events such as the Planicie Mediterranica, Encontros de Comunidades Mineiras (Meeting of Mining Communities), the cartoon exhibition, the Islamic Festival or the International Documentary Film Seminar Doc's Kingdom.

For all these reasons, the Planicie Dourada is a region to discover!
About the Author
Alentejo Home is the Real Estate specialist in the Alentejo region of Portugal between Lisbon and the Algarve. Find out how we can make your dream come true at >Alentejo Home Real Estate
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