Alentejo is the place to go for that laid back rural holiday where endless green plains, scattered trees and ambling cattle are all you see for miles. Amid the gentle hills of this south-central area of Portugal are expansive olive plantations and vineyards. The air, unlike that in metropoli around the world, is crisp and sweet, scented with ripening olives. In other words, tourists headed for holiday homes in Comporta and other parts of the Alentejo littoral can look forward to perfect hiking and biking conditions. They can also expect to be taken back in time as they meander through the narrow streets of medieval towns. HomeAway ensures that these explorers have spacious, luxurious and cosy dwellings to return to by offering them family villas surrounded by towering trees and lush lawns. Some of these Comporta holiday rentals are situated close to Alentejo’s scenic beaches as well.
-Beaches: Right off the bat, those envisioning miles of soft sands for leisurely promenades will not find what they’re looking for along Alentejo’s coastline. They’re better off heading to the adjacent Algarve. What visitors will find here instead are small beaches surrounded by towering cliffs. They provide dream photo ops for shutterbugs and stunning panoramas for those who take the trouble to climb to the cliff tops.
-Hiking and biking: This is the activity holidaymakers angling for stays in Comporta holiday homes and villas will most enjoy. As they trudge or cycle through the ‘fields of gold’ Sting sang about (there are extensive wheat plantations here), visitors will be struck by a soothing sense of serenity. This largely agricultural area is also carpeted in vineyards and olive plantations and dotted with cork-oaks. Gazing at this staid scenery from the tops of the gentle hills, one will surely feel lost in paradise.
-Monuments: Set in the midst of the acres of plains are the remains of ancient structures that speak of the locale’s pre-historic and Roman heritage. The Castro da Cola village contains ruins and artefacts that date back to the Neolithic, Bronze and Middle Ages. From what is left of those ancient settlements visitors will be able to envision how people lived in those times. One of Alentejo’s most alluring sites is the field with scattered megalithic stones jutting out of it.
-Outdoor activity: Apart from walking through the vast landscape, there are other activities adrenaline junkies can look forward to as they make their reservations for holiday homes in Comporta. They can traverse the endless plains in a hot air balloon, taking in the sights from above. The more daring can skydive into the fields of Evora. For those who love dolphins, there is the chance to see them up close and even play with them.
-Water sport: Conditions off Alentejo’s coastline are ideal for surfing and a host of other water sports. There is a diving centre from which tourists can secure gear and introductory lessons to enable them to explore the underwater treasures of the Atlantic. The inland lakes and rivers are great for freshwater canoeing.
This locale is reckoned as one of the hottest in Europe. So those booking holiday rentals in Comporta during the summer months of June, July and August can expect days when temperatures approach 40°C though on average, temperatures range between 26 and 29°C. Packing that bottle of sunscreen is therefore not an option. Rainfall at this time of year in Alentejo is virtually unheard of. Winters, as one would expect in such a semi-arid area, are mild with temperatures averaging from 10 to 13°C. The rainy season occurs between October and December.
To get to Alentejo, tourists coming from abroad will ordinarily book a flight to the Lisbon Airport, Portugal’s main international gateway. From here they can make the 64-mile journey to Alentejo by bus, a trip that generally takes three and a half hours. There are usually only three buses plying this route in a day so visitors might want to hire a vehicle to drive to their Comporta holiday homes.