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The Alentejo has welcomed visitors for centuries

The Alentejo has welcomed visitors for centuries. Its light, clear and warm summers without a hint of rain, a long seacoast, cork forests and kind people, leave an impression on all who pass time here.

But luxury is far from a new concept in this vast Portuguese province. The kings of Portugal built a massive palace at Vila Viçosa. Évora was a thriving renaissance university city. Romans and Arabs built vast farms and estates here.

To experience luxury in the Alentejo today, one need not go back in time, here are a few rural luxe escapes that surprise the visitor with attention, comfort and service — all set in the wild and open lands that define the Alentejo.

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova

A land of open horizons, rich in color and a special blue sunshine, the Alentejo is one of Portugal’s most authentic places. Set in the traditional village of Albernoa, is the luxury of Herdade da Malhadinha Nova. Surrounded by 1,000 acres of vineyards and fields, this family estate is set in the Alentejo’s bucolic setting; this estate features local marble and contemporary art. As evening falls, enjoy a glass of one of the property’s many vintages by the pool and let yourself be carried away by the sweet breeze floating through the air. Luxury and timeless moments are the essence of an escape to Herdade da Malhadinha Nova.

Herdade da Matinha Country House & Restaurant 

Set in the hilly montados cork forests, this luxe escape is at the end of a rural road. The lush resort features guest houses with an outdoor pool and colorful gardens. Surrounded by old oak trees, Herdade da Matinha Country House & Restaurant offers elegantly finished rooms with traditional wooden furniture and lots of art. Each of the air-conditioned rooms has its own style and personality. Guests can start the day with breakfast in the breakfast room or on the patio. They can also sample local cuisine made with homegrown organic vegetables, as well as local Portuguese wines.
Cycling, horseback riding and hiking are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in this rural escape.

Herdade da Rocha Boutique

Set on a rural winemaking estate, wrapped by vineyards and gardens that are complimented by a stylish contemporary lodge. Tour the estate by foot or bike, see the farm animals or the little lake. The Zen Garden offers a spot for meditation, and sweeping views, as does the outdoor pool and terrace. With both rooms and cabanas, the Herdade da Rocha lodge is a contemporary affair, a low-slung modernist complex that’s reminiscent, in a way, of the boutique resorts of the Far East. Meanwhile the interior style is contemporary as well, though perhaps a bit less boldly than the exteriors. The heart of the lodge is a large contemporary lounge with an informal restaurant featuring new takes on local ingredients, as well as the estate's wines and olive oil.

Herdade dos Grous 

Secluded country estate spread across over 1700 acres. The Alentejo estate produces award-winning wine and also has gardens, a swimming pool, an artificial lake, vineyards and olive groves. All the elegant suites are equipped with a mini-bar, air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV, and telephone. The rooms also feature a fireplace, seating area and a view over the estate. There is an onsite restaurant, where guests can enjoy carefully prepared meals, accompanied by estate wines. Guests are welcome to see the wine-making process, enjoy wine tastings and stroll along the estate. There is horseback riding, a pool, tennis and a spa with sauna and massage.

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