The Beja district is an unknown area for walkers but has a lot to offer. For example, the Rota Vicentina is a well-known walking route of 400 km long. The Fishermen’s Trail is an adventurous walking track along the coast with cliffs, lots of sand, fantastic fishing and other paradise spots. No traffic other than walking traffic is allowed there. And do you prefer to see churches, country houses, do you prefer to discover legends and stories of the small villages along old pilgrim roads, then turn on the Historical Way.
Vale do Guadiana Nature Park.
Located in the valley of the Rio Guadiana, which sometimes flows between narrow banks with age-old tidal mills, and sometimes between steep slopes with Mediterranean vegetation, which form a beautiful natural landscape, this nature park has an old and very well-preserved heritage. At the extreme north end of the park, where the beauty of the landscape is truly unsurpassed, the main bump in the flow of the Guadiana, the waterfall of Pulo do Lobo, is so marked because the banks of the river are so close that the river can be traversed in one jump (pulo = jump). But don't try this, it's really not as easy as it seems. This area is characterized by vast plains that run from Corte Gafo to the Serra de Serpa mountains, where cornfields and grass fields lie. Unique forms of vegetation can be found here. One of the rarest species is the water clover fern, which, according to tradition, brings good luck. You can get to know this protected area by following the various landscaped and marked hiking trails. If you are coming in the summer, you must take precautionary measures i.v.m. the heat that can be very high in this area and has the most solar hours in Portugal. Whatever you choose, don't forget to visit Serpa. This is a small town with narrow and picturesque streets, surrounded by walls from the 14th century. Delicious cheeses are made here! In Mértola, a museum city, there are locations from Roman times but also remains from the West Gothic and Islamic occupation. The symbol of the park was also designed on the basis of these remnants from earlier times - a bird of prey as depicted on an 11th century Islamic plate.
Serra de São Mamede Natur Park.
In the mountains of Serra de São Mamede we find an unexpected Alentejo. High instead of flat! Green instead of dry! Here you can also find remains of the human civilizations that lived here in historical times. The highest point, which lies at 1025 meters, is the highest south of the Tagus and has an exceptionally beautiful view. The mountains function as a barrier against condensation and create a microclimate with higher precipitation and humidity than in the surrounding areas. That is why this mountain range is rich and varied. Oak and chestnut trees dominate in the north and cork and holm oaks in the south. To discover this area, five walking routes have been laid out in the park, giving you the opportunity to view the varied vegetation and rare birds of prey such as the griffon vulture, the black kite or the hawk eagle, symbol of the park. If you are lucky, you can even see wild boar and roe deer that are back in the São Mamede Mountains after much effort has been made to restore their habitat. If you prefer the architectural heritage, you can visit medieval towns such as Castelo de Vide, Alegrete and Marvão, or the city of Portalegre, the most important in the region. In addition to the many country houses and monasteries that give the city an aristocratic atmosphere, it is the seat of the tapestry factory (Manufactura das Tapeçarias) where real artworks are made. To regain your strength, you can enjoy regional specialties in which the "ensopado de borrego" (lamb meat) and the "cabrito assado" (goat meat) are indispensable. For dessert you can take a delicious "boleima" or a "sericaia" with plums from Elvas.