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The Alentejo for the culture vulture with the Amieira Marina

3rd July 2012 Print

Located on the shores of the Alqueva Lake in Portugal, the Amieira Marina offers a gateway to charming pockets of rural life giving visitors a true taste of Portuguese history and culture. Visitors travelling to the marina to venture out on their very own houseboat will discover another world of cultural gems on their doorstep.

Whilst sailing on Europe’s largest manmade lake, visitors are invited to drop anchor to explore surrounding villages along the shores of the Grande Lago whether on foot or by bicycle.

When meandering around the quaint streets of these local villages, guests can sample the mouthwatering hospitality, try out their Portuguese with the locals, or purchase traditional pottery from the nearby shops.

Of the many traditional villages to stop off at around the lake, the following four are not to be missed:

Monsaraz sits on a rocky spur on the north-west shore of the lake with sweeping views over the Guadiana valley. The village has just 114 inhabitants and it is one of the oldest Portuguese settlements in southern Portugal. Its fortified walls and narrow slanting streets help retain its medieval charm.

Estrela is often the first port of call for visitors setting out on their houseboat adventure from the Amieira Marina. With a population of 300, the village has a small community church and charming local restaurants, offering traditional Portuguese cuisine and an insight into daily life.

Juromenha village is steeped in history and offers an enriching cultural experience; the meandering paths of 13th and 17th century walls still remain today, along with the ruins of Paços do Concelho and Casa do Governador.

Mourao features a stunning medieval castle which acted as an important lookout point over the access to Monsaraz. Mourao has a population of 2,111 and the town plays host to a number of festivals and events throughout the year including Castle Week which takes place annually from the end of July to the beginning of August.

There are a range of vessels available at the Amieira Marina with a capacity of two to 12 people, which are fully equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, living area, bedrooms, sun deck and barbecue as well as safety equipment and navigation technology including GPS.

With average temperatures of 34°C during the summer months, the Alentejo is the ideal setting for a memorable holiday experience. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking fishing, cycling as well as a range of specialised activities such as wine tasting, horse riding, quad biking, walking trails and astronomy tours.

So for a true taste of the Alentejo, discover houseboat holidays with the Amieira Marina.

For more information, visit