The Alentejo region of Portugal is the largest by area in the country, and it stretches all the way north to the River Tagus (Tejo), that flows into the sea at Lisbon. Having heard there were some great river beaches and passadiços (wooden walkways) to explore, we decided to take a trip to Alentejo Alto to see for ourselves. Only an hour and a half’s drive from Estremoz, we trundled off in the ‘bus’ to the municipal campsite at Ortiga, which is a small village that falls under the municipal district of Gavião.
As we are still only just discovering the Alto Alentejo region of Portugal, for us camping is all about experiencing new places that are not necessarily long road trips away. So in late April we drove to Vimieiro, a village that is only 30 minutes from Estremoz in the district of Arraiolos.
I was really looking forward to seeing these ‘prehistoric’ cave paintings – as I had never seen any before – until a friend pointed out that they are actually around 5,000 years old, so not really pre-historic. More like Bronze Age rock art created by hunters and gatherers.
Having been living full-time in Estremoz, Portugal, now for a year and four months, all of that time under the cloud of Covid, we were beginning to feel a little restricted. So we decided to look around for a suitable van for nights away, or to ‘pernoitar’ as the Portuguese say, and a chance to get out and explore the country.