Location

Ourique.
Ourique.

Vale da Cegonha is situated in the Lower Alentejo province of southern Portugal. The town of Ourique is located 6 Km in one direction and the village of Garvao can be found 5 Km away in the opposite direction.

The beautiful Monte da Rocha lake, which is 5 minutes away by car, is clearly visible from the highest point of our land.

The west coast of Portugal is about 45 minutes away by car. Here you will find pretty little towns and villages: all with un crowded, unspoiled long sandy beaches. For a little more razzmatazz, the much livelier Algarve beach resorts can be found to the south - about 50 minutes drive away.

The capital, Lisbon, can be reached in about 1 ½ hours and the beautiful Guadiana River Valley and Spanish Border are about 1 ¼ hours away.

Faro airport can be reached in about 1 hour and Lisbon airport in about 1 ½ hours.
Beja airport, scheduled to open in 2009 will be about 45 minutes away.

Why Holiday Here?

Monte da Rocha lake.
Monte da Rocha lake.

The landscape in this area of the Alentejo is known as The ‘Montados’, which refers to the gently rolling hills with ancient cork and holm oak woodlands found locally. The oak trees and the land beneath them are home to an astonishing collection of wildlife and bird life, including many varieties of spectacular birds of prey. We have hares, partridges, swallows and owls living in the grounds of Vale da Cegonha and blue magpies, bee-eaters and hoopoes are regular visitors, as well as tree creepers and various larks; plus many others. Over head we see red and black kites that are nesting nearby, as well as buzzards and eagles. Also, we have the storks - Vale da Cegonha means ‘valley of the stork’ - and they nest all around us from November until late August.

During the Spring vivid, red, yellow, purple and white flowers carpet the landscape, which slowly turn to gold as the summer progresses.

To all of this you must add rivers, lakes, olive groves and eucalyptus forests, all interspersed with pristine white towns and villages. As you move away from the Montados the landscape changes to wide open plains and vineyards. These areas have a unique collection of bird life, including great bustards and lesser kestrels, both of which rare and endangered species.

The country houses are traditionally long and low, with terracotta roofs, white walls and brightly coloured surrounds to the doors and windows. It is this style that we sought to emulate when we built our holiday homes: Casa Aguia and Casa Coruja.

One of many attractive beaches found on the West coast of Portugal.
One of many attractive beaches found on
the West coast of Portugal.

Apart from being situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, teeming with a vast array of wildlife and bird life, the Alentejo region of Portugal also possesses an air of timeless tranquility far away from the stresses and strains of modern-day living. Life continues here, much as it has done for centuries. Shepherds still tend their flocks and everyone it seems has time for a friendly chat. Many of the local families have been here for generations and as for the people themselves, they are kind-hearted, courteous and very welcoming. They may mot speak your language, but a friendly smile and warm handshake are never very far away.

So, the Alentejo is stunningly beautiful to look at, with a unique collection of wildlife and bird life and a local population who will welcome you with open hearts - all in all, the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing holiday.

But........................if you would like to do more on holiday, other than just relax, please see our Local Interests page. Here you will find details of places to visit as well as activities available locally.

Directions

The closest town to our country house accommodation is Ourique. Ourique is situated almost midway between Lisbon and the Algarve.

From whichever direction you approach us you have a choice of 2 routes, each with the same road number. Either, the old road, the IC1 or the new motorway the IP1, which is a toll road.

In both cases the IC1 is shorter but the IP1 can be faster as a result of the amount of heavy traffic that still uses the IC1. The choice is yours.

Full and detailed directions for reaching us will be forwarded upon confirmation of your booking.


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