Walking in Alentejo's Serra Sao Mamede

Self-guided walking holiday in Portugal

From € 275.- / 8 days

Price per person - 2 people booking
Discounts for > 2 people

  • Dogs welcome
  • One accommodation
  • Self-guided walking holiday
  • hilltop village in Alentejo
  • olive grove with poppies
  • someone walking along a country road in Alentejo

Enjoy a self-guided walking holiday in a beautiful and unspoilt area in Portugal; The Parque Natural da Serra de Sao Mamede.

Alentejo's Parque Natural da Serra de Sao Mamede takes you back to a lost time. Walking in this part of Alentejo gives you hills, castles, olive groves, cork oak, pine and chestnut forests and a glimps of a forgotten and uncluttered way of life.

Few walkers have discovered this secluded and beautiful part of Portugal, it is rare to meet any other people walking the countryside trails.

Accommodation in Alentejo

You will stay in a lovingly restored self-catering holiday house, 3km south of the peak of Sao Mamede. It's quiet but not silent. You'll hear muffled bells on goats and sheep passing by, and the babbling of the mountain stream.

With three twin rooms and one double it is ideal for a group of friends and families too. You will have the whole holiday house to yourself and complete privacy. One twin room has an en-suite bathroom whist the other three rooms share a bathroom.

exterior accommodation bedroom accommodation kitchen accommodation

The kitchen is very well equipped so preparing your own meals will be easy and convenient. Outside dining in a joy. A starter/welcome pack of tea, coffee, sugar, fresh milk, bread and wine is provided.

Walking in Alentejo's Serra Sao Mamede

couple walking along a steep trail walking map of Alentejo

You will receive a folder with detailed 1:25000 scale maps and walking notes that are very easy to follow. Many walks can take about four hours so you can build your day around each and visit the villages nearby.

The walks are all circular and located within the natural park. They have been designed to let you walk though varied terrain and countryside settings. There are maps and notes for nine walks but of course you can also roam wherever you wish.

Alentejo walking holiday itinerary

view on terraced rural valley historic town centre

The folder of walks will allow you to make up you own itinerary. Below are a few example walks;

Walk 1 - The village of Portagem is dominated by the rocky outcrop with the fortified wall of the World Heritage candidate hilltop village of Marvao looming above. Park near the Roman bridge which gives the village its name (tollgate) and make your way along the river Sever then left up the ancient cobbled path way that zig-zags to Marvao through cork oak woodland with glimpses of the border with Spain to the east.

You can spend a few hours wandering around the other-worldly village of Marvao or leave that for another day. On a crisp day you can see the distant Serra da Estrella mountains especially when they have snow on top in spring. Descend through old cobble lanes bordered with granite bouldered landscape past tiny farms with goat bells chiming to re-join the path back to Portagem. The cafe overlooking the swimming pool will supply an ice-cream or a cool beer.

Walk 2 - South and downstream from the Quinta the Alegrete walk takes you in a loop through farmland, past wrecks that were once tiny peasant's homes, through olive groves and vineyards. Here, the mountain stream at the Quinta has broadened in to a small river which dissappears out of view as it cuts through a ravine and heads to the town of Arronches.

The path joins a road barely used leading you past typical rural houses and small holdings, some bedecked with vines. Back onto woodland tracks through cork oak with a view of Alegrete village and castle through olive groves. The walk finishes outside the village with the possibility to explore the ruined castle.

Walk 3 - Another favorite walk is near to Marvao but with a lesser incline and through homesteads that eek out an existence amongst the massive granite plutons of rock. The hamlet of Galegos is next to the border with Spain and at one point you are supposed to turn left along an ancient smugglers road but most are tempted to walk a few metres ahead for a detour and say "Hey, now we are in Spain". Well why not.

If the Sao Mamede hills are time-forgotten then this is a walk that you would think Sao Mamede forgot. Some parts are moonscape punctuated with gnarled cork oak whilst granite walled lanes take you past herds of goats. Passing remnants of granite buildings at the bridge over the river Sever you can stop for a rest. The path leads on but you can extend your break with a detour downstream where the river flows over flat granite with pot-holes bored by spinning rocks during ancient floods.

Walk 4 - Each walk has a different character and the village Esperanca is the start of a longer loop that runs through some cork oak montados habitat on the Alentejo plain to the south of the Serra de Sao Mamede. There is an interesting combination of plants and flowers found on this route including wild asparagus and irises. Lupins are sown amongst the cork oak to fix nitrogen into the soil.

Approaching Esperanca again you pass the Serra dos Louções prehistoric Lapa dos Gaivões rock paintings at the mouth of a small cave in the hill. The Serra de Sao Mamede has a very large number of bird species and this area is particularly good for spotting birds of prey.

Dates and availability

path through rural countryside terraced hillside in the Alentejo

2 people booking - 8 days/7 nights - € 275.- per person

3 people booking - 8 days/7 nights - € 231.- per person

4 people booking - 8 days/7 nights - € 199.- per person

5 - 8 people booking - 8 days/7 nights - € 189.- per person

Please note, in June and September the price for 2 people booking is € 300.- per person, in July and August € 325.- per person for 8 days.

This Alentejo walking holiday is completely flexible and can start on any date, subject to availability. Your holiday can be longer or shorter (preferably 3+ days). Car hire is recommended for this walking holiday. Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form, for more information.

location map Walking holiday in Alentejo's Serra Sao Mamede

Holiday type

One accommodation Self-guided walking holiday
Self-guided walking holiday
Board basis: Self-catering


From € 275.- / 8 days

Price per person - 2 people booking
Discounts for > 2 people

  • Dogs welcome by prior agreement


7 nights Accommodation, Bed linen and towels, wood for the stove in cooler months, gas and electricity, starter/welcome pack of tea, coffee, sugar, fresh milk, bread and wine, folder with marked up 1:25000 scale maps and detailed walking notes for nine walks

Not included

All other costs, including travel costs to the starting-point of this holiday.

Walking holiday reference


Walking grade

Walking holiday in hills to low mountains
  • Hills to low mountains
  • Easy to moderate walking

Best time of the year

All year
April - June for flowers

Walking Holiday by:

Quinta Azenha do Ramalho

Catherine Hogan


Contact details

Languages spoken

English, Portugese

Getting there

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