Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Very helpful general guide
on 17 April 2012
Too much to expect fine detail about one specific region with nine under review, but we found the Alentejo section very helpful. It gave enough information about the landscape and the villages, towns and cities to help us decide where to go and what to look for. Everyone perhaps finds one village or location they enjoy that Rough Guide doesn't say much about, and we did in Redondo that only rates a mention of its flower festival. RG says it is pretty; it is, but not in any sense tourist-oriented, like the white towns of Andalucia, which it resembles. The church, with its 17th century blue and white tiles and sculptured chapels, we found very moving; the working potters, only too delighted to show us their work, were a pleasure to meet; even the shops were like English village shops of fifty years ago, and all the better for that. The local bread and cheeses are lovely.
RG is exactly right about the market in Estremoz: not entirely necessary to stay the night but the alternative is to get up early - after about 10.30 the real business is over; before then there are bargains galore. Elvas has somewhat updated its tourist office, and the map now has street names, but information about opening of churches and museums seems vague. RG advice on where to eat there is absolutely right: the good news is the locals don't arrive until nearly 1 pm so about 12.30 gives you complete freedom at Machado, and its prices are cheap. The cooking is done while you wait and the waiter is very friendly and helpful.
Overall, very glad we bought Rough Guide, and we will use it for a return visit to Portugal.