WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Monday, 8 October 2012


 Its Monday.. What do I blog about!

Ahh. I have it!  Here I share with you all
On this lovely Autumn morn.
To the early morning blue Autumn skies of my garden..

To the shadows and reflections of the sun along my paths.

to the blooming of my Oleander trees still overloaded with blossoms.
To my Autumn roses still full in bloom
To purple creeper growing through the olive tree

         To     Adding this clip of traditional Alentejano men's choir
                                                           To  Roman ruins... Temple of Diana.. Evora
                                                                   to -  Alvito dam close to my quinta
To a traditional Alentejo horseman. 

I thought I would write  and share with you, some of the beauty of this vast region that I live in.  The Province  of Alentejo.
 When starting my blog over a year ago.    I didn't know what to call it.  After some thought I   named my blog-   Val's Alentejo! After all ,  I have lived here 30 years.    I thought that very appropriate.

I fell in love with Alentejo in the summer of 1974.

The history of Alentejo is fascinating .  Maybe some day you might like to read about it.


The Region is seperated from the rest of Portugal by the Tagus river ( Rio Tejo).. where its name derives from  Alem do Tejo- (beyond the tejo). The Tejo estuary, is one of the largest estuaries in Europe.
The Alentejo region extends to the south , where it borders with the Algarve.

Alentejo, is a region known for its polyphonic singing groups ..comparable to those found on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica.

Singing in the clip (above) are the  men's choir of  my region.  Cuba, Alvito and down to Beja..
When the men sitting in the cafe's of a hot summer evening drinking their coffee or brandy after dinner . One might often be lucky to hear one of the men  start to sing.  After some moments  others will join in soon, one can hear their deep voices singing throughout the village . An evening well spent indeed.
 Young men will  also  get together and sing at festivals,while the young girls blush at the wink that they might be given.
  The men sing of times while when  working in the fields , their beloved was at home ..They sing of the golden wheat fields  and the vast open spaces and of their long lost loves. Of the birds and trees.    To see these men singing  and especially at festivity time is very uplifting.
Closing one's eyes, you can hear some of the moorish influence in their music.

Sadly.. we cannot say that of today's modern woman!   And many a  field falls   barren and bare , as the youth  move away.
Times were are different!.  Here at least we still live somewhat in the past.   That's what i like about life here.  The old traditions in many places are still the same.

I live in the Baixo Alentejo- the lower Alentejo. My region's main municipality is the city of Beja.

Alentejo is considered to have a mediterranean climate, there are parts of southern alentejo that are very Arid climate and the temperatures are really really hot.   The region is typically dry for a large part of the year.. temperatures reaching 40 degrees celsius and above.. We have mild winters. Alentejo is the hottest place in Europe.
I do not own an umbrella.. I do use wellies, as it can become very wet during the late Autumn and spring rains.  We could be sitting out on christmas day..maybe a cardigan or so, if we are lucky.
Alentejo is a special province.. you either like it or you dont.  It's the largest province in Portugal.

The countryside varies considerably from the open rolling plains of the south to the granite hills that border Spain in the north east.

                                                           to castles on the village hills
                                                               to windmills old and still in use
                                                to the Alentejo Province
                                                       to     Rolling hills dotted with olive and oak
                                                         To  our south west Alentejo coast beaches..  clean  and pristine during the summer months.. to swimming in the Atlantic warm and inviting..

I wish all my dear blogging friends a very happy  Monday.  
Its a glorious warm Autumn day here with 25º and rising.
I hope that your day will be a happy one..
That you look around you and savour this lovely Autumn day.
And thank you for passing by .



  1. To see the blue skies, sunshine, and shadows around Alentejo this morning was a treat. The skies here today are dull and rain is in the air.
    Seeing your flowers reminds me that I broke a tiny twig of Oleander off a bush in Sicily earlier in the year. It was no bigger than my finger, and joy of joys it is now at least 14 inches high and has blossom on it. I shall probably have to bring it in to the conservatory to keep it for the winter unlike you where they can remain out of doors all year.
    I loved the trip around your region - thank you Val for sharing it with us.

    1. Rosemary,
      Its the most best of best Autumn days today.. its really lovely.
      How wonderful that your Oleander took. thats amazing. I remember you saying somewhere that they dont grow in UK.. I would imagine if its protected like you say.
      It will be interesting to see how it fares.! They are easy to grow, the leaves are highly poisonous ..
      Sending you lots of warm wishes and sun
      Thank you for your kind comments

  2. Oh those sunny beaches look so inviting! It's 13 degrees here and raining and feels more like 10 degrees. x

    1. Oh that is cold suzy.
      It will be heating and cosy nights with hot cocoa.

  3. it is truly a beautiful land. thank you for sharing it with us.


  4. Υou live in a very beautiful province ! The countryside, fields, traditions, everyday life is what unites the people. I would like to hear the songs of men in the coffee shop. Thanks for shared with me the place you live !

    1. It is a lovely province. Very big and vast, with open plaines.. Like Greece many traditions.
      I am pleased you enjoyed the post Olympia
      thank you for your comments.

  5. What a lovely post Val. I love learning about others lives and where they live and want to thank you for sharing this with us. It looks so lovely in the area that you live and envy you the gorgeous weather. Your photos are stunning. Have a great week.
    Patricia x

    1. That is one of the reasons I live here.. The weather is wonderful.
      Portugal has a very good climate.
      Thank you Patricia for your kind comments on my photos.

  6. What a lovely place where you live! I enjoyed reading about it. Your flowers are pretty. Thanks for sharing your homeland.

    1. Pleased that you enjoyed my post Sylvia.
      Thank you for leaving your kind comments.

  7. Alentejo is so beautiful in your photos, and Autumn is my favourite season. I would love to visit Portugal, thanks to your inspirational photos and descriptions; I had never thought about it before! The men's choir is a wonderful tradition - I sing with a ladies choir once a week and enjoy it very much. Singing brings good health, and great friendships. Temple of Diana is amazing - so old, and so picturesque. Enjoy the season! xxx

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Patricia.
      How wonderful to sing in a choir. I do agree, singing is good for the soul and health.
      The temple of Diana is a Roman ruin.

  8. Val,
    So, that is where your blog got its name. I often wonder about my bloggy friends and why they named their sweet blog what they did. Thank you for giving us a little history about Alentejo. The beaches are beautiful, and the clouds are magical. Have a good week, Val.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    1. Dear Sheri,
      it is so encouraging to get comments from you.. as it is from some of my other blogger friends. i know that you read my posts.. some bloggers dont even comment. i find that not so curtious! after all its cyber socializing..
      yes, thats how i thought about the name for my blog.
      Alentejo is a beautiful province..very different.
      xxxxthank you sheri.

  9. Ηallo Val!Your,e so lucky living in a so beautiful area and country!Your flowers look so nice!Thanks for shared with me the place you live !Wish you a lovely week!

  10. Thank you Dimi.
    At the moment all is looking so pretty here . The weather too is wonderful.

  11. I so love reading about your country, Val, and seeing all the beautiful images of the breathtaking landcape that surrounds you. Thank you so much for teaching us about your beautiful home, and the customs and people and way of life. It's so fascinating and you make it so alive it's like we are there with you. Oh! and your garden is still so vibrant! I hope you continue to enjoy your beautiful Autumn days.

    1. Thank you for your comments Haworth. Portugal is not my country... Its where I chose to live.. and I love it. Along these many years.. i have learnt about the customs of Portugal and I love the history. I enjoy sharing it with my blogging friends.
      thank you for your kind comments.

  12. I always feel like I've done a little traveling when I visit here. Such a fine travelogue you always give! Such a beautiful place to live.

    1. Hello Jacqueline,
      Thanks for your kind comments.. It pleases me, when people enjoy reading about my life here in Portugal..
      I love passing by your blog.. its always so very lovely and interesting too.
      I do live in a most beautiful area.

  13. Hello, lovely val...
    Thank you for sharing and giving us insight as to how your home has its name......
    It must be wonderful to live and call this your home.
    I always feel that is what is very special about blogging, we get to meet and see the most lovely of peeps and places!
    Autumn is perfect here too,but for how long, I am not sure...
    I wish you a lovely rest of week Val.
    Love Maria x

  14. Hi Val,
    Thank you so much on letting me escape to Portugal for a few moments. We loved the country when we visited and must visit it again. We didn't hear any singing when we were there so lovely to be introduced to it on your blog. I'm so glad the old traditions are still carrying on in some places.
    Sarah x

  15. So beautiful and interesting--I would love to visit there one day.

    1. Thank you Jen, for leaving your comments.. Nice to see you my side ..
      Am sure you would love to visit ..its a beautiful country.

  16. You live in such a beautiful area Val! It is sad that young people have to leave such places - I believe most small places in several countries have the same fate...

    Your autumn looks very much like my summer ;)

    1. Thank you Demie.. You are so kind. It is sad when the young folk go away. Sad to see the parents and grandparents living alone.
      Yes, its the same fate nowdays everywhere.

  17. I can tell you are in love----sure you are!!! The way you talk about Alentejo, the people, the gardens, the traditions...it is a passionate way of saying: I love this place, I love these people...

    I admire you Val.

    xoxo Bshell

    1. Obrigada Blue Shell.
      Sim, eu estou "in love" apoxionada para Portugal e Alentejo.
      Estou aqui des de 1974..
      Espera que estas um pouco melhor..!

  18. Lovely post Val.S

    orry I haven't been around much but am happy that I had time to pop in and say hello to you today.

    Will read more of your blog and try and catch up, I seem to have missed so much so it will take me a while -
    a long while!!!

    Hope that you are having a good week and that your boys are well.

    x Fiona

    ps how is your pot pourri?

    1. Hello Fiona.. the pot pourri is now sealed and maturing. I dont want to open it yet.
      Gina says around 5 or 6 months..
      Thanks for passing by .. we all catch up with one another as time goes on.
      My daughter and boys are very well thanks.. all doing their own things.

  19. What a wonderful post about your region and the place where you live. I can understand you enjoying living there Val. It's so warm with a relaxed way of life. How cold does it get in Winter?
    The singing of the men's choir was very good. Such rich voices. Lovely to keep up the tradition of singing the old songs.
    So many beautiful photos, windmill, castle, flowers and gorgeous beaches. You live in a paradise Val!
    Enjoy the day!

  20. Hello Betty, thank you for your comments..
    It gets to around -4 on a very bad winter's day.. we only have a few months of real cold here.
    It indeed is a relaxed way of life.


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