Bradt's Alentejo remains the only standalone guide to this emerging region, providing all the information needed to find that idyllic rural retreat, beachside boutique or romantic hotel set in a converted palace. Restaurants, wines, cafes and cultural sights have all been meticulously chosen and reviewed by the author and there is a wealth of background cultural and historical information to unlock the secrets of the Alentejo's colourful past and captivating present. This new second edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect all the most recent developments and includes a new section on castle towns, expanded information on Alandroal and Juromenha, new coverage of Alegrete and the Serra de Sao Mamede and new features on everything from The Siege of Badajoz to Alentejo wild flowers, Portuguese grape varieties and the Rebel Prince of Marvao amongst others. More hotels and tours have also been added, especially around Evora, Monsaraz and Marvao. The Alentejo is Portugal's Andalusia - without the crowds - a landscape littered with Moorish monuments, sleepy villages and Crusader castles. The beaches are glorious sweeps of white sand, broken by rocky coves nested by storks, or backed by caramel coloured sandstone cliffs. The towns and villages of the interior appear little-changed since medieval times - clusters of sugar-cube houses tumble down hills from heavy-set castles. There are palaces and there are myriad megalithic monuments - lost in the rolling countryside in the olive groves, or among orange trees and withered cork oaks. Wild boar and lynx roam the extensive forests and heathlands - which offer wonderful hiking and hill walking. And the food. fresh Atlantic bream, sizzling prawns, forest-reared pork and dozens of glorious wines with which to wash it down. Expert author and fluent Portuguese speaker Alex Robinson has been visiting, writing and photographing Portugal for more than 20 years and in this new edition.