4-Xtremes – Part 51: Setback in the Algarve, scary Alentejo

Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour

A really tough job.

The Kammermanns reach Portugal – and have to accept disappointment. But they don’t let that spoil their mood.

Roman splendour in Portugal – the temple of Diana in the city of Évora.

¡Adiós España, Olá Portugal! As we cross the Río Guadiana and with it the border between the two countries, we do so with the intention of telling you about the Algarve, Portugal’s southern coast. But as is often the case on this trip, things turn out differently.

Free camping in the Algarve had already been a no-no previously, and more prohibition signs have recently been added. It is almost impossible to drive to sights and beaches by camper van. We could argue that our Axor is not a camper van, but a truck. But the police are strict.

Swiftly turning our back on the Algarve.

So what to do? Use the nearest campsites and visit the exciting places by bike? This would have required several day trips – not an option. So we leave the Algarve and drive north through the country.

And here this story takes a turn for the better. Because the route leads through cork tree plantations and sleepy villages on narrow roads – not a challenging drive, but a pleasure. We also visit a city worth a detour: Évora, located a good 130 kilometres east of Lisbon in the Alentejo region.

Decorated all over with bones.

We cycle to the historic centre, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rightly so. The city’s landmark, the Roman temple of Diana surrounded by whitewashed houses, is impressive. This also applies to the Igreja de São Francisco. Built by Franciscans, this chapel is decorated inside with human bones and skulls. The monks want to remind us of the fragility of life – scary!

We also have to squeeze ourselves into campsites in the Alentejo region and sometimes feel like the proverbial elephant in a china shop. To stand in the wilderness like in the Canary Islands is unthinkable here. At least this allows us to fill and dispose of water without any problems. We are looking forward to seeing what Portugal’s north has in store for us.

On narrow roads and through cork tree plantations …
On narrow roads and through cork tree plantations …
… on the way to Évora in the Alentejo with its eerily fascinating bone chapel.
… on the way to Évora in the Alentejo with its eerily fascinating bone chapel.

Do you have any tips for places we could visit on our route? Or maybe a nice driving route?

4-Xtremes – The World Tour.

An unparalleled journey.

Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.

You can find the current parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.

You can find the route of the trip before the crossing to South America here.


Photos: 4-Xtremes