Location of The Olive Grove

Portugal is divided into five main regions:

  1. North (Norte)
  2. Central (Centro)
  3. Lisbon (Lisboa)
  4. Alentejo
  5. Algarve

The Olive Grove is situated on the edge of the village of Ourique which is in the south west part of the Alentejo Region of Portugal.

Alentejo Region

The Alentejo, derived from Além-Tejo or Beyond the Tagus, covers almost a third of Portugal, from the south bank of the Tagus down to the Algarve, and from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border in the east. But it's home to just 7% of the country's population.

The coastline of the Alentejo region starts just south of the capital Lisbon and extends down the west side of Portugal to the Algarve region. With the exception of the industrial zone around Sines, it is one continuous stretch of wild cliffs and empty beaches.

This isolation also attracts colonies (or musters) of migrant storks. Seeing the domestic life of these huge birds in close proximity to roads and tracks is a joy in itself and justifies a visit to this region on its own.

The Alentejo region feels like undiscovered territory, a sleepy landscape of empty roads and pretty white villages. Fields of half-naked cork-oak trees (the bark harvested from their trunks), vineyards and of course olive groves. A particular speciality of the region is "Porco Preto" or black pig. Their diet of acorns from the abundant oak and cork oak trees ensuring a meat that is full of subtle flavours.

The rolling hills of the Alentejo region are dotted with dozens of picturesque medieval towns unchanged by the passage of time. The plains to the east of the region (known as "The bread basket of Portugal") provide the major proportion of all cereals and vegetables for the country.

Ourique

The village of Ourique is located in the south west of the Alentejo region. It is ideally placed for easy and quick access to two international airports, Faro and Lisbon. Faro is just over an hours drive, while Lisbon is approximately two hours drive (airport transfers can be arranged).

The picturesque village of Ourique is abundant with cafes/restaurants, banks, churches, schools and supermarkets (well three really!). The village, because of its location and facilities, is the hub for the surrounding villages and hamlets. It is mainly a farming community that live in this area and you can always be sure of a friendly welcome from them as it seems impossible for them to pass by without exchanging a greeting or two.

It has good road access, being located on the north-south IC1 road, and the east-west EN123 road. It is also only a few kilometres from the A2 motorway (toll) which runs from the Algarve to Lisbon. There is a bus terminal in the village and also a train station nearby.

The main streets in Ourique are lined with palm trees and orange trees (and one lemon tree) and along with its many cafes, provide an ideal spot to unwind with a cup of coffee or something stronger and watch the world and his dog go by (people watching you can't beat it!).

Recently, a theatre/cinema has been opened in Ourique and tends to feature not just latest films (usually in English with Portuguese subtitles), but also occasionally classical music, ballet and choral works. More recently, outside concerts, both modern and classical, have been held in the town. An ideal way to combine food, drink, relaxation and entertainment.

For those who wish to take a  leisurely stroll to the top of the village they will be rewarded by a visit to the castle (one or two of the stones are original!) and a beautiful garden which affords stunning views of Ourique and its surrounding landscape.

How to find The Olive Grove

As mentioned before, The Olive Grove is just a few minutes walk from the centre of Ourique. Ideal for that stroll to a cafe/restaurant or "people watching" outside a cafe!

For directions to The Olive Grove, click on the link below which will take you to Google Maps and show not just the location of The Olive Grove, but allow you to interrogate the site for directions from where you are travelling. Clever Google Maps!!

click here for directions to The Olive Grove