Alqueva Dam

Barragem de Alqueva

Alentejo - Portugal

Where the land became water and the water became a spring of opportunities

possibilities  - dimensions - Infra-structure - historyfuture - climate                                    

The lands around the Alqueva lake offer unique sensations and opportunities to visitor, investors, persons are looking to establish a new existence or want to find the right place for retiring.
In a breathtaking way  the "new" water is embedded in the landscape very naturally and offers an environment free of any pollution.
For the tourist the visit of the small villages like Amieira, Alqueva and Estrela directly on the water is a wonderful destination, where a lot of activities can be done: boat trips, sailing, horse riding, swimming, fishing... Visitors wanting to enjoy archaeological and architectonic patrimony can visit Alandroal, Portel, Monsaraz, Juromenha and Terena. Fischen in Portugal, Alentejo, Alqueva, Algarve
  The never-ending nature and old roads are waiting to be discovered by walking, biking, riding or a cross-country car.
A visit of the biggest ostrich farm in Portugal with a restaurant and a small farm shop between Alqueva and Amieira (, no entrance fee, is also a "must" 
as well as to enjoy the picturesque castle of Monasaz (World Culture Heritage) where you feel like in the Middle Ages.
The famous vineyards of Esporão   ( - page in Portuguese) and the Co-operative of Reguengos de Monsaraz ( - page in English and Portuguese) invite the connoisseur of wines as well as everybody who likes to taste the fabulous Alentejo Red Wine.
Innumerable traditional and modern "Festas", Festivals, Fairs, Markets and sport competitions offer the visitor a wide range of entertainment. 

There are accommodations around the Alqueva Lake: Portel: Residencial, Hotel, B&B, agro-touristic Amieira: B&B, Rural Hotel, Reguengos: Hotel, Residencial Monsaraz: Hotel, Residencial, B&B, Agro-touristic Mourão: B&B Moura: Hotel, Residencials

Also the night life offers a variety of entertainment, beginning with the small typical bars, where sometimes old men sing the traditional rural songs (in all villages and cities), pubs (Amieria, Reguengos, Mourão, Moura) and ending with small and big discotheques (Portel, Reguengos, Vila Nueva de Fresno, Viana, Beja, Evora)
With a surface of  250 km2, 
a lakeside of 1.200 km (about 1.000 km on Portuguese  territory, the rest in Spain) 
and a length of about 85 km the  "Barragem de Alqueva" is today the biggest artificial lake in Europe.

 Please click on the map to enlarge

Black Bass fishing
Due to the construction of the dam  all  streets and roads around the lake have been rebuilt. Formerly a trip from the Eastern  Alentejo to Lisbon, the west coast or the Algarve has been a adventure during several hours. Now the whole region is comfortableto  reach from the capital and the Algarve within 2 hours. 

The new international Airport of Beja (formerly a very large Military Airbase) was reconstructed since 2007 and finished at 2010(source: - page in portuguese) and will offer the Visitors and residents around the Alqueva Lake a ideal connection with Low-Cost and Charter Airlines to the major destinations of West- and Central Europe.

Due to the location of the new, future airport of Lisbon in Alcochete the whole area will stay closer to the world - a trip from the lake to the new airport will take less than 1:30 horas.

For a long time, the project of the dam has been very controversy. The first plans have been done already in 1957, and 1976 the first section has been constructed, but in 1978 the project stopped again.
Only in 1995, the work re-started and in 2002, the sluices have been closed. In 2004, the hydro-electric power plant started to work (power:  2 x 129,6 MW).
2010, the lake reached the maximum water level.

Today, the Alqueva lake and dam is a impressive reality and a economic factor and the hope of a whole region.

Alqueva Dam and Lake in the middle of the Alentejo

The Portuguese Authorities recognised late the negative development of the Algarve - especially the buildings. Mainly these errors should be avoided around the Alqueva Lake. 

For that reason, large areas around the lake are nature reserves (Reserva Ecologica Nacional) and all bigger projects are evaluated also in environment conservation aspects. At the same time the area has been declared to the 5th Tourist Region of National Interest, beside the Algarve, Madeira, Lisbon and the Douro Valley.

To promote the touristic development on one side, but to avoid the destruction of the base for the tourism - the incomparable landscape and nature, tranquillity and no pollution on the other side, the infra-structure for the tourism can only build up on 10 %  (about 120 km) of the lakeside, the rest (about 900 km on the Portuguese territory), will be left without buildings and constructions and will presevere in this way the unique nature. 

The Projects
click on the graphic to enlarge
The Alqueva-Region is the one of the major touristic areas with the highest expectations in Portugal, a fact that is reflected by more then 120 presented and 30 approved projects. Already 12 golf fields are projected, only 4-5 will get the authorisation to be built. 

The most ambitious project has been presented by Dr. Roquette (owner of Esporão) and his investment company SAIP in September 2005 with the "Alqueva Parque", the  development for the tourism of Campinho, a peninsula at the lake, with a total investment of Euro,-- (one billion Euro) , the planning and licenses are ready in spring 2008, and during 2009 the works have started ).

Apart of the Alqueva Parque, big companies like Sonae (Continente-Modelo), Pestana, Banco Espírito Santo, Aquapura and Amorim have already started projects around the lake AgroNoticias, 2008.01.25, in portuguese

 <<== Click on the image to enlarge

Alentejo - Alqueva - Amieria - Reguengos - Vidiguera - Monsaraz - Moura

Alentejo - Alqueva - Amieria - Reguengos - Vidiguera - Monsaraz - Moura, Estrela, Granja

Alentejo - Alqueva - Amieria - Reguengos - Vidiguera - Monsaraz - Moura, Estrela, Viana de Alentejo, Monte do Trigo

Alentejo - Alqueva - Amieria - Reguengos - Vidiguera - Monsaraz - Moura

In 2004 more then 500.000 persons have visited the Alqueva Lake and Dam in the Alentejo, mainly as day-tourists, a unbelievable potential, which  should be enlarged during the next years by Holiday and weekend tourism. This number increased in 2006 to 2 millions

In any way, the whole project of "Alqueva" offers a lot of opportunities, as well as for the visitor as for persons, which want to become residents. The real estate prices ( are still very fair, which allows to realise dreams, for example to retire actively, to own a holiday residence or to build up a new existence. For the last group a variety of activities can be profitable, especially in the sector of Watersport, Agro-touristic, Sport, Accomodations, Restaurants, but also in the handcraft and service area and give the possibility to join the creation of one of the most beautiful destinations of Europe from the beginning.

Alqueva invites you - away from stress, crowded hotels,

where Portugal is still original...

monthly  climatic statistic
Portel, Portugal in relation to  Berlin, Germany (1. Value Portel/2.Value Berlin)
Average Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High  13/2ºC 14/3ºC 17/8ºC 19/13ºC 23/18ºC 28/22ºC 32/23ºC 32/23ºC 29/18ºC 23/13ºC 17/7ºC 14/3ºC
Middle 9/-1ºC 11/1ºC 12/4ºC 14/8ºC 17/13ºC 21/18ºC 24/18ºC 24/18ºC 22/13ºC 18/9ºC 13/4ºC 10/1ºC
Low 5/-3ºC 6/-2ºC 6/0ºC 8/4ºC 10/8ºC 13/11ºC 15/13ºC 15/12ºC 15/9ºC 12/6ºC 8/2ºC 6/-1ºC