anta Clara-a-Velha is a small rural village where it is still possible to encounter the authentic Alentejo. It is worthwhile to travel through the mountains and extended groves of holm oaks, where it is still possible to breath in a pure atmosphere.

While arriving, there are various places where the delights of traditional cuisine can be tested. In the Azinhal fountain, the fresh running water is perfect to revive the thirst in hot summer days. The popular architecture of whitewashed houses crossed by an intense blue, typical of this region, and the small church in the main square deserve an attentive look. The wall that protects the slope near the river Mira, welcomes the visitors, in a clear sign of this people’s hospitality. Their hospitality is unquestionable, here the conversation is pleasant and the tranquility is shared and lived.

In August the tradition is revived, with festivities and the annual market, in honour of "Santa de Assis", transforming this village into a crowded place. It is also possible to go to a bullfight, to have a close look at the traditional handicraft or simply to enjoy the party atmosphere.

Around four kilometres from Santa Clara-a-Velha, after crossing the roman bridge, one of the most unexpected and amazing scenes unfolds before our eyes: the Santa Clara dam, one of the biggest lakes in Europe.

Up hill, near the hotel called Pousada de Santa Clara, it is possible to appreciate the beauty of this unique landscape. The silence is profound, and the views extraordinary. In the dam's waters it is possible to enjoy the practice of canoeing, rowing, swimming and even fishing, this without mentioning other less ecological sports.

View from the Inn overlooking Santa Clara Dam
Aerial view of the Inn at Santa Clara Dam
The Inn, Santa Clara Dam
Santa Clara-a-Velha, a small rural village where it is still possible to encounter the authentic Alentejo.
An airial view looking down over this picturesque landscape.
Please click on the map above to view a larger full size version.
 
Panoramic views from the Inn overlooking Santa Clara Dam
Santa Clara Dam, is one of the biggest lakes in Europe.
In the Dam's waters it is possible to enjoy canoeing, rowing, swimming and even fishing.