Explore the Grande Lago and discover a whole new Portugal
Monday 4, April 2011
With Summer just around the corner, what better way to celebrate then to explore the stunning Grande Lago whilst soaking up the fresh Portuguese air and sun with friends or family?
Located 204km from Faro and 190km from Lisbon Airport, this truly is a hidden gem of Portugal and provides an abundance of entertainment for anyone in search of a relaxing, yet reenergizing natural holiday experience.
The Grande Lago or Great Lake as it is also referred, is situated on the Guadiana River in the Alentejo region and is the largest artificial lake in Portugal and Western Europe.
Well regarded as the driest and hottest region in Portugal, the Alentejo provides a warming average temperature of 23 degrees all year round and 34 degrees in the peak summer months, providing the perfect environment for boat cruising, exploring and water activities.
The Alqueva dam which formed the lake was originally created to produce hydroelectric power and irrigation for farms in the surrounding area, but today the dam has become a tourist attraction in its own right, and home to several tourist activities including Amieira Marina.
During the 1950s, the then Portuguese Prime Minister, António de Oliveira Salazar, ordered a study of the feasibility of the dam project. The potential benefits of the Alqueva dam were then discussed for decades to follow before an initial effort was undertaken after the Carnation Revolution of 1974, but it was abandoned in 1978. The Portuguese government eventually made a firm decision to build the dam in the 1990s, during the Cavaco Silva and António Guterres governments.
On February 8, 2002, the 96 metre high floodgates of the dam were closed and in 2006 the lake was filled to the planned level, with a surface area of 250km². Amieira Marina was then established in 2006 providing locals and international guests with a modern hub - complete with panoramic restaurant, and variety of vessels to discover the region via water with.
The name Alqueva itself, comes from another small village within the Alentejo of about 350 inhabitants and is home to the largest ostrich farm in Portugal.
Visitors are welcome to drop anchor to explore surrounding villages such as Monsaraz and Estrela via foot or bicycle – sampling the mouthwatering hospitality and stopping to chat with the locals as they gather in the main squares for the afternoon or perch on the decks making traditional pottery.
With a range of adventures on offer there is plenty to suit both nautical enthusiasts and complete beginners as well as a beautiful surrounding region to explore. Create your own itinerary and set out to explore the many traditional villages on the shores of the Alqueva or just sit back and cruise into the sunkissed sunset, an Amieria Marina holiday is all about you.
To celebrate the summer Amieria Marina is offering these great delas:
For more information please visit www.amieiramarina.com
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