Alentejo is a geographical, historical and cultural region of south-central and southern Portugal. Literally, in Portuguese means „beyond“ (além) Tagus river (Tejo).
Alentejo includes the regions of Alto Alentejo and Baixo Alentejo. It corresponds to the districts of Beja, Évora,Portalegre and the municipalities of Alcácer do Sal,Grândola, Santiago do Cacém and Sines, in the district of Setúbal. According to the interpretations, the municipality of Ponte de Sor (in the district of Portalegre) may be included either in Alentejo or, alternatively, in Ribatejo.
It has borders with Beira Baixa in the North, with Spain(Andalucia and Extremadura in the east, with Algarve in the South and with the Atlantic Ocean, Ribatejo and Estremadura in the West.
The Alentejo is a region known for its traditional polyphonic singing groups, similar to those found on Sardinia, Corsica, etc.
The comarca of the Alentejo became the Alentejo Province, divided into upper (Alto Alentejo Province) and lower (Baixo Alentejo Province) designations. The modern region of the Alentejo was expropriated from the medieval provinces and historical territories of Estremadura Province (specifically the 1936 portions of the Ribatejo). The term „Entre-Tejo-e-Guadiana“ has become obsolete; it referred to roughly the same land area between the Tagus and the Guadiana rivers part of theKingdom of Portugal.
Alentejo’s area extends to 27,272 square kilometres (10,530 sq mi) (29.6% of the country) and has a population of 537,556 (5.1% of the country). Excluding Ponte de Sor, its area is 26,432 square kilometres (10,205 sq mi) and its population 520,834. The population density of Alentejo is 19.1/km².
Topographically, the countryside varies from the open rolling plains of the south of the Alentejo to the granite hills that border Spain in the north-east. To feed the water needs of this considerable area a number of public dams have been constructed, most notably the Alqueva Dam. The landscape is primarily one of soft rolling hills and plains, with conspicuous shrubs and the native cork oaksand holly/holm oaks, the established olive trees and grapevines, plus some naturalized eucalyptus trees and some native trees. In the north, traditional economic activity may be more livestock-based as typified by cow, sheep, and pig (both white and black) farming. To the south agriculture may be more predominant.