Pivotal for the development of irrigation, and for supplying towns with water, the dams are wonderful places to enjoy nature, observe the flora and fauna and indulge in water sports.
With the Alqueva dam, the Alentejo gained the largest artificial lake in Europe, but many other dams have become idyllic settings for peaceful holidays.
You can see wild duck and other water birds at the dams of Caia and Roxo. Or forget about the rest of the world at Maranhão, savouring the feeling of isolation induced by the pine and eucalyptus trees in the surrounding hills. You can bathe at the river beach of Odivelas or Tapada Grande, take a boat trip on the lake at Alvito, have a picnic at Pêgo do Altar or fish peacefully at the large lake of Santa Clara, whose banks alternate between wheatfields and dense thickets of trees.
Or else you can just listen to the chirping of the birds amid the silence of the lake at Vale do Gaio.
You can go canoeing or angling, and the Alentejo lakes are excellent for water sports. Montargil is great for windsurfing or water-skiing.
Yield to the temptation of rural tourism and have a few days' rest, and appreciate the pleasures of the simple life in the country. Contemplate all the splendour of nature in the little paradises of the Alentejo lakes.