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Press Release 8 November 2018


Once again the territory of Alto Alentejo takes on the tourist leadership as a privileged destination for hikers, showing a vision of development centered on Nature Tourism and the Arts.

The Art and Hiking Festival will be held in Alpalhão from November 16 to 25, 2018, in an initiative unheard of in the Alentejo with the association of these two reasons of interest. The event has the debut of the Pedestrian Path "Public Gallery of Statuary Art of Alpalhão", in addition to guided walks of Nature in Belver (Gavião) and Seda (Alter do Chão) and nine self-guided Pedestrian Walks, a total of twelve nature walks and art. The ten days of activities include three conferences linked to art, a tourism seminar with two very important themes for Nature Tourism in Alentejo, three handicraft workshops, a sculpture exhibition, a recruitment session for pedestrian walkers, a fam-trip with national tour operators and a press-trip with journalists from Spain, Germany and Belgium.

The original idea was born at Hotel Monte Filipe, a tourist unit based in Alpalhão where there is a unique collection of Statuary Art, almost unknown to the public, created in the years 2001, 2003 and 2005, in the so-called Biennial of Stone, where various international sculptures and local squares worked the famous granites of Alpalhão and of Gáfete, giving rise to fabulous works of art distributed in the urban space. In terms of Pedestrian Nature Trails, Alto Alentejo has been affirming the Alentejo Feel Nature Network in several municipalities, now enriched with TransAlentejo Network, where in each municipality is chosen the best pedestrian route in its territory.

In collaboration with SAL that revitalizes the Portugal Walking Festival brand, an event was organized that aims to energize this territory, bringing together all local and regional players, counting on the participation of the Regional Tourism Authority of Alentejo and Tourism of Portugal, through the promotion in the 365 Alentejo Ribatejo program.
According to José Pedro Calheiros, technical director of the festival: "In Alpalhão is the best of two complementary worlds: Art and Nature. To walk through the village of Alpalhão and discover each sculpture is to imagine a world of granite and ancestral knowledge of the art of carving the stone. It refers us imaginatively to the prehistoric times of the megalithic monuments, so prolific in the territory, at the same time that it demonstrates a modernity that surprises in such a place. The high point is when we walk among the natural granite mammals and we see the Ark of the Souls, which we chose to image the Festival, between the stunning landscape of green and sepia. It was when I visited this place, alone in a late afternoon of spring, that I realized that Alpalhão was a privileged destination. "

Still on the destination of Pedestrian Tours there is to emphasize the importance of the international market with more than one hundred million regular practitioners, in Europe and North America. The Alpalhão Art and Walking Festival will be the reason for publicizing these walking lovers so that they not only participate in their editions but also put the Alentejo on their list of regular walking destinations. In this action the intervention of regional and national tourism structures is of major importance in order to take this information further, contributing to the affirmation of the Alentejo as a preferred destination for Pedestrian Tourism Tourism in Portugal.

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Hotel Monte Filipe
António Lopes - Tel +351 245 745 044 www.facebook.com/Montefilipehotel
reservas@montefilipehotel.com www.montefilipehotel.com

SAL Outdoor Systems
José Pedro Calheiros - Telf (+351) 919 361 725 www.facebook.com/jpcalheiros

| Alpalhão Art and Walking Festival - Festival de Arte e Caminhadas de Alpalhão |
| alentejo@portugalwalkingfestival.com | Telf +351.265.227.685

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