Alqueva is Portugal’s New Lake Resort

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Portugal’s new Alqueva Lake, located in the southern region, is attracting many tourism development projects. Known as The Grande Lago, it is the biggest artificial lake in Europe, at 250 kilometers wide (155.34 miles) and 83 kilometers (51.57 miles) long. The Portuguese Government set up large areas around the lake as nature reserves (Reserve Ecological National). At the same time the area has been declared the 5th Tourist Region of National Interest.  More than 120 tourism projects have been presented in the Alqueva Region and 30 projects have been approved. The most ambitious project is "Alqueva Parque,” the development for the tourism of Campinho, a peninsula at the lake, with a total investment of one billion euros. Apart of the Alqueva Parque, big companies like Sonae, Pestana, Banco Espírito Santo and Amorim have already started projects around the lake. Gescruzeiros is the only operator on the newly formed on the Alqueva Lake with a boat that accommodates 25 to 120 passengers.  From the Amieira Marina, one can cruise swim, fish, scuba dive and relax. Visitors can choose to moor on an islet or visit the surrounding villages the village of Luz, in the past swallowed up and then identically rebuilt on the bank of the Grande Lago. Visitors can also see the Alqueva dam, an amazing piece of work inaugurated in 2002. The nearby international Airport of Beja (formerly a very large military airbase) will be reconstructed in 2007 and opened in 2008. The airport will low-cost and charter connections from the Alqueva Lake to the major destinations of Southwest and South Central Portugal.

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