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More than a few eyebrows were raised when a former military airbase opened as Beja International Airport in 2011. The logic was that, roughly equidistant from Faro and Lisbon, it would offer an alternative entry point to the south. But opening just as recession hit – and about as far from the coast as you can get in Portugal and a good 150km from the Algarve – it is perhaps no great surprise that the airport has hardly been a success, with very few airlines using it even in peak season. If you are one of the few passengers to arrive here, the airport (t284 001 020, wana.pt) is around 9km northwest of Beja – a shuttle bus (15min) serves Beja after most flights, or a taxi to town will cost €12–14.

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