In Portugal, nature tourism does not need to be created. It needs to be publicized and communicated, many industry advocates say. Discover green landscapes where the air continues to be purer.
In continental Portugal, we can find a national park, 13 natural parks, nine nature reserves and six protected landscape areas. In the Azores, there are 9 natural parks, one for each island. In Madeira, there is one. Although they are all stunning, there are, however, some who, for one reason or another, stand out more than others. Find out which are the ones you cannot leave (even) to visit:
1. Alvao Natural Park
The Alvao Natural Park (in the central photograph) is located in the transition between Minho and Tras-os-Montes, in the counties of Mondim de Basto and Vila Real. The Fisgas of Ermelo, of the largest waterfalls in Europe, are a great attraction. It is characterized by high, granitic zone and lower zone, of schist, where it runs the river Olo. As far as fauna is concerned, there are more than 200 species listed.
In addition to the Iberian wolf, it is common to observe red-winged crows, mustache bats, copper water and specimens of Lusitanian salamanders. In terms of flora, there are about 480 species, which corresponds to a great wealth and diversity, especially oak, holly, molar, giesta, tojo-gadenho and rosmaninho.
2. Peneda-Geres National Park
The Peneda-Geres National Park (in the photograph below) covers 22 parishes and is the only one considered as a national park. It has a huge biodiversity that attracts tourists from all over the world. It stands out for the strong and rough lift. It is a mountainous zone crossed by rivers Lima, Minho, Cavado and Man. The Corsican Capreolus Capreolus, which is also the emblem of the park, is one of the animals that live there.
Along with the red squirrel, it is also habitat for bats. Of the 15 species that exist there, 10 are threatened. Birdwatchers can still count on 147 species of birds. As far as vegetation is concerned, it is essentially marked by oak, bogs, bushes, marsh and Geranium lilies.
3. Natural Park of Montesinho
It is located in the high northeast of the Transmontano region and covers the counties of Bragança and Vinhais. The Natural Park of Montesinho is characterized by having one of the most complex geological frameworks of the Iberian Peninsula. The Maças river and the river Sabor stand out, among others. Land of oak, violet-hirta, geranium-sanguine and jasmine of the hills, also favors the growth of orchids.
The water mole, the Iberian wolf, the Cervus Elephus deer, the Capreolus capreolus buck and the wild cat are among the most common animals in this natural environment, as well as the Lutra Lutra otter and the woolens.
4. Natural Park of Tagus International
The Parque Natural do Tejo Internacional is located in the border of the Tagus River, in the counties of Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova and Vila Velha de Rodão. It is characterized by being in the so-called Ancient Maçiço, with granitic and philolian rocks. It houses several protected species, including holm oak, cork oak, lentiscus, arbutus, zambujeiro, heather, black hawthorn, rosemary and rosemary.
This natural park houses 200 species of vertebrates and is one of the few places where you can see the black stork. As far as the local fauna is concerned, the Lutra Lutra otter, the tolar Mustela Putoris, the black vulture and the royal eagle, a bird of rare beauty, stand out.
5. Natural Park of Serra da Estrela
It covers the Estrela Massif and extends through the counties of Celorico da Beira, Covilha, Gouveia, Guarda, Manteigas and Seia. The Natural Park of Serra da Estrela (in the photograph below) occupies a mountainous zone, with plateaus and granite rock. In terms of fauna, it has a great diversity of animal life, especially the buteo, or eagle-of-wing-round, along with the mole and the owl-of-towers.
The largartixa-iberica, the weasel, the owl-of-bush, the black starling, the copper water, the hawk, the goshawk, the woodpecker, the Iberian wolf and the water mole are other wild animals that have here their habital, marked by a flora with unpublished characteristics, distributed by three altitudes. In addition to azinhais, there are oaks, specimens of wild pine, giestas, juniper and birch.
6. Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede
In a mountainous region between the counties of Arronches, Castelo de Vide, Marvao and Portalegre, the Natural Park of Serra de São Mamede is composed of shale, granite and limestone. This area, crossed by the rivers Xevora and Caia, is a natural habitat for the Bonelli’s eagle, but also for griffins, black vulture, black vulture, kingfisher, black stork and bats.
The Lutra Lutra otter, the water lizard, the Mediterranean tortoise and the Iberian frog-footman also co-inhabit those green landscapes, where there are about 800 species of trees and shrubs. In addition to the cork oak, there are olive groves, vineyards, figueiral, chestnut, cherry, walnut, hazel, pine, eucalyptus and pine grass.
7. Arrabida Natural Park
The Arrabida Natural Park (in the photograph below), a mountainous chain of 17,000 hectares, of which 5,000 are sea surface, which crosses the counties of Palmela, Sesimbra and Setubal. This space features hundreds of karstic cavities with fossil deposits and dinosaur tracks. The flower of the little boys, the narcissus, the gorse, the orchids, theO rosmaninho integrate the list of flora that, there, more stands out.
In terms of fauna, with some luck, visitors can observe specimens of teddy bats, among other varieties of this mammals. The fox Vulpes Vulpes, the cormorant, the gineta, the toiram and the hare are also very common.
8. Pico Natural Park
It is the largest natural park in the Azores, comprising 22 protected areas, with 156 square kilometers. Pico Mountain is the highest point in Portugal and the third largest volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. The canary and the finch are the birds that can be heard in the Pico Natural Park, a land of holly, cedar-wood, rosemary, wild thyme, kites, starlings and Azores bats.
It’s now time to visit yourself and explore these parks. Book your cheap business class flights to Portugal now.