Portugal reveals an exceptional diversity of landscapes between the mountains of the center of the country, an Atlantic facade of more than 800 kilometers and the plains of the south. Thanks to the creation of numerous natural parks and reserves, the country has been able to preserve a varied fauna and flora within protected areas. During a trip to Portugal, don’t miss the chance to venture into these timeless areas to get a breath of fresh air and a total break.
Alvão Natural Park
From Porto, you only need one hour drive to get lost in the authentic landscapes of the Serra d’Alvão. Visit the typical villages of Ermelo, Anta or Lamas de Olo with their traditional houses built of schist, granite and thatch. The Fisgas de Ermelo on the river Olo are the highlight of your trip: these 250 meters high waterfalls can be reached on foot from the village of Ermelo during a pleasant 3.5 hours hike.
Serra da Estrela Natural Park
Located in a mountainous area in the center of the country, it is the highest natural park in Portugal, with a peak of 1993 meters. Mountain lagoons, flocks of sheep and snowy areas make it an atypical and spectacular place where you can even practice skiing in season!
Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais
This park has many cultural and natural attractions between monuments, mountains and sandy beaches. Close to Lisbon, it includes the cities of Cascais and Sintra, the latter being a Unesco World Heritage Site for its unique architectural heritage. Here you can admire palaces and castles before heading back to Cap de la Roca, the westernmost point of the European continent. Here, the cliffs plunge into the ocean and different routes invite you to discover dinosaur footprints.
Natural Park of Arrábida
Less than an hour from Lisbon and north of Comporta, the Arrabida Natural Park offers sumptuous landscapes, between limestone cliffs and the deep blue sea. It is home to one of the country’s only scrublands, and some protected areas can only be visited with a guide. Enjoy hiking, but also caving, climbing and scuba diving. Just to the east, the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve is a must-see in Portugal. This area is home to a rich and varied fauna and flora and can be visited during a boat trip from the marina of Troia. During the trip, you may have the chance to see dolphins escorting the boat, as well as many species of birds such as pink flamingos, terns or black ibis. The best way to visit this area is to stay in one of our villas in Comporta, between rice fields, beaches and cork oak forests.
Peneda-Gerês Natural Park
Discover the only area in Portugal classified as a National Park. In the northwest of the country, this mountainous region will delight nature and mountain lovers. You will evolve in a wild landscape and will have the chance to cross a fallow deer (the symbol of the park) or its predator, the Iberian wolf. Wild horses roam freely in the park and rub shoulders with herds of sheep around streams and rivers with waterfalls. Sporting activities such as canyoning or canoeing, and cultural activities among the menhirs, dolmens, castles and monasteries: there is something for everyone!
Among other natural parks that are worth a visit:
- Serras de Aire and Candeeiros Natural Park
- Serra de São Mamede Natural Park
- Ria Formosa Natural Park
- Montesinho Natural Park
- Douro International Natural Park
- Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park.
- Tejo International Natural Park