5 natural parks worth a visit in Portugal

Autumn is the perfect season to visit Portugal's natural parks
Autumn is the perfect season to visit Portugal's natural parks
6 November 2019, Redaction

Autumn is the perfect season for an escape from the city and a dive into nature, taking the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful natural parks in Portugal.

We would like to introduce you to 5 natural parks in Portugal, from north to south, which can be the perfect destination for some mini vacations in autumn. Pack your bags and go on an adventure to discover the best green landscapes in Portugal, breathe fresh air and live surrounded by nature. There is nothing like having one of these experiences to make you feel better.

Alvão Natural Park

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

If you are a lover of extreme sports and a little more dangerous waterways, you should head to the Alvão Natural Park.

This park, located between Minho and Trás-os-Montes, in Mondim de Basto and Vila Real, is famous for the Fisgas de Ermelo, one of the biggest waterfalls in Europe, where the Olo River falls from more than 200 metres high.

On your paths through nature you will be able to observe Iberian wolves, red-billed choughs, golden bats, eagles and incredible flora, with more than 480 types, including oak, holly, molar grass and rosemary.

Douro International Natural Park

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Get ready to feel small, very small. In the Douro International Natural Park, very close to the Spanish border, you will find impressive cliffs and canyons that offer views of the deep valley that stretches from Mirando do Douro to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Sit down, take a deep breath and take the opportunity to observe some of the most beautiful birds in the park, such as the black stork, the royal eagle or the Egyptian vulture.

We recommend that you take the opportunity to take a cruise through the Park, starting from the International Biological Station (in Mirando do Douro), from where you will enjoy a unique perspective of the fauna and flora existing in the 122 km of the International Douro Natural Park.

Arrábida Natural Park

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

We travel further south to discover a true green paradise that runs along the Portuguese coast from Palmela to Setúbal.

Beaches with crystalline blue water where you can practice diving, dense vegetation, unique places to go climbing in the Arrábida Mountains and hundreds of karst cavities with fossil deposits and traces of dinosaurs, are just some of the wonders that you can find in the Arrábida Natural Park, made up of more than 17,000 hectares.

Visit this amazing natural park to discover its unique landscapes, surrounded by the smell of daffodils, orchids, gorse, oak and rosemary.

Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

From Porto Covo, in the Alentejo, to Burgau, in the Algarve, we can enjoy the breathtaking landscape of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina.

Botanists and zoologists from all over the world travel here to observe some of the unique species, such as the white stork that makes its nest in the marine cliffs, something that only happens in this region. If you want to observe otters, this is one of the few places in Europe and the world where you can do it. Surf lovers consider this one of the best destinations in the country to do this sport, thanks to the many wild beaches in the area.

Get ready for long walks on hard and difficult to reach routes and, at the southern end of the park, don't miss the Cape of St Vincent Lighthouse and the Ponta de Sagres, once home to a nautical school, founded by Prince Henry, the Navigator in the 15th century.

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the 7 wonders of Portugal and a perfect destination for all those seeking a unique natural environment.

In the Eastern Algarve, this is one of the three protected areas of the Algarve, formed by a coastal lagoon that changes constantly due to the movement of wind, currents and tides. It covers the islands of Faro, Barreta, Culatra, Armona and Tavira, which also deserve a visit.

Be amazed by the fusion of shades of green and blue in the water of the estuary and the sea and by the shades of brown that characterise the almost deserted beaches. Here you can also observe protected water birds, since the Ria Formosa Natural Park belongs to the Natura 2000 network and receives more than 20,000 birds during the winter period.

Take the opportunity to take a ride on one of the traditional boats that were used for tuna fishing and sit down in a seaside restaurant to taste the local gastronomy.

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