Stage 1 : Ecotourism in Portugal and Spain, a new concept for you ?

Stages of Mediterranean route Stage 1 : Ecotourism in Portugal and Spain, a new concept for you ? 0

Mediterranean ROUTE

Itinerary Portugal – Spain

STAGE 1/27

294 kms

0 km   Faro

111 km Huelva

91 km Séville

92 km Jerez de la Frontera

Portugal and Spain are both top destinations.  In fact, Portugal and Spain regard tourism as one of the sectors that they can develop together.  For these two countries, tourism represents the driving force of the Iberian Peninsula’s economy. Portugal and Spain alike fosters the promotion of tourism each in its own way. Portugal is the world’s 18th most visited country and Spain does not lag behind.  Many appealing tourist offers are worth a small guided tour in order to discover the history and wonders of these two magnificent destinations. Have you heard about the development of the ecotourism in these countries ?

Ecotourism in Portugal : Exploring its natural parks

Portugal has some natural parks that should be visited like the Peneda-Gerês national park, the Serra da Estrela and the l’Alvão natural parks.  The Peneda-Gerês national park is located in northern Portugal and spans over an area of 72 000 hectares. This park provides opportunities for great hikes.  Discover an unexpected flora thanks to the country’s varied climate. Its natural heritage and its ideal location represent a major asset for the Peneda-Gerês national park.  The Serra da Estrela natural park is situated in the country’s highest mountainous area, in central Portugal. This splendid park houses various plant species. Explore some villages which thrive on a mountain economy focused on sheep breeding and agriculture. Long hikes can be undertaken in the Serra da Estrela Park which offers cultural and natural interests through the neighbouring villages and the nature.  Also, the Alvão Natural Park is a park situated in the country’s northeast, right above the Vila Real, the town renowned for its Mateus wine. Covering 7720 hectares, the park is of an amazing magnificence and is famous for its various ecosystems and geological formations. So as to have a better tour of this natural park, the best starting point is the village of Emerlo or that of Lamas de Olo.  The best hikes are organized around these two villages.

Peneda-Gerês national park – Protugal

© Vitor Vieira – Youtube.com

Faro: An inevitable stop on the Portugal itinerary

Faro is a tourist region situated in Portugal’s southern end.  This region’s name is of Arab origin meaning “the west”.  In terms of tourism, the city of Faro hasan international airport which each year welcomes an increasing number of tourists arriving mainly from northern Europe. Tourists just cannot avoid passing through the city because of the numerous seaside resorts along the coast.  The stretch of Faro’s beach, located on an island, attracts many tourists as well.  Thanks to its airport, the city has become Portugal’s second largest point of entry.  The town’s places of interest are Ria Formosa, Vale de Lobo, Estàdio Algarve (Algrave Stadium), Culatra Island, Tavira Island, Manta Rota, Quinta de Lago, Silves Castle, Alvor, Silves Cathedral, Saint-Laurent of Almancil Church, Sé de Faro (Cathedral of Faro) and Barreta Island.

Ecotourism Faro Portugal

faro Portugal
© Mihai-Bogdan Lazar – Fotolia.com

Ecotourism in Spain:  The natural parks must simply be discovered

Very few countries can claim having such diverse landscapes.  This extraordinary wealth must be safeguarded.  Spain’s natural parks identify more than 200 natural reserves in the entire country.  This protection also extends to the ocean floors holding valuable ecosystems.  In fact, there are 14 national parks in Spain spread out over various natural surroundings like volcanic landscapes, forests, marshes, islands and mountains. The endangered species are identified in protected reserves. As for nature lovers, they can recharge their batteries in Spain, in the country’s natural parks.

Ecotourism in Huelva:  Advised for a stay in Spain

Huelva is a province annexed to the Andalusia community.  Huelva is situated in south-western Spain.  It borders with Badajoz, to the east with Portugal, to the east with Seville and south with the Atlantic.  Its stretches of beaches with a special landscape, made up of junipers and pines, along with its villages soaking in a nautical ambiance make it a top ecotourist destination, including the Costa de la Luz.  The Huelva coastline extends over the Doñana national park, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site and counted among the biosphere reserves.  On the cultural scene, Huelva is famous for the Condado region’s Baroque style and the Lugares Colombinos Route.  The Romeria del Roció is one of its major celebrations, listed as a fiesta of international tourist interest.

Seville:  Europe’s most popular tourist town

Ecotourism Seville Spain

Seville Spain
© Freesurf – Fotolia.com

Situated in south-western Spain, Seville is the capital of the province of Seville and the Andalusia autonomous community. The city is located in the heart of a rich agricultural region and has the Guadalquivir running through it. The city represents Andalusia’ cultural, political and economic centre and remains one of the most important cities in the country and also in South Europe. Seville has a distinguished past while bequeathing an immense wealth of artistic heritage thus making this city one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.  The numerous artists born in the city, its traditional festivities, climate and great history as well as its monuments contribute to its fame.

Seville’s historic centre

The historic centre of Seville is an area dotted with bell towers, a mosque and a minaret dating from the 12th century.  Séville’s historic centre stretches on the skyline and should be visited. Discover its urban design and architecture which remain the witness of its past through its Christian, Almohad and Roman Andalusian traditions.  The city is Spain’s oldest one with origins going back to the 8th century B.C.

Seville Spain

© Bea Broda – YOutube.com

Our Lady of Kings

Our Lady of Kings is a huge cathedral in Seville which houses 25 statues of Mary and 27 Marian chapels. This chapel is a must-discover tourist site with all its years of history and cultures.  The most important wonder is “Nostra Signora dei Re” where the tomb of King S. Fernardino, a founder of Andalusia, is located.  “Nostra Signora dei Re” is royal and grandiose.  She was created to be covered with ornaments.

Jerez de la Frontera or Xeres

Ecotourisme Spain Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera
© Mariu – Fotolia.com

Jerez de la Frontera is a Spanish municipality situated in southern Andalusia, in the province of Cadix.  Xérès is its French name.  It is located in the Guadalquivir estuary’s plain, famous for horse breeding and vineyards.  With a population of about 205 000, it is Andalusia’s fifth largest town and the largest in the Cadix province.  It is one of the flamenco capitals with Cadix and Seville.  Jerez de la Frontera offers several sights for interested and adventurous tourists.

Doñana National Park:  nature in its natural state

The Doñana National Park forms part of one of Europe’s largest natural protected sites. It is located in Spain, in the Huelva province and also in the province of Cadix and Seville.  This park’s biodiversity is the fruit of the union among various ecosystems. This is the reason why UNESCO declared it as a biosphere reserve. The park stands out with a completely flat landscape which enables enjoying a distinct transition between the undulations of the stabilised sands and the horizontal landscape of the marshes that shelter a multitude of migratory birds.  The Iberian lynx is the park’s symbol due to its endemic carnivorous nature on the entire Iberian Peninsula.

Stage 1 : Camper road trip – an excellent journey in Portugal

Stages of Atlantic route Stage 1 : Camper road trip – an excellent journey in Portugal 0

Atlantic ROUTE

STAGE 1/29

293 kms

0 km   Lisbon

9 km Linda-a-Velha

24 km Linho

6 km Sintra

102 km Santarem

45 km Minde

15 km Fatima

75 km Condeixa a Nova

17 km Coimbra

Portugal is one of the most favourite countries for European and North-American sightseers/holiday-makers. Naturally, tourists from all over the world flock to visit this country. Portugal is not alike any other country in Europe and this is what makes it stand out.  The country’s rustic landscape is unique, although the major cities have experienced drastic changes since Portugal joined the European Union. Scenic and bucolic/rural best describe Portugal’s towns and villages. In fact, these villages are considered “a must” of Lisbon itineraries. Baroque art, Romanesque art and the Manueline style are noticeable on the most famous buildings present on these routes. Have you imagined a camper road trip ?

An unusual holidays in Lisbon : the first step to the height

Your holiday in Lisbon begins from the viste of the castle of Sao Jorge, where you can dominate the city with an exceptional view. And you will notice the priority sites to discover as the Cathedral of Santa Luzia, Sao Monastery, the ancient art, cultural center, tropical garden or the house of fado museums etc. Lisbon is a big city but who knew that there is a significant destruction of a ward in the 18th century after an earthquake and tsunami. This part of town is known for the number of squares which include many buildings with different architectural styles, such as the stock market, the Arc de Triomphe, and the statue of King Joseph 1. Other places enjoying success with their animations or their culinary stage as “Praça dos Restauradores.”

Camper road trip in Lisbon

Lisbon
© Emi Cristea – Fotolia.com

Linda-a-velha: An out-of-the-ordinary parish

Linda-a-velha was elevated to a town only since 1991.  It is a Portuguese parish in the Oeiras municipality.  Since this little town is close to the coast, in a short time it became the favourite destination of vacationers fond of thalassotherapy.

Sintra’s cultural scenery: a not-to-miss stop

Camper road trip in Sintra

Sintra
© stevanzz – Fotolia.com

Although Sintra is not really what can be considered a cosmopolitan town, for centuries it has been the meeting place of past civilisations. The town was one of the capitals/seats of Romanesque architecture. The castle in the region is the town’s main attraction.  We must bear in mind that Sintra forms parts of humanity’s cultural heritage since 1995, and is classified in the “Cultural landscape” category.

Santarem: Islam’s ancient birthplace

The Portuguese seized Santarem from the Muslims in 1147.  Since then, the town became Portuguese. Santarem is a beautiful town with vast tourist attractions.  Thousands of tourists visit it every year.

The das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park: One of Portugal’s gems

Holidays in Portugal are packed with adventures. The sightseers will need a tourist guide’s assistance to visit the das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros National Park. This Park is one of the largest of South Europe. It spreads over the Estremenho Limestone Chain which is 38000 ha wide.

The Batalha Monastery, a site that must be explored

The Batalha Monastery is a site that must be visited.  It was built to celebrate the Portuguese victory over the Castillans in the Aljubarrota battle.  Discover all the Gothic art beauty on visiting the Batalha Monastery.  Enjoy the masterpiece’s complete originality under the Manueline art influence.  Start your visit with the Chapel of the founder, resting at his wife’s sides.  Discover the stone-carved splendid decors of the leaves, flowers, small branches and fruits in the Royal Cloister.

The Sanctuary of Fatima for pilgrimage, a famous tourist site in Portugal

Situated in the Santarém District, Fatima is a small Portuguese town which became a world-known pilgrimage site. Spend more time to visit the shrine as well as its surroundings. Go and explore the Mira de Aire at some fifteen kilometres from Fatima.  End your visit at 110 meters underground. Discover a waterfall and a big limestone structure at about ten kilometres from Fatima, along Moeda. Visit Saint Antonio because it is well-known for the natural beauty of its caves with wonderful stalagmites and stalactites.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima Portugal

© amdr19 – Youtube.com

Condeixa a Nova:  The Portuguese cute/pretty attraction

Condeixa a Nova is a Portuguese small town situated in the Coimbra district. This quaint market town /small town is not the most popular site in Portugal but is renowned for its peaceful and charming hotels.

Camper road trip in Coimbra

Coimbra
© fotobeam.de – Fotolia.com

Coimbra: the first Portuguese University’s birthplace

Also known as Coïmbre, Coimbra is a university town. It is Portugal’s oldest university town.  It is situated in the country’s centre and overlooks the famous river Mondego.  Coimbra is primarily occupied by students, because after their college years, the young Portuguese choose this town to pursue their studies. Tourists enjoy seeing the students in their traditional/ceremonial outfits. These students are dressed in black suits with a matching cape and a black tie. We should remember that Coimbra is Lisbon itinerary’s starting point, from where the camper road trip begins.