Nature and Culture

To enjoy!

Both nature- and culture lovers won´t miss a thing in this region. Naturepark Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros for instance is 400 km2 large and a real paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers. The large amount of historical buildings and cities, de farmers markets, the (fado) concerts and museums making the Portuguese culture palpable.

Triumphal arch with sea-view

On the south-eastern slope of the Cabeço Gordo, in Arrimal, 2480 Porto de Mós (39° 30' 6.08" N  8° 53' 45.32" W) stands an impressive triumphal arch.

According to the inscription it was built by king Alfonso Henriques, swearing that all land, seen from that point towards the sea, would be donated to the monks that would build the monastry of Alcobaça.

Indeed from the Arco da Memoria you have a great view of the coast.
 

Rugged landscape offers many hiking possibilities

In the inland of the Costa de Prata is the nature reserve Parque Natural das Serra de Aire e Candeeiros, one of 13 nature reserves in Portugal. It is located in the limestone hills of the Estremadura, it’s size is about 39,000 hectares.

In this nature reserve you can hike along several marked pathways, all with different lengths, duration and difficulties so everyone can enjoy a nice hike.
There are about 20 different routes. One of them is the Rota dos Moinhos which takes you to some old windmills, the Buraco Roto route takes you through a beautiful landscape including a waterfall.

 

Experience magical sensations!

Nature is the keyword in the Pia do Urso Eco-Sensory park. Natural scents, sounds and shapes take your senses on a magical trip.

This the first park especially for the visual impaired in Portugal. It's aim is to offer new experiences with different senses, like touch and smell. But do not misunderstand, the park is a wonderful experience for everyone!

Traditional features and materials are also part of the park, so visitors can also learn about the history of the area.

Along the paths you also cross natural stone bassins, which were formed during the course of ages by erosion. They say dat long ago bears used these bassins as bathtubs.

In the shadow cast by the enormous oak trees around the parking you can relax and have a picknick.

Portugues sentimental song full of melancholy

Fado is the most popular folk music in Portugal. This Portuguese of way singing about life can be traced back to early 19th century. It originates from the poor districts of Lisbon. Fado literally means “fate” (from the Latin word “fatum”), and fado is part of every Portuguese person’s life.
The songs are about things that happen in life, melancholy, sadness, nostalgia for what no longer exists, but also about happiness and feasts. The Portuguese word for these feelings is “saudade”. This is such a typical Portuguese word, in other languages there is no translation for it.

There are two varieties of fado, namely those of the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra. The Lisbon style is the most popular, and was orginally sung by women only. Coimbra's fado has a more academic character, and is exclusively sung by men.

Since the revival of fado in the nineties of the 20th century, fado gets more and more famous internationally, and reaches more people every day. Amalia Rodrigues is considered to be one of the most important and influential fadistas ever.

In both Lisbon and Coimbra there are some fado restaurants where (professional) fadistas (fado singers) perform their songs. Lisbon’s districts Bairro Alto, Alfama and Mouraria, are very well known for their fado restaurants.
Also in the Costa de Prata, several restaurants offer a complete night out, with diner and music. Prebookings are usually mandatory.

In November 2011 the Portuguese Fado was added to Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

An example...