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.

Islands close to Peniche are beautiful nature reserve

The Berlengas archipelago, Ilhas Berlengas, is a group of small islands off the Portuguese coast at about 10 km. from Peniche. The whole of the archipelago is a nature reserve.

The islands are uninhabited, only on the main island some people live on a permanent basis. They take care of the lighthouse, and control the reserve.


Some native plant species can be found on the islands. Also the islands are a breeding ground for many bird species, and they offer stopover space to migrating birds.

The largest island is Berlenga Grande. Here you can find the São João Baptista fort, built in 1502 in manuelino style. The fort is connected to the island by a narrow bridge. The fort was partly converted into a pousada (hotel).

Around the fort fishermen offer boattrips, to show you the island from sea, so you can see some caves and interesting rock formations.

To see everything the island has to offer you can follow the marked footpath. This takes you to the fort, caves, the lighthouse, beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, and to some spots that give you spectacular views.

The islands also attract many divers who enjoy the beautiful underwater flora and fauna.

From May to October the islands are open to the public. From the harbour of Peniche you can take the boat, the crossing takes about 45 minutes. It is recommended to make reservations for the boattrip, especially during summer months, because only a limited number of people per day are allowed on the island.

www.berlengas.eu

www.viamar-berlenga.com

www.feelingberlenga.pt

 

 

Aqueduct with 180 arches

About 4 kilometers northwest of Tomar you can see the remains of the Aqueduto de Pegões Alto. This aqueduct was built for the water supply of the convent; it is about 5 kilometers long and has 180 arches.

A few kilometers east of Tomar is the Barragem do Castelo de Bode, a dam and reservoir in the Rio Zêzere; the dam is 115 metres high and 400 metres wide. The reservoir is open for aquatic sporters and anglers. At the harbour of the Pousada you can embarque on a boat for a tour on the reservoir.

To the north there are several other dams and reservoirs in the Rio Zêzere.

 

Water feature

When it rains the water is cascading over a carpet of large granite blocks and is collected in a huge basin.

The water is filtered in a natural way in the stomach and lead to a public fountain for the people of Mendiga. (2480 Porto de Mós)

In the park you find a educative model of the water mining. There is also a children playground, a public bbq and toilets.

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...