São Mamede Natural Park
Nature expresses itself in an especially exuberant way in the Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede. From a geological point of view it is extremely rich, immediately drawing your attention to the imposing quartzites, which mark the landscape with bizarre sculptures. In the northern zone, the chestnuts and Pyrenean oaks share the area with cork oaks and holm oaks, while the vineyards, allied to olive groves, grow on the generally gentle slopes which border the streams.
Fauna is abundant in the park: rare birds such as Bonelli’s Eagle and the Griffin Vulture, Sparrowhawks, the Short-toed Eagle, Black Kites, Black Storks, the Eagle Owl, the Tawny Owl, the Hoopoe and many others, live alongside Wild Boar, Red Deer, Badgers, Egyptian Mongooses, Fresh Water Turtles, Fire Salamanders, Wild Cats, Foxes and Rabbits.
Things to do
Wild River Swimming
The medieval and Roman paths surrounding the land invite incredible hiking and exploring of the natural park. For more information about the trails click here for the maps - HIKING TRAILS
You can also explore the natural park on horseback with our neighbours (www.caballosmarvao.com).
There are some fantastic climbing spots in and around the park, having tried many of them we are happy to pass on information if you're interested.
Set on a great granite ridge with sweeping views across the vast plains of the Alentejo region, the medieval village of Marvão is one of the prettiest places in the whole of southern Europe.
We recommended the breathtaking views from the castle keep offering a
360-degree bird eye view of one of the most strikingly picturesque parts of Portugal.
Megalithic sites and Roman remains
Alentejo has many megalithic sites from prehistoric Celtic peoples dating from 3000BC. One of the best examples of these massive stone structures can be found at the Coureleiros Megalithic park near the beautiful town of Castelo de Vide - around 15 minutes from the farm.
All the megaliths were constructed without the use of tools and consist of a chamber and corridor that faces East towards the rising sun.
The romans came to Portugal in 210 BC where they successfully administered the entire Iberian peninsular for the next 600 years until the collapse of the roman empire. They introduced wheat, barley, olives and vines, built dams and irrigation systems and many roads and bridges which are still in evidence throughout the country today.
Menhir of Meada - Castelo de Vide
Roman ruins of Ammaia
A 1st century Roman City
which flourished thanks to plenty of farming products of the alentejo region (especially the wine, the oil and the cereals)
Elvas’ claim to fame is that it boasts the largest group of bulwarked dry-ditch land fortifications in the world. The impressive fortifications zigzagging around this pleasant little town – declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2012 – reflect an extraordinarily sophisticated military technology. Its moats, fort and heavy walls would indicate a certain paranoia if it weren’t for Elvas’ position, only 15km west of Spain’s Badajoz. Inside the stout town walls, you’ll find a lovely town plaza, some quaint museums and very few foreign visitors – aside from the occasional flood of Spanish day trippers. Although there’s not much to hold your attention beyond a day, Elvas is an interesting place to visit, with its evocative frontier-post atmosphere, narrow medina-like streets and extraordinary, forbidding walls and buttresses. It also has a few excellent eateries.