At the cottage we provide maps and detailed route notes for nine local walks. They are graded easy to moderate and range in distance from 7 to 14 kms. The walks take you along cobbled medieval roads and through wooded areas of cork oak and chestnut to rocky ridges with views over the Alentejo plain that go on for ever. The convergence in these beautiful mountains of the Mediterranean and Atlantic climates has given rise to a fascinating range of natural vegetation and wild life. Wild flowers are abundant in the spring and early summer. The forest of cork oaks, oaks and olive trees still covers large areas of the Serra. Sweet chestnut trees provide shade and ample nuts for animal life and the chestnuts are used in the traditional recipes of the area.

 

Wild boar and deer still roam the park. Reptiles and amphibians such as the Iberian frog and Iberian midwife toad make their homes in the Serra's many rivers and watering holes. Kestrels, Bonellis eagle and Egyptian vultures are a common sight circling high overhead. In fact the area supports more than half of the species of birds that breed in Portugal. It is also home to the largest European colony of bats.

 

Vineyards and olive groves line the routes and in spring the profusion of coloured wild flowers carpet the countryside. Some of the walks take you through Marvao and Castelo de Vide which are among Portugal's prettiest medieval villages. Few tourists and walkers have discovered this beautiful, secluded and unspoilt area of Portugal making it a perfect place for a relaxing self catering and walking holiday, whether guided or not. 

 

Have a walking holiday with our self guided or fully guided walks using the best 1/25000 walking maps and route guides for the Sao Mamede Natural Park. Portugal has a great climate for walking all year round. From late February through to early summer the countryside is carpeted with wild flowers displaying a gradually changing sequence of colours. You will see why they say the Alentejo is the Provence of Portugal. A walking holiday is a joy in spring. Should it get too warm for walking, take a day off to stroll around the interesting historic sites such as Marvao and Castelo de Vide in the Natural Park or spend a morning or longer at one of the interesting local markets.

 

Although the winter months are cooler there are many days with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine. Rainy days tend to be occasional and most weeks will enjoy some sunny days. Some of the best walking is to be had in Winter especially in December.