Cottages Alvão Natural Park

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Cottages in Alvão Natural Park

Portugal is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Europe and especially during summer its beaches and the larger cities are crowded with visitors from all over the world. Tourism is an important aspect of the country’s economy, but there are less crowded places throughout the country which will bring much more joy to nature enthusiasts like you and me.

Alvão is such a place in Portugal! Despite being one of the smallest natural parks in the country, it will definitely amaze you with its unique beauty. The cottages’ hosts will meet you and make sure you have everything needed for a pleasant stay. Enjoy the Portuguese nature and dive into the highest mountainous parts of the country. Comfort and adventure are our highest priorities when it comes to welcoming guests to our cottages, so be prepared to experience a lot of both!

The nature in Alvão

The geography of this protected area is very interesting. Although most of it is considered mountainous, there are lower parts too. The park is generally divided into a lower and a higher altitude zone and there is a clear transition line between the two, most apparent in the area around the Fisgas waterfall. Rio Olo and its adjacent territories are considered as the higher grounds of the region, while Ribeira de Fervença and its adjacent territories are considered as part of the lower grounds.

The waterfall Fisgas de Ermelo is the most emblematic site in the protected area. It is one of the largest waterfalls on the continent. Another remarkable feature of this natural wonder, except for its breathtaking beauty, is the existence of marks on the rocks – of fossilized marine organisms from millions of years ago.

Fisgas is also the genesis point of river Olo, which then travels for almost 40 km until it flows into the Tamega River. The Olo River in the so-called “basal zone” of the park turns into a calm stream rumbling through river rocks and pine forests.

Stay active

Due to the mountainous characteristics of the park, the terrain is suitable for hiking. There are hundreds of trails, which are marked, however maps are scarce and lack detail, so it is always best to stick to the main routes.

On your routes you will often encounter structures of different types. In the Lamas de Olo and Ermelo territories, most buildings have a more artisanal feeling to them; in the other parts of the park, the structures are more fitted to answer the agricultural needs in the region. There are also small villages where you will see even more traditional cottages and even have a chance to meet some of the 700 local people.

Along the rivers and streams, often natural picnic areas are formed and you can enjoy a day sunbathing and even swimming where the river allows it. Furthermore, at some points natural pools are formed, where you can definitely bathe too. Bear in mind that the water is cold even on the warmest days out there.

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