Portugal: Nature & Wildlife
Protected areas in Portugal are scattered across the country, each very different, but with special significance because of their European ecological interest. These protected areas are classed as national parks, nature reserves, protected landscapes or natural monuments. Wild animals found in Portugal include wolves, lynx, wildcat, wild boars, goats, deer, hares and more. Due to its location, Portugal remains rich in birdlife as it sits on the western migration route of many western and central species.
Peneda-Gerês National Park is the only national park in Portugal. It was designated as a national park in May 1971 due to national and international scientific interest. It is located in the Norte region of northwest Portugal. The park spreads across four granite massifs and includes valleys, oak forests, peat bogs and more. Foxes, wild boars, ibex and deer can be found in the park as well as 147 bird species.
Arrábida Natural Park on the northern shore of the Sado River Estuary was created in 1976. It covers 105 square kilometres (42 square miles) and includes the Arrábida Hills. The highest point in the park is Serra da Arrábida that stands at 499 m (1,637 ft). Another interesting part of the park is its two beaches, Portinho da Arrábida and Figueirinha. Both are incredibly popular with the local Portuguese people. The bay, Pedra da Anicha is a very important zone for the breeding of maritime fauna in the Atlantic north. Interestingly, a famous scene from the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) was filmed within the park.
The Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve is the largest wetland in the country, and is one of the most important wetlands in Europe. Established as a natural reserve in 1976, it has also been named as a Special Protection Area for Wild Birds as many species choose to stop here on their migration between northern Europe and Africa. There are three ponds in the reserve that provide excellent opportunities for bird watching.
Portugal Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Portugal.
Learn about the history and culture of Portugal, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Portugal's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Portugal for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Portugal tours today!
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