Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, with almost nine centuries of history and ancestral traditions, a result of the heritage left by the many peoples that have inhabited these lands throughout history. The Phoenicians, the Greeks and Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs and the Northern Europeans, all left indelible marks of their presence that can still be seen today in our culture, cuisine, architecture and our identity as a people. In the 15th and 16th centuries, our explorers were the first to navigate around the world to discover the distant lands of Africa, the Middle East, India, the Far East and South America. From these territories we received natural riches, spices, cultural influences and people of many origins, making Portugal a country with a unique heritage in the world.
Portugal is a member of the European Union, but it’s still unknown to many people, including some Portuguese. Although small in size the country offers vast wild areas and remote places giving visitors a true sense of adventure and discovery. Here it’s still possible to enjoy Nature in its purest state travelling countless tracks across the mountains and taking us to remote places and villages with surprising traditions. In the more rural and inland regions, it is not uncommon to spend hours on end without crossing with another vehicle and we are left with the impression we are the only ones in the whole region.
The geographic diversity of the country has created a variety of climates and unique landscapes and ecosystems, from the mountainous areas of the North to the extensive plains and beaches of the South, turning every day into a new adventure. Located within easy reach from most western European countries, Portugal offers the legendary hospitality of its people, a mild climate and one of the best gastronomies in the world, make it a favourite destination for adventure trips. With our legal credentials and knowledge of the country, the network of health care facilities, specialised workshops and parts suppliers, Portugal offers its visitors an environment of discovery and adventure in total safety.
Each region of Portugal has its own identity which makes it unique and different from all the others. See what distinguishes each region and come with us to discover some of Europe’s best kept secrets …
It was in the North that Portugal was founded in the early twelfth century and became an independent nation. The region is dominated by several mountain ranges with rivers flowing in the valleys, creating some breathtaking landscapes wherever you look. The castles, manor houses and the many religious monuments visible throughout the region are a testament to their heritage and secular traditions. This is the land of small villages lost in time where people still preserve the legacy of the communal traditions left by their ancestors. The people of northern Europe have left their celebrations linked to the cycle of nature and the unique sound of bagpipes that can still be heard in some villages. If for lovers of gastronomy the region is a feast, the Demarcated Region of the Douro is a true sanctuary for wine lovers thanks to the UNESCO World Heritage landscape, where the famous wines of Porto and Douro are produced. From the Atlantic coast to the extreme north-east, the north of Portugal is an authentic journey through time.
In the centre of the country, there are the highest mountain ranges and numerous small granite and shale villages located in places that are both remote and beautiful. The centre of Portugal has a great variety of natural, historical and cultural places of interest. This is where several rivers have their springs and the glacial valleys in the mountains where still today some of the best cheeses in the country are produced. The many castles, forts and historical villages located in remote and inaccessible places testify the history of the country in the 12th and 13th centuries and the numerous battles Portugal had to fight in its struggle to become an independent nation. It is in this region where the oldest land border between two countries in Europe, confirmed by a treaty signed in the distant 13th Century. Situated between the Douro and the Tagus rivers, and bounded to the east by the border with Spain, the Beiras region is a land of contrasts that make central Portugal a centre of history, traditions and adventure.
As we pass the Tagus river it’s as if we enter another country, and feel the aroma that comes from northern Africa. From the extensive plains of the Alentejo to the mountains of the Algarve, the landscape is covered with thousands of cork trees, holm-oaks and olive trees that were brought with the Roman occupation. The architectural, historical and agricultural heritage testify in a unique way to the Arab influences that shaped the people and the landscape, and that still make themselves felt today. The cuisine of the region, especially in rural areas, is a testament to the creativity and capacity for survival of local people, who despite the poverty of the land and the scarcity of ingredients, have created one of the tastiest cuisines in the country. The vast open countryside of the interior and the cliffs and golden sand beaches along the coast make the south of Portugal a very diverse and interesting place to discover in close contact with nature. Before you go you have to leave the clock at home and enjoy the simple things of life, because here time seems to pass a lot slower here…