“What gives real meaning to the encounter is the search, and one needs to walk a lot to reach what is near.” (José Saramago)

One of the most brilliant writers of our country one day said this, the eternal José Saramago. If it’s true that we find ourselves in the search, then that’s only possible when we leave everything behind, leaving behind the chaos of the cities and, in the silence of nature, we begin to hear ourselves.

We do not need to go far to escape our routines and find ourselves again. Here, in our own country, the countryside of the Central Portuguese region hides a small paradise full of enchanting passages that invite us to forget our troubles and simply…enjoy. The Historical Villages of Portugal, a destination that is in fact 12, is the perfect suggestion for resting the soul or taking off on an adventure among magnificent landscapes and places conserved in time.

Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha and Trancoso: In the Historical Villages of Portugal, we feel unified with nature for a very simple reason. Here, everything is done as they were in the old days, in an effort to value endogenous resources and local economic and touristic development.

Therefore, we not only fall in love with the impressive elegance of these villages, but, most of all, because here we can go out, walk around, go on an adventure along the trails, ride bikes, or simply relax in peace. Here, the machines remain outside, our gazes and hugs are more important, life lived in full, at each second.

Because of the privilege of having the Douro nearby, one of the programs suggested by the Historical Villages of Portugal joins passion for History and Nature to the most beautiful river that runs through our country. “The Historical Villages and the Douro River” program is a 2-day excursion with visits, activities, and a trip in a traditional Boat of the Douro, the “Rabelo”, which takes us to hear the stories, customs, and traditions of the Historical Villages of Portugal, as well as observe the nature and magnificent landscapes of the Douro. This program even offers a visit to the cave engravings of Foz Côa.

For the more adventurous types, every year, the Aldeias Históricas de Portugal promotes a mountain bike trip through the territory of these places, as well as the The Castles Quest. From lodging to lodging, through Roman Passages, these two-wheeled adventures are based on routes of the Grand Route 22: a 540 km long excursion of pure, tough mountain biking that passes through ten Historical Villages, pedaling between locations to stay overnight.