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The Serra de Såo Mamede, a Natural Park since 1989, is at the junction of the Mediterranean and Atlantic climatic zones giving a diverse fauna and flora typical of both.

Cork oak woodlands and olive groves mingle with sweet chestnut and Pyrenean oak, and botanists will be interested in the numerous types of wild flowers here.

It is also a fascinating area for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers being home to abundant wildlife such as mongoose, wolf, lynx, wild boar and over 120 resident and migratory bird species including several species of vultures, and eagles including Imperial and the Bonellis Eagle, the Park’s emblem.

This beautiful mountain range separates the drainage basin of the Tagus to the north from the basin of the Guadiana to the south. The main rivers that have their sources in this range are the rivers Sever and Nisa, flowing towards the Tagus, as well as the Caia River and its tributary, the Arronches, flowing towards the Guadiana.

The town of Marvão is an ancient fortified town located on a ridge of the range. Its emblematic castle is an archetype of medieval castle-building. It dates back to the times of the Reconquista, the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. Besides Marvão, Portalegre, Castelo de Vide, Arronches and Alegrete are other towns in the area worth a visit.

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Local Area


The hills of the Alentejo, in which the São Mamede Natural Park is located are just two hours inland from Lisbon on Portugal’s border with central Spain, and are widely recognised as one of Europe’s most beautiful and unspoilt areas.


The hills run along the border and spill over into Spanish Extremadura as the Sierra de San Pedro, with the highest point at 1,025 metres, Pico de Sao Mamede.


It is a magical region of wooded hills, rocky crests and fertile valleys, criss-crossed with mediaeval tracks and archaeological remains – a region where time has simply stood still.


Life has changed little in the picturesque white-washed villages where sausages, bread, cheeses and regional wines are still produced in traditional ways, and local produce feeds the communities.



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