Stage 1 : Ecotourism in Portugal and Spain, a new concept for you ?

Stage 1 : Ecotourism in Portugal and Spain, a new concept for you ?.

Mediterranean ROUTE

Itinerary Portugal - Spain

STAGE 1/27

294 kms

0 km   Faro

111 km Huelva

91 km Séville

92 km Jerez de la Frontera

Portugal and Spain are both top destinations.  In fact, Portugal and Spain regard tourism as one of the sectors that they can develop together.  For these two countries, tourism represents the driving force of the Iberian Peninsula’s economy. Portugal and Spain alike fosters the promotion of tourism each in its own way. Portugal is the world’s 18th most visited country and Spain does not lag behind.  Many appealing tourist offers are worth a small guided tour in order to discover the history and wonders of these two magnificent destinations. Have you heard about the development of the ecotourism in these countries ?

Ecotourism in Portugal : Exploring its natural parks

Portugal has some natural parks that should be visited like the Peneda-Gerês national park, the Serra da Estrela and the l’Alvão natural parks.  The Peneda-Gerês national park is located in northern Portugal and spans over an area of 72 000 hectares. This park provides opportunities for great hikes.  Discover an unexpected flora thanks to the country’s varied climate. Its natural heritage and its ideal location represent a major asset for the Peneda-Gerês national park.  The Serra da Estrela natural park is situated in the country’s highest mountainous area, in central Portugal. This splendid park houses various plant species. Explore some villages which thrive on a mountain economy focused on sheep breeding and agriculture. Long hikes can be undertaken in the Serra da Estrela Park which offers cultural and natural interests through the neighbouring villages and the nature.  Also, the Alvão Natural Park is a park situated in the country’s northeast, right above the Vila Real, the town renowned for its Mateus wine. Covering 7720 hectares, the park is of an amazing magnificence and is famous for its various ecosystems and geological formations. So as to have a better tour of this natural park, the best starting point is the village of Emerlo or that of Lamas de Olo.  The best hikes are organized around these two villages.

Peneda-Gerês national park - Protugal

© Vitor Vieira - Youtube.com

Faro: An inevitable stop on the Portugal itinerary

Faro is a tourist region situated in Portugal’s southern end.  This region’s name is of Arab origin meaning “the west”.  In terms of tourism, the city of Faro hasan international airport which each year welcomes an increasing number of tourists arriving mainly from northern Europe. Tourists just cannot avoid passing through the city because of the numerous seaside resorts along the coast.  The stretch of Faro’s beach, located on an island, attracts many tourists as well.  Thanks to its airport, the city has become Portugal’s second largest point of entry.  The town’s places of interest are Ria Formosa, Vale de Lobo, Estàdio Algarve (Algrave Stadium), Culatra Island, Tavira Island, Manta Rota, Quinta de Lago, Silves Castle, Alvor, Silves Cathedral, Saint-Laurent of Almancil Church, Sé de Faro (Cathedral of Faro) and Barreta Island.

Ecotourism Faro Portugal

faro Portugal
© Mihai-Bogdan Lazar - Fotolia.com

Ecotourism in Spain:  The natural parks must simply be discovered

Very few countries can claim having such diverse landscapes.  This extraordinary wealth must be safeguarded.  Spain’s natural parks identify more than 200 natural reserves in the entire country.  This protection also extends to the ocean floors holding valuable ecosystems.  In fact, there are 14 national parks in Spain spread out over various natural surroundings like volcanic landscapes, forests, marshes, islands and mountains. The endangered species are identified in protected reserves. As for nature lovers, they can recharge their batteries in Spain, in the country’s natural parks.

Ecotourism in Huelva:  Advised for a stay in Spain

Huelva is a province annexed to the Andalusia community.  Huelva is situated in south-western Spain.  It borders with Badajoz, to the east with Portugal, to the east with Seville and south with the Atlantic.  Its stretches of beaches with a special landscape, made up of junipers and pines, along with its villages soaking in a nautical ambiance make it a top ecotourist destination, including the Costa de la Luz.  The Huelva coastline extends over the Doñana national park, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site and counted among the biosphere reserves.  On the cultural scene, Huelva is famous for the Condado region’s Baroque style and the Lugares Colombinos Route.  The Romeria del Roció is one of its major celebrations, listed as a fiesta of international tourist interest.

Seville:  Europe’s most popular tourist town

Ecotourism Seville Spain

Seville Spain
© Freesurf - Fotolia.com

Situated in south-western Spain, Seville is the capital of the province of Seville and the Andalusia autonomous community. The city is located in the heart of a rich agricultural region and has the Guadalquivir running through it. The city represents Andalusia’ cultural, political and economic centre and remains one of the most important cities in the country and also in South Europe. Seville has a distinguished past while bequeathing an immense wealth of artistic heritage thus making this city one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.  The numerous artists born in the city, its traditional festivities, climate and great history as well as its monuments contribute to its fame.

Seville’s historic centre

The historic centre of Seville is an area dotted with bell towers, a mosque and a minaret dating from the 12th century.  Séville’s historic centre stretches on the skyline and should be visited. Discover its urban design and architecture which remain the witness of its past through its Christian, Almohad and Roman Andalusian traditions.  The city is Spain’s oldest one with origins going back to the 8th century B.C.

Seville Spain

© Bea Broda - YOutube.com

Our Lady of Kings

Our Lady of Kings is a huge cathedral in Seville which houses 25 statues of Mary and 27 Marian chapels. This chapel is a must-discover tourist site with all its years of history and cultures.  The most important wonder is “Nostra Signora dei Re” where the tomb of King S. Fernardino, a founder of Andalusia, is located.  “Nostra Signora dei Re” is royal and grandiose.  She was created to be covered with ornaments.

Jerez de la Frontera or Xeres

Ecotourisme Spain Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera
© Mariu - Fotolia.com

Jerez de la Frontera is a Spanish municipality situated in southern Andalusia, in the province of Cadix.  Xérès is its French name.  It is located in the Guadalquivir estuary’s plain, famous for horse breeding and vineyards.  With a population of about 205 000, it is Andalusia’s fifth largest town and the largest in the Cadix province.  It is one of the flamenco capitals with Cadix and Seville.  Jerez de la Frontera offers several sights for interested and adventurous tourists.

Doñana National Park:  nature in its natural state

The Doñana National Park forms part of one of Europe’s largest natural protected sites. It is located in Spain, in the Huelva province and also in the province of Cadix and Seville.  This park’s biodiversity is the fruit of the union among various ecosystems. This is the reason why UNESCO declared it as a biosphere reserve. The park stands out with a completely flat landscape which enables enjoying a distinct transition between the undulations of the stabilised sands and the horizontal landscape of the marshes that shelter a multitude of migratory birds.  The Iberian lynx is the park’s symbol due to its endemic carnivorous nature on the entire Iberian Peninsula.

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