Buçaco Forest is in the mountains of the same name in the concelho Mealhada, specifically in the parish of Luso. It has a great history. In the 6th century, the Benedictine order founded a monastery there. Later, in the 17th century, the Order of the Shoeless Carmelites came and closed the entire forested area with a wall, so that the only access to the outside world was through three gates that remain today and which are called Rainha, Coimbra and Sula, which is the most beautiful and outstanding. The monks who lived in this area began guarding the forest and planted all kinds of plants and trees, including tropical and exotic plants. This forest was thus protected until 1643 when the Pope sent them a papal bull which decreed excommunication for those who cut any tree in a monastery. The results of such care can be enjoyed today. I've never been to such an exotic, wild and wonderful forest. You can find trees and plants of all different species that live together and form an amazing paradise of colours. In total, the forest covers more than 400 acres crossed by paths and built stone roads. You feel like you're entering a magical children's story where anything is possible when you enter this forest. It's really fascinating.
Ex-libris of the region Monçao, this palace is a grandiose neoclassical building from the early nineteenth century. It also has beautiful English-style gardens, a large forest, a dovecote, acres of vineyards and a winery. A very friendly tourist guide answers all visitor questions, the tour is not only inside the Palace but also outside, including the forest and the abandoned loft that stood in the woods, just before reaching the extensive Albariño wine vineyards that lie just behind the Palomar. You can visit part of the Palace, as well as the outside, for 7.5 euros.
On the outskirts of the city of Évora, in the Alentejo Portuguese, you will find cork forests and I want to share with you the importance of preserving them, not only for us to enjoy these hard and beautiful landscapes, but also for the wealth provided when they grow. These are of Quercus suber (Mediterranean cork oak). The dwarf (as they are also known) lives between 150 and 250 years. Virgin cork is collected first when the trees are between 30-50 years of age. Afterwards, cork can be collected every 9-14 years. The harvesting of cork is completely manual. Cattle are fed with cork acorns. It's a great example of sustainability.
Water, silence, vegetation. Hear your footsteps and the birds playing with you along the way. The smell of wet earth, waterfalls. Get lost in Madeira Levada. It's an island where you can become one with nature...