Track wolves, watch birds and visit a UNESCO world heritage site whilst enjoy local cuisine during this five day experience throughout the Côa Valley in Portugal.
Faia Brava reserve is the first privately owned natural reserve in Portugal. It is bordered by the Côa River, and it is part of the Archeological Park of the Côa Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site. Oak forests and former cropland returning to nature are home to griffons, Egyptian and black vultures, golden and Bonelli’s eagles.
In this experience you will learn how to track wolves, enjoy hikes around the private reserve of Faia Brava, and get to know the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Côa Valley. The accommodations are charming family owned guesthouses in which you will feel like home sitting with a glass of some of Portugal’s finest wines and enjoying delicious local cuisine and a beautiful view.
Fernado Romao and Duarte Cadete will be your guides to the Faia Brava Reserve and the Montesinho National Park. Fernando has been a qualified nature guide and photographer for 20 years and Duarte is a wildlife researcher, guide and specializes in wolves.
Day 1: Arrival at Casa da Cisterna. Free time or explore Castelo Rodrigo. Three course dinner and overnight stay at Casa da Cisterna.
Day 2: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna. Full day hiking or 4x4 safari in Faia Brava area, incl picnic lunch, with your guide Fernando Romao. Dinner at Casa da Cisterna. In the late evening, you will be taken to visit the rock engravings in the UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight at Casa da Cisterna.
Day 3: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna. Morning experience in the vulture hide with Fernando Romao, including a picnic lunch. Departure after lunch to Rio de Onor (self drive – 3 hrs). Arrival at Casa da Portela. Dusk wolf tracking experience with Duarte Cadete. Overnight at Casa da Portela.
Day 4: Breakfast at Casa da Portela. Dawn wolf tracking experience with Duarte. Free afternoon in Rio de Onor. Overnight at Casa da Portela
Day 5: Breakfast at Casa da Portela and departure.
The cost includes: Two nights incl breakfast and dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Two nights incl breakfast at Casa da Portela. Two picnic lunches. Guided visit to Côa valley UNESCO rock engravings. Full day guided hiking or 4x4 trip though Faia Brava. Half day Vulture hide experience. 2x half day wolf safari (one dusk, one dawn). 5% rewilding levy.
The cost does not include: Alcoholic beverages. Flights and transfers to/from the airport or train station. Internal transfers from Castelo Rodrigo to Rio de Onor. Dinners at Casa da Portela (self contained house, but there is a restaurant at Rio de Onor)
What to bring: We recommend you to dress in layers. Hiking shoes, sun hat, water bottle, daypack, long pants, hat and gloves, jacket, raincoat or poncho, sun protection cream, non smelling mosquito/tick repellent and camp shoes (sandals). Binoculars, personal toiletries/medicines and a sense of adventure!
Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe organization.
As a result of rural depopulation and associated land abandonment across much of the Mediterranean, grazing livestock numbers have plummeted, leading to a very significant increase of landscapes without any form of grazing.
As a result, many landscapes are now covered by young, often monotonous forest or dense scrub.
By bringing back grazing – this time not with livestock but with (semi-) wild herbivores such as wild horses and Tauros – Rewilding Europe and its local partners can significantly reduce the risk of fire in the Greater Côa Valley rewilding area. Reintroducing such herbivores will also improve conditions for populations of roe deer and Iberian ibex. Natural grazing by these species leads to the creation of more diverse mosaic landscapes, with open spaces that act as effective firebreaks.
Supporting local enterprises: Through financial loans and expert business advice, Rewilding Europe Capital (REC) is helping a growing number of local entrepreneurs create rewilding-focused enterprises across our operational areas. Star Camp, Casa da Cisterna, Tour guide Fernando Romeo fromWildlife Portugal and Fly Camp are all pioneering nature-based tourism models which are helping to reinforce the rewilding agenda here. Rewilding Europe promotes these enterprises through the increasingly popular European Safari Company.
Fernando Romão is a nature guide and photographer and has spent the last 20 years developing is skills, knowledge and passion for nature.
Guiding professionally allowed him to create unique interpretive tours; including bird watching, hiking and nature photography and transfer his love and passion for nature.
Working in a variety of areas including Faia Brava's private reserve, the Serra da Estrela Natural Park and the Duoro and Tejo International Natural Park respectively.
With training in Outdoor and Adventure activities as well as Tourism and Nature interpretation, Fernando is the perfect combination for a nature based tour in the area. With his own nature tourism and photography business he strives to always bring the best of the area and its experiences to his guests.
When he isn't guiding or glued to the view finder on his camera, Fernando is working on an editorial project for travel guides for the interior of Portugal.