Visit the birding paradise of Faia Brava Reserve in this 3 day experience. Spend a night under the stars and taste Portugal’s finest wines.
Faia Brava reserve is the first privately owned natural reserve in Portugal. It is bordered by the Côa River, 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 enjoy hiking past gorges and forests, as well as getting to know the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Côa Valley. All this is complemented by delicious local cuisine and some of Portugal’s finest wines, sourced from the renowned Douro Valley.
Fernado Romao will be your guide to the Faia Brava Reserve. He has been guiding in nature for 20 years. When he is not showing his beloved Côa Valley to guests, he can be found behind the camera as he is a well known photographer as well.
Day 1: Arrival at Casa da Cisterna followed by leisure time.. perhaps take a dip in the pool?Three - course dinner at Casa da Cisterna. In the late evening, you will be taken for a visit to the rock engravings, a UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight 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 Fernando Romao. After exploring the Faia Brava area, you will switch accommodation and can settle in at Star Camp, in the middle of the Faia Brava nature reserve. Dinner and overnight at Star Camp.
Day 3: Breakfast at Star Camp. Morning experience in the vulture hide with your guide Fernando Romeo. Departure around lunchtime.
The cost includes: One night incl breakfast and dinner at Casa da Cisterna. One night incl breakfast and dinner in Star Camp. One picnic lunch. Guided visit to UNESCO rock engravings in Côa Valley. Full day guided hiking or 4x4 trip though Faia Brava. Half day guided Vulture hide experience. 5% rewilding levy.
The cost does not include: Flights and transfers to/from the airport or train station. Internal transfers between accommodations.
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 from Wildlife 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.