Getaway to Vilar Maior

Explore our rewilding area Greater Coa Valley in Portugal for a weekend. Marvel at the views and the local delicacies and take a walk in Portuguese nature with an expert guide. 

Spend a weekend at the charming rural Vilar Maior. This beautiful area in Portugal's Greater Coa Valley is home to roman and medieval history. All of this in the beautiful natural setting of the nearby Vale de Carapito, home to rich wildlife and scenic landscapes

You will spend two nights in a lovely rural house hosted by locals. The house is homelike and has a beautiful garden and common areas to rest after a day exploring the surroundings.  

In this experience you will enjoy a walk in nature with expert guide Fernando Romao and a tour around the historical village by the  local association that safeguards the culture of the village. With this you directly collaborate in the sustainable development of this rural region affected by depopulation. 


A rural getaway


Day 1 – Friday. Arrival in the village in the afternoon ready to check in your rural accommodation and have a delicious dinner at Casa de Villar Mayor

After dinner there is a great opportunity to look at the stars. The sky barely has any light pollution. Check this light pollution map.

Day 2– Saturday. Enjoy an early Breakfast at Casa Villar Mayor before a guided walk thought Vale Carapito with expert guide Fernando Romao.

You will enjoy a packed lunch and finish you walking safari in the afternoon. 

In the evening dinner is served at a restaurant or Casa Villar Mayor.

Day 3 - Sunday. After a delicious breakfast at Casa Villar Mayor, you will go on a guided tour to the village where you will get to know everything about the castle, the roman bridge and the Associação Muralhas de Vilar Maior. 

Lunch will be enjoyed to go or in Casa Villar Mayor . After lunch, departure. 


  • Days: 3 days 2 nights 
  • When: Weekends, or mid–week upon request 
  • Accommodation: Casa de Villar Maior 
  • GuidesFernando Romao. Guided tour to the village is done by the Associação Muralhas de Vilar Maior, a local association that protects the culture of the area. 
  • How to get there: Closest airport is  Porto, 250 km, 2:40 hours drive. 
  • Languages: English, Portuguese    


  • €225,-- per person (when sharing a room with two people) 
  • Children until 3 do not pay extra. Baby crib is €20 extra. 
  • Children between 3 and 12: €50 extra, includes food and extra bed. 


The cost includes:  Accomodation full board for 2 nights. Tour of Villar Maior. Half day excursion with expert nature guide. 5% Rewilding fee.  

The cost does not include: Flights. Transfers to/from the airport or train station. Lunches except for picnic lunch on day 3.  

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. 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.

Read more about our work in the Greater Côa Valley here.


Aukje Van Gerven and

Irene Fernandez


Meet Fernando

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.

Fernando Romao

Wildlife Portugal