If you’re exploring the Douro region you might want to take some time off from all the wine
chugging tasting and head to the Alvão Natural Park. Why? Well, it’s a relatively small area (no risk of getting lost), it’s close to Vila Real and not far from Porto, there are picnic areas and there’s a cute little village.
Please respect the local flora and fauna while you’re visiting!
The Alvão Natural Park extends through 70 km² of mountainous territory and is home to several species of fauna and flora. Although you won’t probably spot any wolves you’re likely to look up and see birds of prey. The village, called Lamas de Olo, still has several typical houses built in granite and with thatched roofs. There’s a small river that runs through it, the river Olo, and the whole landscape is very rocky, even if there is a mix of small valleys and patches of forest together with mountainous areas. The Olo eventually becomes a 200m waterfall, called Fisgas de Ermelo. You can go to the waterfall, but it’s not an easy access and I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t been to the gym or if you’re short on time.
Where is it? Google maps always knows.
How far is it? With a car it’s about 1h30 from Porto or Braga and 30 minutes or less from Vila Real.
What can I do there? Take in the views, breath deeply, relax… and have a picnic! There are specific areas for this, with stone tables and seats.
My tip: On your way to the park make a stop to buy some local goodies and enjoy your picnic in the park. Please be conscious with plastic bags, cans, bottles, etc. This is a natural park!