Historical Villages of Portugal - The 1st Biosphere Destination
A tourist destination of choice is one that respects nature and preserves heritage. The Historical Villages of Portugal will be the first region in the world (yes, not one, but 12 destinations!), and also the first Portuguese destination to receive the Biosphere Destination certification. A title awarded by the Responsible Tourism Institute, accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This path is moreover based on the 17 objectives of sustainable development of the United Nations, in line with the great orientations of the UNWTO and UNESCO.
The Association of Historic de Portugal Villages has developed an immense awareness-raising work with the competent authorities, aiming to preserve nature, the tangible and intangible heritage, but also the local people lifestyle being a priority. In fact, this is the only way to keep each of the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal practically unsullied, as far as nature and history are concerned. Only by doing so, we are able to offer an authentic experience to visitors of the historic villages, by keeping traditions and the customs of their people, and preserve each of their monuments and buildings.
Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha and Trancoso, the 12 villages that form the network of the Historical Villages of Portugal struggle against the effects of passage of time and desertification, by investing in its endogenous resources and in local economic and tourist development. This is what makes this destination so special that it is in fact 12 different ones. And that is why those who visit the Historical Villages of Portugal fall in love with them: entering these places is like embarking on a journey back in time, where the walls, castles, flavours, arts and crafts of the historic villages tell the most incredible stories of the origin of our country.