There are many trails to travel to discover some of Portugal’s popular natural products. Here are three directions groups can take to learn about the production processes (and indulge a little):
Cork cultivation is a thousand-year-old industry, and Portugal is the No. 1 producer in the world. Visitors to Serra do Caldeirão can take the cork route, which showcases the steps in the process, from the oak groves to the extraction of the cork to the end products—shoes, purses, fishing rod handles, insulation and floor coatings. They can visit the cork museum and take walks to observe the flora and fauna of a cork forest.
Whether traveling by car, bike or on foot in Trás-os-Montes, visitors can choose from four roadmaps on the olive oil route in the northeast province. They’ll visit the olive oil farms in each location and learn the manufacturing processes passed down through generations, as well as the most current production techniques. Guests can also taste the products and take home their favorites.
Portugal is home to numerous wineries and farms, each with vines unique to their areas. The L’AND Vineyards Resort in Alentejo is surrounded by views of a lake and the medieval castle of Montemor. Guests can experience grape-based beauty treatments in the resort’s spa and take balloon rides over the vineyards. The oldest wine region in the world is in the Douro Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it can be toured by car, train or boat.
Top photo ©De Visu/Adobe Stock