Nature is all around

Portugal, with its Mediterranean climate and its mountains, forests, rivers, wetlands, heaths and beaches, offers a lot of varied habitats and is home to a very diverse selection of species of plants and animals. Because of its incredible range of flora and fauna the country is a real naturalist’s paradise. Central Portugal is often referred to as the ‘Green Heart’ of the country, because of the abundance of Pine and Eucalyptus forests and lush green valleys.

Firstly the Flora, which is at its most stunning in March, April, May and June

Portugal has so many wild flowers that the country becomes ablaze with colour in spring when so many types come into bloom. There is a bountiful range of wild flowers shrub species and trees which are unique to the area including Lilies, Orchids, Curry plant and the evergreen Cork Oak trees. If you are a botanist you are sure to be delighted with all the unexpected wild flowers you are likely to discover in Portugal.

The Autumn and Winter months are wonderful for all kinds of Funghi.

There are forest walks from the house and a waterfall is 15 minutes down a track, the route is filled with the scent of Eucalyptus, Pine and wild Lavender. During the walks pay attention for wild fruits (as figs!). Around the small villages you can smell the Rosemary hedges.

Wild goat, pig and deer can be found in the Portuguese countryside

The fox, rabbit and Iberian hare are ubiquitous. Bird life is rich because the peninsula lies on the winter migration route of western and central European species. Portugal is very rich in butterflies too and these are present for a far greater period throughout the year.

The surrounding area is well suited for birdwatching. If you like this, make sure to take binoculars or camera with a 300mm lens. Best time is March.