In ALQUEVA NATURAL you will enjoy…
• WATER: The Great Lake of Alqueva and the reservoirs will allow you to do many nautical and aquatic activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, boat trips, sailing, waterball, fishing, photography from the water, beach bathing, etc.
• LAND: The ecotourism routes to discover the flora (the route of the orchids and the rose of Alexandria), myco-tourism, nature and bird watching photo safaris, nature trails on mountain bikes along the Guadiana, multi-adventure gymkhanas in nature, orienteering in the natural environment, guided tours along the eco-fluvial corridors, etc.
• AIR: Trying two-seater paragliding and flying over the Sierra of Alor, the pasturelands, rivers, reservoirs and the SPA, skim over the waters of the Great Lake of Alqueva from a triker (powered paragliding), watch the birds or stars from unexpected places with one of the clearest skies in Spain.
Natural attractions to enjoy:
- Great Lake of Alqueva:
In 2002, with the closing of the floodgates in Alqueva, the largest artificial lake in Western Europe was born. It occupies an area covering 250 kilometres between Alentejo in Portugal and part of the southern border of the province of Badajoz. It is more than 80 kilometres in length and has 1200 miles of coastline. Under its waters and those of the streams in the area you can find native species such as the Anaecypris hispanica (ray-finned fish), endangered with extinction, the barbel, the roach and the carp, and newly-introduced species such as the black bass and catfish.
- Wharfs of Villareal, Cheles and Villanueva del Fresno:
Mooring services and a meeting point for taking part in water sports and aquatic activities.
- Cheles Beach:
The only natural freshwater beach on the Great Lake of Alqueva. It has service for hiring out leisure boats, bar facilities and a children’s play area.
- Cuncos Reservoir (Villanueva del Fresno) and Piedra Aguda Reservoir (Olivenza):
Perfect for fishing, bird watching or seeing the sun go down.
- Dehesas de Jerez SPA (Villanueva del Fresno):
An ideal place to enjoy bird watching in an ecosystem of great natural wealth. A significant presence of bustards, black storks, herons and cranes; the latter deserve a special mention, as thousands of them come each year to Villanueva del Fresno, making this town one of the most important wintering areas in Spain.
- Sierra of Alor (San Jorge de Alor-Olivenza):
A perfect location near Olivenza to go hiking across the pastureland and olive groves. Ecotourism routes to discover the native flora, such as the orchids and the rose of Alexandria, highly-valued species as a result of being so rare in the Iberian Peninsula. Spectacular views from the viewing point. Typical Extremaduran huts in the surrounding area.
- Bird observatories:
Guadiana Eco-fluvial Corridor (Ajuda Bridge – Villarreal – Olivenza), La Cobanada (Alconchel) and the Cuncos Reservoir (Villanueva del Fresno). Specially prepared areas for bird watching.
- Guadiana Eco-fluvial Corridor (Ajuda Bridge-Villarreal), Alconchel Eco-fluvial Corridor and Río Alcarrache Eco-fluvial Corridor of Biodiversity (Villanueva del Fresno):
Paths and tracks ideal for enjoying the resources and natural and cultural attractions lying beside the major river basins of the Park.
- Guadiana Natural Road (stages 37, 38, 39 and 40):
clearly signposted routes, ideal for mountain biking, which go along the banks of the Guadiana as it passes through the pasturelands of Alqueva. It begins in San Francisco de Olivenza, goes past the wharf in Villarreal, the beach and wharf in Cheles, the branch in Alconchel and the Dehesas de Jerez SPA and finishes in Villanueva del Fresno.
These include Los Cabriles (Alconchel) and Friegamuñoz (Alconchel-Villanueva del Fresno). Resources of great natural and ecological wealth and native flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the black stork and the eagle owl. Recommended for photography safaris and family ecotourism. The huge natural openings in the land for the streams too pass through are highly impressive.
- El Gollizo (Alconchel):
An eating place located very near the Castle for the family to enjoy a day out in the countryside. Equipped with barbecues, a large wooden house, drinking water and shade.
Large areas of century-old cork oaks and holm oaks adorn the park, some of them 800 years of age. The natural habitat of the fighting bull, the Iberian pig and other domestic and wild animals, such as foxes, genets, mongooses, badgers, wild boars, otters, etc. A natural environment providing unique tourist experiences for the family.
- Alqueva Skies:
Almost three hundred clear nights throughout the year, with hardly any light disturbances, have allowed the area around Alqueva to be chosen as the first destination certified as a Starlight reserve on the Portuguese banks, supported by UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization, covering an area of nearly 3,000 kilometres.