GR22 – Historic Villages was born! Heir to GR22 – Great Route of Historical Villages of Portugal, it is a cross-border route almost 900 km long, 680 km of which are covered in the Beira Interior of Portugal and around 200 km in the Cáceres region.
In other words, an even more exciting route for adventurers and history lovers. The brand remains in the Historical Villages of Portugal, which has already registered its registration in Spain.
The Historical Villages of Portugal – Tourist Development Association (AHP – ADT) announced, at the recent meeting of ERA (European Walking Association), that it promoted in the territory, a new feature for lovers of hiking and nature tourism: the GR22 passes having an Iberian dimension!
The GR22 was approximately 600 km long, spread across 20 municipalities, on a circular route that linked the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal, historical paths and nature in its purest state. Now, the adventure also involves the neighbouring country: 13 municipalities in the Deputation of Cáceres join this route, adding more than 200 km of Spanish territory and countless historical towns, which will surprise adventurers and around 80 km in connection to Portugal the border. The GR22 now totals approximately 900 km of route.
Now, whoever travels the GR22 will pass not only through the Historical Villages of Portugal, anchors of this route, but also historical places in Spain, making the experience a true Iberian experience. There are, in total, 111 locations in Portugal and 36 in Spain.
In addition to becoming a cross-border adventure, the GR22 also gains conditions for adventurers, as it now has a wider range of offerings, enriched by its diversity.
The expansion of the GR22 to Spain was carried out under the POCTEP project – Cross-border Cooperation, thanks to which it was possible to internationalize a Portuguese brand to Spain in the field of soft mobility, in the walking and cycling modes of the GR22. Becoming a cross-border project, it was also necessary to adapt the brand name: instead of “GR22 – Grande Rota das Aldeias Históricas de Portugal”, it becomes “GR22 – Aldeias Históricas”.
As GR22 – Aldeias Históricas is one of the major assets of AHP – ADT, a protocol was signed with the Deputation of Cáceres that now legitimizes this organization in the usufruct of a brand of the Historic Villages of Portugal. AHP – ADT has also moved forward with registering the brand in Spain.
On the other hand, the monitoring system already existing in GR22 – Historic Villages was also improved, becoming more aligned with the Network’s strategic rationale dedicated to sustainability, namely through the introduction of photovoltaic panels to power the meters that enable counting. of the number of adventurers passing by on foot or by bicycle.
It should be remembered that the GR22 is the largest European hiking route with the Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe (LQT) seal: the certification was awarded for the first time to the Historic Villages of Portugal by the European Ramblers Association in 2019 and Now, at the meeting held at the beginning of the month, the seal was renewed until 2025.
The European Ramblers Association is an association that certifies the best hiking destinations in Europe, according to criteria such as sustainability, the level of experience provided to the user, the quality of their route, and their cultural and natural richness. It is, therefore, a project that is in line with the commitment to sustainability and smooth movement of the Historic Villages of Portugal.
About Historical Villages of Portugal
Among the hills and valleys of the verdant landscape of the interior of Portugal, full of legends and castles, flavors and traditions, there are 12 simple villages where you want to get lost. Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha and Trancoso: the Historical Villages of Portugal, a destination of which there are 12, appear as hidden paradises that take us on a journey through the time of kings and queens, of epic and infinite battles that wrote History as we know it today. They also guarantee unforgettable moments of leisure, adventure and discovery, seasoned with the unparalleled aromas and flavours of the region, which make up its typical gastronomy.
In the territory of the Historical Villages of Portugal, there is an endless number of hiking trails and cycling and mountain biking routes – such as the Grande Route 22, the longest Walking and cycling route in Europe and Portugal, with around 600 km. Grande Route 22 has the Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe seal, awarded by the European Ramblers Association.
The Historical Villages of Portugal are the first network destination – on a global scale – and the first national destination to receive BIOSPHERE DESTINATION certification. And, in 2020, they were the first destination nationwide to create the “Responsible Tourist Manifesto”, reminding their visitors of the importance of respect for nature.