The pedestrian route of the Great Douro International Route and Wine Route is completed, stretching for about 200 kilometres, crossing six municipalities of the Upper Douro, allowing the discovery of two unique sections of the river Douro.
With the indication of ‘GR36’, it is a large linear route with a total extension close to 200 kilometres and that crosses the counties of Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada to Cinta and Torre de Moncorvo, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and Vila New from Foz Côa.
“The channel of the Great Route is complexly completed, lacking only the homologation of the competent entities, such as the National Federation of Hiking. There are about 200 kilometres of pure natural beauty,” the president of the Association of Municipalities of Douro Superior AMDS), Nuno Gonçalves.
This great route allows the connection of Arribas of the Douro Internacional to the terraces of Douro Vinhateiro, with a landscape surrounded by the most impressive of the Portuguese territory, in a trip that can be done on foot.
“We have no doubt that this new route will be a key point and a key point for tourism and associated projects that will allow the discovery of a single territory along the Douro River,” noted the mayor.
The protected area of the International Douro and the Douro Vinhateiro will be “united” by means of a tourist route with about 200 kilometres of extension, in a “green” corridor linking five transmontane municipalities bordering the Douro.
“The idea is to carry out projects of inter-municipal cooperation, through a tourist and cultural route that will cover a stretch of 200 kilometres along the territory of five municipalities, being listed as one of the largest tourist routes in Portugal,” said the person in charge of the AMDS, entity that is responsible for the management of the project.
In the opinion of the promoters of the Great Route, this may be the first of a series of projects related to the material and immaterial heritage, where they will connect a number of other small tourist routes and are already in advanced stages of creation and signalling.
“We have two types of landscape: the most natural of the Douro Internacional and another one already worked by the action of man, as are the terraces of Douro Vinhateiro, where are produced some of the best wines in the World”, emphasized the also mayor of Torre de Moncorvo.
Most of the pedestrian paths are located in areas of “high” heritage, historical, cultural and landscape value, which enhance the tourism and economy of the counties covered and contribute to “the health and well-being of its users.”
For those in charge of the six municipalities of the Upper Douro, it is also intended to contribute to the Douro International Nature Reserve and the Alto Douro Vinhateiro becoming more and more known as “a tourist destination of excellence” in the field of Tourism of Nature.
Following the north-south direction, in the first three municipalities of this Great Route (Miranda do Douro Mogadouro and Freixo de Espada à Cinta), the visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy the plateau landscapes, at an average altitude of around 700 meters, where suddenly is the river Douro, nestled in granite overlooking a cliff over 150 meters high.
In the more southerly counties, such as Torre de Moncorvo and Vila Nova de Foz Côa, the visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy tranquil and imposing landscapes where the International Douro ends and the Alto Douro Vinhateiro begins.
In the territories covered by this Great Route, there are unique species (animals and plants), some of them in danger of extinction, which must be preserved.