Sometimes I feel that the majority of people have a wrong idea about Portugal, or have no idea at all. Although that lack of knowledge allowed Portugal to remain authentic and not overcrowded it also has its downsides. Therefore, fortunately this paradigm is slowly starting to change. Due to this context I started thinking why not also write articles about the innovative projects that are developed in my country or by Portuguese companies? And that’s exactly what I’m going to do, so that, more people are aware of the quality and interesting projects that have been emerging in the past years. Since I’m in the tourism industry and this blog is about travel and tourism, I’m going to focus only in the tourism segment.
The first project I want to talk about is Natura Glamping. This past year I did a group assignment about it had I totally fell in love with its concept, philosophy and scenario.
In a remote little village called Alcongosta, located in Serra da Gardunha, you will find Natura Glamping. As the name indicates this tourism development embraces the glamping concept: offering an experience that foments the contact with nature and a slow pass of life, in a glamorous environment with all the amenities needed to provide a comfortable stay.
This connection with nature is achieved by the scenic environment where it is located (in the Gardunha mountain, at around 925 meters of altitude), but also by some of the activities the entity promotes and has available for its guests (such as birdwatching, a photography safari, BTT or walking tours in the mountain).
Another particularity is that Gardunha mountain is considered to be the 5th best place in Europe to watch spacial phenomenons. Although these are scientific and explained events, that many seek to watch and admire, some alien legends started to emerge among the locals. Be aware, they take this subject very seriously, so they won’t talk about it with anyone who asks, but the owner of Natura Glamping told us some stories and they were pretty awesome! Believer or not, it gives a certain mysticism to the place and it is in tune with the geodesic domes.
Talking about the domes, don’t get yourself be mistaken by how they look. In total there are 6 of these, all with an area of 37 square meters. Inside you can find two bedrooms, one bathroom, AC, television, mini bar and wi-fi. Outside you can enjoy a panoramic terrace with breathtaking views. There’s also the option to stay in the “Guard House” which has a kitchenette, a living room with a fireplace, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Due to its location, safety was also very important, so you relax, these domes are not going anywhere.
Still talking about facilities, in the main area guests can find the reception, a shop and the breakfast zone. I want to emphasise the shop, since it perfectly reflects the role of social responsibility in this company. There you can find artisan products, from clothes to food, that are produced locally and/or by emerging young artists of the region. I do believe that this is a very important aspect, which says a lot about the company character and where it is going. In this sustainability line, they also made a big effort in terms of environmental issues, through the use of recycled materials, the installation of solar panels and the control of waste of water and energy. Their environmental policy is very well designed and it’s announced in their website.
Besides being and outstanding place to spend some nights the region also has a lot to offer! Special in terms of culture and history, particularity related with Jews and Templars.
Natura Glamping is in tune with the new tourism world trends. It represents what the “new tourists” are looking for: authentic experiences, environmental and social commitments, off the beat destinations, be emerged in the local community, and are motivated by learning and self-fulfilment.
I truly feel that this is a good example of good tourism practices in Portugal. Yes, the design is important, it catches your attention and attracts for its uniqueness and exclusivity, but when we learn more about this development their business philosophy is what really makes a difference!
To sharpen your curiosity here are some photos we took during our visit:
And here are some photos from the Natura Glamping Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/naturaglamping/):