Cork forests are not only the cultivation and harvesting of oak bark, but also a dynamically developing tourism industry. Tourists visit these areas not only in Portugal, but also in Italy, in Sardinia, an island also known for its natural corcan cultivation. There are special websites on the Internet that invite you to take long walks through the growing areas of this versatile raw material. Tourists are also seduced by the prospect of visiting numerous vineyards, medieval fortresses and abandoned chapels.
One of the places in Portugal where we can discover the natural heritage of this beautiful country is the Maroteira farm and its surroundings. Herdade da Maroteira is located on the slopes of the Serra d’Ossa in the Alentejo region of southern Portugal. This 330 hectare property has been owned by an Anglo-Portuguese family for 5 generations and was originally active in cork and cattle production until today.
There are currently vineyards on the property that produce internationally recognized wines. The wonderful location offers you the opportunity to undertake numerous activities that will bring you closer to nature. This is how we should live every day, resting in peace in harmony with the environment, learning from plants and animals, enjoying wine and meeting authentic country people – say the current owners of this beautiful farm.
Another form of entertainment for local visitors, who are increasingly looking for alternative ways to spend their holidays and leisure time, is trekking through the Alentejo forest and along country roads with views of the Sierra D’Ossa. Tour guides enthusiastically talk about the advantages of the corcan growing areas.
The residents also have an offer for fans of motorized rides. At https://corktrekking.com/ you can also book a jeep ride around the Herdade da Maroteira estate at affordable prices and experience the incredible rural atmosphere of the cork forests of the Alentejo region.
On the website https://www.visitcorkterritories.co.uk/ we also have the opportunity to take kayak tours in Spanish cork forests along the Rio Palmones. The site also offers the organization of walking and cycling tours in the local forests of the Gibraltar region.
We also have the opportunity to visit cities best known for cork harvesting and processing. These are mainly towns like Grandola, Vendas Novas and Vives. The first point mentioned is particularly noteworthy. The cork oak forest covers about 48% of the total area of the district, i.e. about 39,645 hectares. Thus, at the regional level (NUT II Alentejo), the municipality of Grândola represents 6.4%; nationally 5.4%; and around 1.8% of the total area of cork oaks worldwide. Experience shows that the cork produced in the cork oak forest of the Sierra de Grândola is often considered by various industry experts to be one of the best corks in Portugal and even the world.