The Noudar Natural Park is located in a farm estate called Herdade da Coitadinha, ‘over-the-hills’ between the winding rivers Ardila and Múrtega and lodged among hills and summits near the town of Barrancos (Alentejo, Portugal). The road from the Park’s entrance to the Noudar Castle goes through an extensive holm oak grove (‘montado’) area, ending with a majestic view to the confluência das duas linhas de água.
Walking the ancient foot trails and dirt roads you will find other stories, valley floors where water windmills rest, wild woods on slopes that slide into the rivers, rocky ridges that rise above the landscape.
The pastures, holm oak and olive groves, grazing cows and herds of black pigs are all common to neighboring farms in this region. But here, a more abrupt and rocky relief has protected dense enclaves of holm oaks and forest and dense forests where light penetrates with difficulty – a few remaining holdouts in a landscape greatly altered by humans.
In Noudar, life presents itself in a state of wilderness and absolute purity.
At Noudar Nature Park we abide by a principle: the use of this area helps to promote conservation and recreate the Farm’s agriculture, according to the region’s traditional practices and at the same time promoting ecotourism and respect for Nature.
The recovery and adaptation of the Monte da Coitadinha’s original architecture allows the hosting of visitors and helps to promote the Noudar experienceby providing all the necessary facilities for exploring the area, including lodging, restaurant service and activities.
In this earthly space of refuge and isolation, one celebrates a way of life that is opposed to the bustle of city life. We prize tranquiloty, communion with Nature and people, silence and contemplation. We provide Mediterranean gastronomy and local production and invite people to wander around in a well-preserved and isolated territory.
Herdade da Coitadinha spreads across 1000 hectares and was purchased by EDIA (Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infraestruturas de Alqueva, S.A. – Alqueva Development and Infrastructure Enterprises) in 1997. The purpose is to provide some sort of compensation for the loss of natural habitats and ‘montado’ ecosystems, riparian galleries and Mediterranean woodland, which was caused by the construction of the great Alqueva dam.
The reason for choosing an area slightly distanced from Alqueva’s direct influence is the fact that this particular territory belongs to Rede Natura 2000 – Special Protection Zone Moura-Mourão-Barrancos – due to its extremely rich natural landscape, its cultural heritage and the presence of a vast and well preserved area of holm oak groves (‘montado’).
EDIA’s mission is to ensure that these unique characteristics are preserved and its value properly developed.