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Good practices when hiking in Portugal

Updated: May 26, 2022

The details of each code of conduct may vary from country to country and even from area to area. But it always consists of several common guidelines which allow us to interact in a respectful way with the beautiful area we visit. The code prevents us from unknowingly causing any harm to it.

That is why we have created an easy overview for you of the most important guidelines which are put into effect to protect Portugal’s natural gems. These good practices make sure that we know how to travel in a responsible way, considering also the local population and your own safety.

Hiker Good practices

  • Respect the local laws, local inhabitants, their way of life and their traditions.

  • Help safeguard the natural resources.

  • Try to avoid single use plastic and make sure to take your garbage with you or place them in the proper bins.

  • Keep a safe distance from animals and never feed them. Always try to observe but not disturb wild animals. It is equally important for them, as for you, to keep them from approaching humans.

  • In protected areas there may be designated eating grounds available. Make sure to know where they are before starting your hike. If you like to cook, do it in the designated areas.

  • Camp only in authorized sites

  • Watch out for cattle, especially when they have younglings. When driving through protected areas, such as on the small, curvy roads in Peneda-Gerês National Park, drive slowly since cattle or wild horses may roam free and cross the road. They do not know about our traffic rules and they will always expect you to stop and let them pass first.

  • Try not to make too much noise, especially not in proximity of wildlife or areas known for reproduction and shelter.

  • Always close the gate behind you when crossing private property and make sure you have permission from the owner to cross the property.

  • Only take photographs: do not collect plants, mushrooms or other things you find in nature. You may disturb the ecosystem. Allow for other visitors to also enjoy nature’s beautiful spots.

  • Stay on the trail. Walking off-trail can cause erosion as well as destruction of vegetation. It is also important to follow the signaled paths in order not to get lost.

  • Do not make any fire. Use flashlights for light and bring suitable clothing for warmth.

  • When you encounter any irregularities, or an injured animal, contact the local authorities, or the contact person mentioned in your route notes, if you booked your holiday with us.

  • Environmental accidents or violations encountered must be immediately communicated to SOS Ambiente e Territorio (SOS Environment and Territory).

  • Obtain information about the specific guidelines for the area you will be visiting.

  • Enjoy local accommodation options, try traditional products and taste local gastronomy.

  • Have fun!

In case you would like more information about this blog or hiking in Portugal, do not hesitate to contact us at

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