North of the historic village of Vilar Maior, just two kilometers from the east bank of the Côa river, Vale Carapito displays a diverse mosaic of natural habitats, irrigated by the Cesarão river and the Alfaiates stream. Mixed forests of hardwoods and softwoods, scrub, and dry and wet meadows, create conditions for the existence of animals and plants with very different ecological requirements.
In this landscape being rewilded, you can still see the marks of an agricultural past that ended during the rural exodus of the 20th century. Dry stone walls and ruins of water mills are now traversed by the roots of large alders, ash and various species of oak.
Here the fauna’s return to its former territories is quite evident, as is the presence of a herd of Sorraia horses. This breed has characteristics very similar to the wild horses that inhabited all of western Europe and that disappeared with the increasing impact of the human being. The herd was introduced into Vale Carapito with the aim of replicating the role of its ancestors in the ecosystem, mainly through herbivory and the reinforcement of the nutrient cycle, having a positive effect on the remaining biodiversity, among which the rich communities of insects, small birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Through nature conservation work and the strong bonds that Rewilding Portugal continues to build with the local community, Vale Carapito represents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the impact that the rewilding philosophy can bring to the region, not only from an environmental point of view, but also social development and the creation of new economic opportunities.
Fauna and flora of Vale Carapito
Watch here the video of the arrival of the Sorraia horse herd to Vale Carapito, in May 2021
Visit Vale Carapito
Stay close to Vale Carapito
Help us recording your observations
How to arrive in Vilar Maior
Vilar Maior is part of the Aldeia da Ribeira, Vilar Maior and Badamalos parish. It is located in the municipality of Sabugal and has good road access. Although it is easier to access it by car, there are also buses that go from Sabugal to Vilar Maior and whose timetables can be found here. It is possible to reach Sabugal for transfer (via bus) to Vilar Maior from all corners of the country, either by train (using the CP regional line that connects Sabugal to Guarda and other municipalities in the district) as well as by bus through several connections with the other municipalities of the district.
The location coordinates are 40.47775057532103, -6.931877984354944 and you can have acess to them here.