I was lucky to be born in one of the most beautiful places in the country - Alto Alentejo. I've always had a strong bond with nature, maybe because I've experienced it so closely and so intensely. I grew up freely in the countryside, amongst animals and plants, which later impacted my career choices. I became a biologist and when it was time for me to enter the job market, I returned home and created my project - Aquila Nidum.
When I returned to Marvão, I felt the town needed someone who was local and had the expertise to share the best of the region from a closer look and with a teaching inclination. That person was right there. That person was me. At the right place dreaming with an opportunity of a lifetime: to do what I love in my favourite place in the world. I designed a group of activities that include walking routes, bird watching, mycological tours, astronomical observation, and bicycle tours.
Most of our activities take place at the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede (Serra de São Mamede Natural Park), a place filled with vast heritage and biodiversity. It’s the richest and most interesting location to observe birds because of the diversity of species you can see here. Besides doing these tours to the park, this activity can also take place in Marvão and Castelo de Vide where we show the places' biodiversity and at the same time tell a bit of its History. Our routes are pre-defined, but we can adjust them to each group. The same goes for the duration of the activities.
Rua do Calvário (Calvário Street) in Marvão is one of the streets we pass by in one of our routes, on foot or a bicycle.This project began in 2018, and it's been both a great adventure and a privilege. I feel the weight of responsibility in my work because of my connection with this place and Alentejo. That's why we work in balance with nature, in a sustainable business that focusses on small groups.
At the same year I founded Aquila Nidum, I started a holiday rental in Castelo de Vide: Casa da Avó Tina. It’s a place that exudes nature and complements all the experiences you’ll have at the activities. It’s a simple house full of photos taken by me that reflect the biodiversity of Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede.
Our story and mission
I was born in the middle of nature and, to this day, it's where I'd rather be. At my parents' property, about 100 hectares in size, I grew up side by side with the animals. Between sheep and cows, I dreamt of becoming a veterinarian, but when it was time to decide, my grades weren't enough.
The second option would be to study Agrarian Engineering, but I soon realised Biology was a better option. I moved to Évora and began university, and it was like discovering a brand new world.
After graduating, I began to search the job market for this area, but the outcome wasn’t positive. So I continued to study and returned to Marvão right after I completed my Masters.
I’m the guardian of one of Alentejo’s secrets: nature and its harmony with humankind.
When I returned home, I realised we needed someone who knew how to share the richness of our heritage and our biodiversity with tourists. Someone who knew the plants, the landscape, the History, and the culture well. That person could be me, not just because I knew every corner of Serra de São Mamede and this region for growing up here, but because of my training in this subject.
Considering I've been practising MTB since 2009, I also know what kind of trails and routes we can do in this area. So I connected all those dots and decided to start a project that included a wide range of activities like hiking and biking tours, birdwatching, and, my speciality, mycology.
Photography is another one of my biggest passions, which in a way is linked to Biology. Photography was the first reason why I began to show interest in mushrooms, the wide range of colours, shapes, and species. I decided to start studying them, identifying them, and learning more about them.
The project began in 2018 with the name Aquila Nidum, which is Latin for eagle’s nest, chosen as a tribute to the mountain and the natural park. Their symbol is the Bonelli's eagle. I feel the weight of responsibility in my work because of my connection with this place and Alentejo. That's why we work in balance with nature, in a sustainable business that focusses on small groups.
The mountains in Alto Alentejo hide more than the natural beauty that everyone can see. To get to know its biodiversity is a different way to explore it. Join us, on foot or bicycle, on the region’s most secret paths.
Sharing knowledge through Biology.
We’re at one of the most beautiful areas of Portugal. It’s like a mix of Beira (Portugal’s interior) and the south, a different Alentejo where the mountains replace the typical plains and the golden tones of the fields give way to the greenery of Serra de São Mamede.
One of the tops of the Serra is one of my favourite spots, in Marvão’s quartzite crest.
It’s a region that breathes and lives nature and where each town and city are connected by roads that are worth the trip. One of the most beautiful routes is the 10km stretch that connects Castelo de Vide to Marvão, and that goes past the old medieval pavement. This was the old road that connected both towns, essential in defending the border. This area preserved the traditional landscape of oak and chestnut trees, rocks, and granite.
Portagem is one of the many picturesque villages in the area. It’s located above Sever River, a river that creates a natural swimming pool and that you can swim across or walk across on one of two bridges, one of them historical: Ponte Velha (Old Bridge) or Ponte Romana (Roman Bridge). Although this is one of the coolest places, the summer heat in Alentejo is quite unforgiven. One of the best places to cool off is by the river, at the river pool with a view to Marvão Castle.