Let’s start with a common life: Buçaco or Bussaco? Both are correct! Imagine a place that looks like something out of a fairy tale, with trees, bushes and lots of green. A Mata Nacional do Buçaco is itself: an authentic natural museum with 105 hectares, with secular logs, trails and walls that are very sketchy covered with lichens and mosses.
This forest, born in the 12th century, is now a forest, thanks to the efforts of two barefoot Carmelite friars who, in the 16th century, installed a refuge here. Originally, adernos, loureiros and carvalhos existed here. Hoje, the most abundant species is the cedar, with emphasis on the Buçaco cedar, from Central America and which is an ex-libris da Mata.
The local also has eucalyptus trees, araucarias, sequoias and impressive tree fetuses. Not total, there are more than 250 species of trees and shrubs in the Buçaco National Forest, which is one of the largest dendrological collections in Europe.
Mata Nacional do Bussaco
To be maintained as well, the place requires a lot of care: only as well is it possible to prevent the invasion of the acácias and the natural aging of the vegetal cover, as well as preserving two of the maximum exponents of the Portuguese arboretum.
Or vegetable cover, allied to great water abundance that springs from its six sources and that feeds the various streams that run along the coast, helping many animals to have Mata as home.
Around here there are 17 species of amphibians, with emphasis on the Lusitanian salamander, and 14 species of reptiles, such as the water-lizard and the water-cobra. Not that it concerns mammals, we can observe here 35 species, such as the esquilo-vermelho, the javalis and the coelhos.
Such an abundance of food leads to carnivorous animals also finding shelter here, with eight species in the park (with a highlight for the fox and the genets). During the night, or domain da Mata belongs to the 15 species of morcego that are found here, and that use the escuridão to come out and hunt nocturnal flying insects.
Buçaco National Forest
Notwithstanding this diversity, the most abundant animals are the forest birds, being identified about 80 different species. Algumas são afoitas, como o melro; others more shy, like estrelinha-de-cabeça-listada; and other birds help in the regeneration of the forest, such as the gaios, which raise pantries of buried balls, to survive the winter, and which end up planting new carvalhos in the process.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this exuberant place, which stands out in a country where the monoculture of pinheiro and eucalyptus is a constant, is one of the local attractions that we have to visit.
Despite the transformations that it constantly undergoes and some wear and tear on us, it is true that Mata Nacional do Buçaco succeeds in emphasizing and teaching us about various values and interests, such as history, religion, architecture, military, culture, and, sure, nature.
And you enjoyed the whole landscape, you could sleep right here, not in the Buçaco palace. This palace, designed by the scenographer Luigi Manini, rises imposingly in the Mata do Buçaco, transporting us assim to a world of fairy tales.
It is considered one of the two most beautiful hotels in the world, being a recreation of Manueline architecture inspired by works such as Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Do not confuse, however, with other monuments in the Manueline style. o Palácio do Buçaco was built in neo-Manueline style.
Some two major names of Portuguese art, such as Norte Júnior, Carlos Vieira, and Jorge Colaço, are linked to the structure and decoration of this building, which presents a strong link with the exuberance of the bush.
The hotel is managed by the third generation of descendants of Alexandre de Almeida, or the first large Portuguese hotel industry, and offers a different and refined environment, where two accommodations are distinguished or comforted, the excellence of the Portuguese cuisine and the palate of two Buçaco wines, worldwide reconciled.