travel > Destinations > europe > Portugal > Tapada Nacional de Mafra

Tapada Nacional de Mafra

TIME : 2016/2/18 23:34:22

The 819-hectare Tapada Nacional de Mafra is where Dom João V used to go a-hunting. Enclosed by an original 21km wall, the grounds are now an environmentally aware game park, home to free-roaming wild boar and red deer, plus smaller numbers of foxes, badgers and eagles.

To appreciate the different ecosystems, hike through its woodlands of Portuguese oak, cork oak and pine; don’t miss the 350-year-old cork oak saved from fire in 2003. The 4km trail is a good introduction to the park, but you have a greater chance of spotting animals on one of the more remote 7.5km routes. Also on the grounds is a simple but pleasantly furnished guesthouse (singles/doubles €65/75). On weekends, many activities are on offer, including horse riding (by advance reservation), archery, wagon rides, and taking a tourist 'train' around the park.

The Tapada is about 7km north of Mafra, along the road to Gradil. It’s best reached by private transport, as buses are erratic; from Mafra, taxis charge around €10 one way.