The Alentejo’s troiaresort sets an excellent environmental example
A deluxe destination with biodiversity at its heart, the Costa Alentejana’s troiaresort on the eponymously named peninsula – a short ferry ride from Lisbon’s Setúbal – is a unique retreat for nature lovers, couples and families who appreciate luxury but who also care about the environment.
Tróia peninsula, wedged betwixt the Atlantic Ocean and the Sado River estuary, is home to more than 600 different species of wildlife. The landscape – made up of dunes, scrubland and a tidal salt marsh area – provides the perfect habitat for 233 varieties of flora, including two endemic species of juniper – juniperus turbinate and juniperus navicularis. Protected by European legislation, this biodiverse region is home to 152 bird species, including the rare yellow wagtail, 12 kinds of mammal, 11 species of reptile, four different amphibians, plus a further 207 species of bivalve molluscs, polychaetes and crustaceans. Also, one of the few dolphin populations to reside in an estuary in Europe can be found here, now consisting of three happy pods, a clear indication of unpolluted waters.
Co-existing with this abundance of nature is carefully-conceived eco-friendly accommodation. Some 221 fully-furnished and serviced beach apartments, along with two contemporary hotels, have been developed according to the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Architecture has been certified under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and the marina is the only one in Portugal certified to ISO 14001.The 65km-long Blue Flag beach is accessed from the hotels and marina via wooden boardwalks, laid carefully over the sand dunes, ensuring minimal disturbance to vegetation and fauna.
João Madeira, troiaresort General Manager said: “troiaresort has been developed in line with an environmental vision, and built so that nature and leisure facilities can co-exist harmoniously. Wherever possible we have aimed to minimise impact on the environment by using only materials with a low ecological footprint and designing accommodation that will consume less energy.”
Holidaymakers can savour stunning scenery on dolphin-spotting boat trips or on horse rides along the talcum-powder sands, with views of the hills in the Arrábida National Park, and undulating dunes, rich in flora and avifauna, completing the vista. A visit to the Caldeira Lagoon offers bird watching enthusiasts the chance to spot the distinctive Eurasian hoopoe, the black winged stilt or the yellow wagtail. Storks, otters and herons can be seen during walks or jeep rides, accompanied by naturalists from the troiaresort Environmental Centre, or sample a guided tour with resident archaeologists to see the Roman Ruins, classified as a National Monument since 1910.
To book a holiday at the tranquil, eco-friendly troiaresort, go to www.sunvil.co.uk/alentejo. A stay at the Aqualuz Suite Hotel Apartments in October costs from £808 pp (based on two sharing) including seven nights’ B&B accommodation, TAP flights from Heathrow to Lisbon and transfers.
ENDS / 10 October 2012