Welcome to Parque Natural do Douro ­Internacional

The human population is equally fragile. In the plains that run up to the canyon lip, there are some 35 villages, some inhabited by descendants of banished medieval convicts, as well as Jews who fled the Inquisition. The region’s isolation has enabled its people to preserve even more ancient roots, such as the Celtic dança dos paulitos, a traditional dance accompanied by the complex clacking of paulitos (short wooden sticks). A few hundred villagers still speak Mirandês; you’ll see town names written in Portuguese and Mirandês throughout the park’s northern reaches.

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Parque Natural do Douro ­Internacional in detail