The destination of Alto Minho includes part of the only National Park in Portugal – the Peneda-Gerês National Park, which is also classified as a World Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. Moreover, two Protected Landscapes (Bertiandos and Corno de Bico), the Litoral Norte Natural Park, the Minho and Coura Estuaries, represent safe havens for several species, such as migratory birds. Thus, almost 30% of this destination is classified as Natura2000.
It has more classified national monuments than any other subregion on Northern Portugal and 10 historical centres of excellence for visit. It also integrates the main routes of the St. James Portuguese Way, the first European Cultural Route approved by the Council of Europe.
Alto Minho is a top destination for energy consumption reduction measures. In 2015 it became the only Portuguese subregion fully certified with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. It has put into practice an Action Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility, with which a great effort has been put on active modes of transportation that have a small impact on the environment. There are several eco-paths and eco-tracks and multiple pedestrian routes with interpretative itineraries that encourage the discovery of Nature and Culture on this destination.
Moreover, Alto Minho Municipalities hold several awareness sessions and campaigns, such as the European Day without Cars or Go on Bicycle for work /school. There is also a strong inclusion of the higher education student community, through the adhesion to the U-bike project, which aims to promote the use of bicycle among this community.
This destination participated both in the 2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards at ITB Berlin ant the 2019 Global Green Destinations Days by submitting a Success Story. Keywords: ECST recognition, protected areas, networking promotion, destination image, public and private sector involvement.