Explore Estremadura and Ribatejo
If you’re touring around Mafra or Ericeira, don’t miss the Iberian Wolf Recovery Centre, sited in a hidden forest valley just 20km north of Lisbon. There are only around three hundred wolves left in the wild in Portugal, mostly in the northern mountains, with another two thousand or so in Spain, and the dozen or so currently living in natural enclosures at the centre were brought here after injury, ill-treatment or capture – they won’t be released again into the wild. The centre is run by the not-for-profit organization Grupo Lobo (wlobo.fc.ul.pt), which campaigns for wolf preservation and public education, and offers guided visits to see the wolves. You’ll get to walk around the enclosures and see some of the wolves up close, and you can then buy as many postcards, T-shirts, key-rings and wolf-adoption packs as you can manage to boost the centre’s funds. They also have a volunteer programme and even overnight accommodation in a self-catering chalet.