Nestled in the Santarém District of Portugal, Rio Maior is a hidden gem where tradition and nature coalesce. Known for its fascinating salt pans, lush landscapes, and rich cultural history, this small town offers an authentic Portuguese experience. Read moreBook my trip to Rio Maior
Rio Maior is far from your typical tourist destination, which is what makes it so special. The town's most famous feature is its ancient salt pans—remarkable in that they are located about 30 km inland, far from any sea. These salt pans have been exploited for centuries, and today, they offer visitors a unique glimpse into traditional salt extraction methods. You can even buy locally harvested salt as a memento.
The surrounding region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with beautiful landscapes that are ideal for hiking, cycling, and bird-watching. The town itself offers a variety of historical and architectural sites, including churches and public buildings that give insights into Portugal's rich past.
Rio Maior serves as an excellent base for exploring nearby attractions, such as the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park, and it's not too far from the Atlantic coast if you wish to spend a day by the sea. Local gastronomy is another highlight, featuring a mix of land and sea, reflecting the town’s unique position between the ocean and inland agricultural areas.
The town's ancient salt pans, a rare geological phenomenon, provide an interesting visit and the chance to purchase artisanal salt.
A stunning natural park with hiking trails, caves, and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
A museum showcasing the cultural and historical heritage of the town and surrounding region.
The main church in Rio Maior, known for its beautiful interiors and religious significance.
A state-of-the-art facility where you can engage in various sports and physical activities.
A natural spring providing crystal-clear water, surrounded by peaceful greenery.
A sacred site offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, visited for its religious significance.
A historic mansion giving insight into the architecture and lifestyles of the Portuguese elite in earlier centuries.
A historic gateway into the town, serving as a relic of the fortified walls that once protected Rio Maior.
A place to enjoy the best of local produce and crafts, from fruits and vegetables to handmade items.
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