Two Portuguese Villages Distinguished As “Best Tourism Villages” 2021 by the World Tourism Organization

Cumeada and Castelo Rodrigo are the two Portuguese villages that won the Best Tourism Village Award from the World Tourism Organization. It is the first year that these awards have been awarded, having been created by the organization to highlight the best rural destinations worldwide. And among the distinguished locations, two are in Portugal.

According to information from the municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz, in this first edition of the “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” 174 villages were proposed, by 75 member states of the World Tourism Organization. Afterwards, the independent advisory board decided to award recognition to 44 villages from 32 countries on all continents. Among them are Cumeada and Castelo Rodrigo, in Portugal.


The World Tourism Organization  distinguished Cumeada, a village in the municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz, in the category of “Best Touristic Village”.  According to the Municipality of Reguengos, the name of the village is taken from an elevation, a ridge. Additionally, inhabitation of the region is supposed to date back to prehistoric times.

Located seven kilometers from Reguengos de Monsaraz and close to the great Alqueva lake, the agricultural sector predominates in Cumeada.  However, in the last decade it has received a tourist boost in the area of ​​astrotourism, receiving thousands of visitors to participate in the activities carried out at the headquarters of the Dark Sky Alqueva reserve, which resulted from the adaptation of an old primary school. (Dark Sky Alqueva? Check link)

Castelo Rodrigo

The Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo, in the Guarda district, is a veritable monumental outdoor space. With medieval remains, here you can find the old walls, the ruins of the Cristóvão de Moura palace, the 16th-century pillory, the parish church, the medieval cistern and much more.

Castelo stands atop an elevation, with a view of the Côa Valley.  The village was for 600 years a town and county seat. “At various moments in national history, its inhabitants have stood out for their courage and loyalty to the crown”, explains the page of the Historical Villages of Portugal.

It is the second area elected as one of the “Best Tourism Villages”. “The historic village of Castelo Rodrigo was chosen because of its cultural and natural wealth and the commitment it has had to its sustainability and maintenance”, explains the municipality on its social networks.

The Living Abroad Guide Portugal congratulates Cumeada and Castelo Rodrigo for this world renowned recognition and award.



(Images reference  church animal/ and cistern)

(Article reference, reference 2, reference 3)


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