The village Castelo Novo (also parish seat), is located in the Serra da Gardunha at 650m altitude, in the municipality of Fundão, Region Centro of Portugal.
It has an identity attributed to a set of heritage resources arising from its ancestral history and culture (architectural, religious, military, civil residential), standing out a predominantly medieval urban structure and also from the Manueline (16th century) and Baroque (17th century) periods.
It's one of the 12 villages of the Network of Historical Villages of Portugal (Collective) Efficiency Strategy (CES) - a policy instrument of the EU Cohesion Policy for the economic development in low-density territories. Under the Historical Village Plan, in the last two decades, the buildings and the entire village space have been subject to recovery and/or requalification, and most of the infrastructures have been intervened together with the public spaces (e.g., more efficient public lighting, Wi-Fi network).
This set of interventions was based on a sustainable management, which privileged innovation (smart growth), the promotion of the efficient use of resources (sustainable growth) and social cohesion (inclusive growth), aiming to revitalize the urban fabric and to improve the cultural dynamics, the image, the economic and social fabric and, thus, enabling the creation of a quality tourism product. Complemented with a strong communication, marketing and promotion plan by the Tourism Development Association (entity managing the tourist brand), there has been an increase in the number of visitors.
The villages also include a relatively active cultural and social base, with associative entities that are assuming a decisive role in the community as a meeting point for residents and visitors and in socioeconomic development as promoters of various activities (e.g., dissemination of the local economy, organization of events, tourism and cultural promotion, provision of social services).
The set of routes and paths of diversified landscape, among other resources such as river beach, attract and fix tourist animation companies that favor good practices of sustainable tourism, as well as stimulate the knowledge and valorization of traditions, crafts, local products and heritage.
In 2022 it was distinguished with the "Best Tourist Village" award from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This award recognizes villages that are an "outstanding example of a rural tourist destination with accredited cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community values, products and lifestyles and that have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects - economic, social and environmental".
Degree of urbanization
population of 353
Check out the village strategy:
Inclusive and sustainable mobility
Pilot project launched in April 2022, which results from a partnership between Historical Villages of Portugal and Renault Portugal, with the support of the Municipality of Fundão and which creates a new sustainable mobility service (it is part of the Line of Action "Strengthening Mobility" of the Common Strategic Framework designed for the Network of Historical Villages). This project provides a fleet of 5 electric vehicles free of charge, for tourists, residents or professionals who work in the territory, making Castelo Novo the first location in Portugal with 100% sustainable mobility - free of CO² emissions and noise. The Municipality of Fundão assured the installation of the electric charging stations for the vehicles, the use of which is completely free. In conjunction with the Municipality of Fundão (Tourist Office), a transfer service (also free) is also available from nearby train stations. With the profile of different users in mind, a face-to-face and online booking system was created that allows you to select the preferred model. From the same link it is possible to plan the trip through the Historical Villages (choose accommodation, restaurants and various activities, such as nature walks or guided tours). In addition to the issue of environmental sustainability, the social aspect is important by providing users with cheaper, accessible and cleaner alternatives to travel. It also brings benefits to the local economy by facilitating the mobility of tourists. In one year (April 2022 - April 2023), the service was used by 1098 people (46% visitors, 42% residents and 12% businesses), with a preference for face-to-face bookings (97%). A total of 77,131 km were traveled, avoiding about 24 tons of CO2 emissions. As a result of the performance obtained, it is hoped that the initiative can be replicated in the remaining 11 Historical Villages of Portugal, thus reinforcing the field of sustainability as a premise for the development of the Network. This initiative was decisive for the UNWTO distinction.
Associação Desenvolvimento Turístico Aldeias Históricas de Portugal (ADTAHP), firstname.lastname@example.org