The old smugglers’ trail in Spain and Portugal is a fascinating and scenic route that winds its way through the rugged terrain of the border region between the two countries. For centuries, smugglers used these trails to transport goods across the border, avoiding customs duties and taxes. Today, the trails are a popular destination for hikers and cyclists, who can enjoy the stunning scenery and learn about the region’s rich history.
The smugglers’ trails were first used in the Middle Ages, when trade between Spain and Portugal was heavily restricted. Smugglers would transport goods such as tobacco, salt, and coffee across the border, often at night and in secret. The trails were often narrow and treacherous, and smugglers had to be careful to avoid being caught by the authorities.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the smugglers’ trails were used to transport weapons and other contraband during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. After the war, the trails continued to be used for smuggling, but they also became popular with hikers and cyclists.
The smugglers’ trails offer stunning views of the border region between Spain and Portugal. The trails wind through forests, olive groves, vineyards, and mountains. Hikers and cyclists can also see a variety of wildlife, including birds,deer, and wild boar.
In addition to the scenery, the smugglers’ trails also offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Along the trails, hikers and cyclists can see old smuggling huts, customs posts, and border guards’ towers. They can also learn about the lives of the smugglers and the risks they took to transport goods across the border.
The old smugglers’ trail is a popular destination for hikers and cyclists of all levels of experience. The trails are well-marked and there are a variety of routes to choose from. There are also a number of tour operators that offer guided hikes and cycling tours of the trails.
If you are planning a hike or cycle on the old smugglers’ trail, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and bring plenty of water and snacks. It is also important to be aware of the weather conditions and to dress appropriately.
Here are some tips for hiking or cycling the old smugglers’ trail:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks.
- Be aware of the weather conditions and dress appropriately.
- Be prepared for rough terrain.
- Be respectful of the environment and leave no trace.
The old smugglers’ trail is a unique and rewarding experience. It is a great way to enjoy the stunning scenery of the border region between Spain and Portugal and to learn about the region’s rich history.
Have a nice time!
Your travel expert
Read the amazing story in The Guardian
Staying in a house with a colourful history, our writer enjoys a sunny week of cycling, markets and festivals in two countries
“This whole area is riddled with smugglers’ paths.”
Pepe spread an arm out wide – some feat as we were cycling up a hill at the time – and indicated the expanse of undulating scrubland to our left. Peppered with cork oak trees, and with Spain’s sparsely populated Extremadura region immediately to the east, this part of Portugal was once ideal country for contrabandistas evading the Guardia Civil, the feared Spanish semi-paramilitary force that used to patrol the border.
The Guardian Travel always has the latest news and the best of journalism. Read here the full story here.
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Lassi Pensikkala, Travel Influencer and Entrepreneur, has studied Economics, Psychology, and Sociology at the University of Hamburg, and graduated with a Master of Science in Economics MSc(Econ). He is multilingual, speaking English, Spanish, German, Swedish, and Finnish, and is the founder of AmerExperience.com/TB: “I keep my readers up to date with news that interests them and is important to them. This article is worth reading – I recommend it to you.”