Santarém and Rio Maior are located in the central part of Portugal, about 45 minutes away from Lisbon. Both cities are close to of some of the best beaches in the west region, namely Baleal, Peniche and Nazaré, where surf lovers can enjoy the best waves in the world in only half an hour distance. The region counts on a Public transport network (Bus, Train) and railways that make easy to travel to any part of the country in just a couple of hours.
Known as the Gothic capital - architectonic style of many of the churches and monuments of the city, Santarém is a region rich in historical and cultural heritage, as well as gastronomy, with long traditions in cattle-raising, namely horses and wild bulls. Santarém hosts two national events which attract thousands of tourists every year: the National Agriculture Fair (in June) and the National Gastronomy Festival (October).
Rio Maior has a rural character due to its history and the location in the Natural Park of Mountains of Aire e Candeeiros, where, sometimes, culture and environment live side by side in a unique way. Rio Maior Salt-pits are the best example of that, since they are located in a valley right in the foot of Mountain of Candeeiros. These Salt-pits are classified as Public Interest because they are the only Salt-pits in the inner side in Portugal and the only ones in Europe which are still in use. The first reference to its existence dates back to 1177, but it is believed that rock-salt was used since prehistory.
Surrounded by vineyards and farmland, Salt-pits are regarded as a wonder of nature, since the sea is 30 km away! Salt is the vestige of the presence of the sea in ancient times.