Natural wonders and ancient cultures define the rich heritage of the region in which Boom Festival takes place.
One of the remotest, most well-preserved areas in southern Europe, this is a region where history seems to have its own rhythm, and where tradition intermingles with nature.
The landscape speaks a language of its own. Here you will witness vast swathes of terrain change colour through the seasons. The breathtaking natural environment is populated by a diverse fauna of deer, foxes, hares, wild boars and several species of rare birds.
Meanwhile, the flora comprises plants such as holm oaks, olives, cork-oaks, pine trees, oaks and rosemaries to name just a few.
Boom is situated within the stunning perimeters of Geopark Naturejo. It forms part of the Global Network of National Geoparks created by UNESCO: a place where geological heritage is connected to broader aspects of the natural and cultural environment, which are often determined by geology and landscape.
The human history of this region has fascinated anthropologists for many years. The Lusitanos were one of the first civilisations to reside here and one of the first to ever live on Portuguese terrain.
Later came the Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, Moors, Christians, Jews and the Templar Knights. From ancient temples and cathedrals, to castles, Jewish neighbourhoods and fortresses: each of these civilisations have left behind their mark throughout this geographical region.
In fact, in this mountainous region, a habitat of small towns coexisted intimately with Mother Nature. Some of them have resisted winds of historical change and remain as living proof of times past, creating an extremely interesting circuit of historical villages.
In this region you will find architectural records which depict the ancient tradition of the Iberian Peninsula's peaceful coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims. It was a unique tradition in the world, and one that was broken only by the Inquisition in the 15th century.
NEAREST VILLAGE: IDANHA-A-VELHA (Old Idanha)
Step back in time when you enter Idanha-a-Velha (pronounced ‘velya’) - a pretty little village located just a couple of kilometres from Boom. Idanha-a-Velha is known to be one of Portugal’s oldest cities. Founded by the Romans, it was descended upon by civilisations including the Visigoths, Moors and the Order of the Knights Templar - all of which have left a trace of their presence.
So from the cathedral with its great collection of Roman inscriptions, to the ruins of the ancient walls, and to the tower of the Templars: a dramatic historic backdrop juxtaposes the humble lives of the small Portuguese population residing within this magnificent village.
NEAREST TOWN: IDANHA-A-NOVA (New Idanha)
Idanha-a-Nova is the nearest town to Boom. Here is where you can find all your basic commodities, including ATM machines, shops and supermarket. It’s challenging to pinpoint the origins of this town, however, it has been assumed the construction of the castle in 1187 by the Order of the Knights Templar is a prominent landmark.
MUST-SEE ATTRACTION: MONSANTO
If you have the chance to visit just one place outside of Boom, then make it Monsanto!
Nestled atop a mountain 758 metres above sea level, Monsanto is just 18km from Boom. This magnificent site towers over the whole region and will surprise even the most seasoned traveller! Gigantic stones from the Paleolithic era characterise this ancient wonderland. These fascinating stones offer shelter to the locals who have devised some of the most ingenious methods for building housing around them.
For some, the mysticism of Monsanto is like Europe’s answer to India’s Hampi - and the closest you could ever get to such an enigmatic vibration this side of the world. Take a walk up to the fortress on top of the mountain at sunset for an evening as unforgettable as the dancefloor!
PENHA GARCIA: THE TRILOBITES TOWN
Situated just 30km from Boom, Penha Garcia is an impressive site thanks to the way it towers so majestically over a breathtaking valley famous for its 480 million year old trilobite fossils.
The town itself was once an ancient fortress. From the top, you can take in the stunning views of the valley, the River Ponsul, its ancient mills, amazing waterfalls and a fresh natural swimming pool.
WHERE TO STAY
There are some fantastic places to stay in this inspiring, historic region. Simply check out some of the options by visiting several well-known accommodation websites with the surrounding villages.