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National Route 2: a road that unites Portugal / EN2: Uma estrada que une Portugal

A geographical route through the interior landscapes that give such a small territory immense diversity; there is no road in Portugal as perfect as the EN 2 to highlight it. In addition, the route is intended to join other routes into one: flavours, traditions, protected areas. And at the same time, it systematises accommodation, places to park caravans, buy local products, from gastronomy to handicrafts, map museums and interpretive centres, without forgetting the popular festivals and other cultural demonstrations that take place throughout the year in the different municipalities. It’s a route that can be travelled by car, motorbike, bicycle or on foot, and it is the only one in Europe that crosses a country along its entire length (there are only two others in the world: Route 66 in the USA and Ruta 40 in Argentina). As Portugal’s longest road, running through the country’s inland like a backbone for 739.26 kilometres, it’s only natural that someone would see it as something special. Hundreds of people have spontaneously taken to the road, and you could say it was first discovered by tourists, then by local authorities. Eventually, the Association of Municipalities of the National Road 2 was created – thirty-five municipalities united for one cause: to promote the National Road 2, turning it into a structured and coherent tourism product. Tourists can travel through it fully or partially, as there are several maps. On it, the main concern is sustainability: protecting the environment and the landscape; promoting traditions, gastronomy, handycraft. There is a “passport”, where tourists can gather stamps throughout the way, marking their visit. However, to receive that passport, they need to sign the “Responsible Tourist Manifesto”: When travelling the Route of the National Road 2, I am an agent of local development, so I commit myself to consume local products and services. I will consume responsibly and participate in the sustainable management of natural, heritage and energy resources. I will endeavour to reduce the waste and residues generated and commit to their correct disposal and separation. I commit myself to take all precautionary measures to protect the local communities of the Route of the National Road 2. I want to learn about my host community, share experiences and respect their values and traditions. I pledge to respect diversity and not to encourage discriminatory activities. activities. I join the Responsible Tourist Manifesto of the National Road 2 Route and commit to share it. During and after the pandemic, the Route gained a significant impulse, as both Portuguese and Spanish tourists were not keen on traveling by plane. Then, by car, caravan, motorbikes or bikes, thousands of people travelled across it.