It all started in 2016, when Carlos Antunes was heading towards the Golfe Mar hotel and saw a sign with the indication ‘Centro Interpretativo da Batalha do Vimeiro’ (‘Battle of Vimeiro Interpretation Centre’). He had been there dozens of times and never noticed the sign! Curiosity led him to go up to the Interpretation Centre, where he was, he says, ‘spectacularly attended to’. In addition to a guided tour, he was provided with the historical framework of the Lines of Torres Vedras, a theme about which he knew little more than what he had retained from school textbooks.
Carlos Antunes was excited by the idea of creating routes to visit the Lines and their forts. And because the terrain, as befitted the defence structures, is uneven, he realized that it would make more sense to use jeeps rather than vans, exchanging the comfort of the road for an element of sport-adventure to (re)discover the region.
Much research followed, much study on the theme of the defence of Lisbon during the Peninsular War and the construction of the extraordinary defensive system of the Lines of Torres Vedras, composed of more than 150 forts and military works that, extending from the Tagus to the Atlantic, prevented the access of Masséna's army to the capital.
West Shuttle offers two routes of different lengths, always adaptable to the time and interests of customers. The longer one runs from the Atlantic to Forte do Alqueidão – or the other way around, depending on where travellers are staying. The shortest route runs along the historic path that goes from the São Vicente fort, in Torres Vedras, to the Serra do Socorro, in Mafra, passing through the Archeira fort.
West Shuttle always tries to frame its routes on the Lines of Torres Vedras with visits and wine tasting at emblematic farms in the region, such as Quinta da Almiara or Adega Mãe. Itineraries may also include a picnic and lunch at a typical restaurant in the region.