General info about the area
Luso is a spa town located at the foot of the Bussaco mountains, takes advantage of the excellence of the waters from Bussaco. The spas have been known since ancient times for the treatment of kidney problems and skin ailments. The fountain of São João, located in the prime area of the village, is a mandatory stop, either to drink water or to appreciate the tiles that surround it and tell the story of the "burriqueiros", inhabitants of the land who, at the beginning of the 20th century, they used donkeys either to transport visitors to the forest or to transport water to other locations.
The Mata Nacional do Bussaco is part of the village and Luso takes advantage of it, namely religious and nature tourism. The existence of sports infrastructure - the Internship Centre, the Swimming Pools and the Pavilion, also boosted sports tourism and, nowadays, in Luso, languages and visitors from different latitudes intersect. Tourism is, moreover, an important part of the local economy, boosted by several hotels, restaurants and traditional commerce.
Located in the extreme east of the municipality, the parish of Luso is made up of ten places, Barrô, Buçaco, Carvalheiras, Lameira de Santa Eufémia, Lameira de São Pedro, Louredo, Luso, Monte Novo, Salgueiral and Várzeas. It has an area of 18.87 km² and 2 593 inhabitants (2011) and was created in 1837 by dismemberment of the parish of Vacariça.
The region known as the Bairrada, which encompasses many of the local civil parishes, is well known for its vineyards and wine industry, as well as its suckling pig.
Among its traditional artisan products, the region is recognized for its traditional clay pottery, handmade baskets, knitted craftworks, and tannery products.
Suckling pig, in the style of Bairrada is the most significant contribution to gastronomy in the region, although sweets are not far behind: o Morgado do Bussaco, os Caramujos de Luso, as Cavacas de Luso, o Casticito, o Leitão Doce e as Papas de Carolo do Rei. Other common dishes in this region: a cabidela de leitão, mas é também terra da Chanfana, dos Negalhos, do Sarrabulho e do Bacalhau à Lagareiro, all great meals that are accompanied by local wines and sparkling drinks from the cellars of the Bairrada region.
Photo: Bussaco Palace