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Nature and Culture

To enjoy!

Both nature- and culture lovers won´t miss a thing in this region. Naturepark Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros for instance is 400 km2 large and a real paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers. The large amount of historical buildings and cities, de farmers markets, the (fado) concerts and museums making the Portuguese culture palpable.

Islands close to Peniche are beautiful nature reserve

The Berlengas archipelago, Ilhas Berlengas, is a group of small islands off the Portuguese coast at about 10 km. from Peniche. The whole of the archipelago is a nature reserve.

The islands are uninhabited, only on the main island some people live on a permanent basis. They take care of the lighthouse, and control the reserve.


Some native plant species can be found on the islands. Also the islands are a breeding ground for many bird species, and they offer stopover space to migrating birds.

The largest island is Berlenga Grande. Here you can find the São João Baptista fort, built in 1502 in manuelino style. The fort is connected to the island by a narrow bridge. The fort was partly converted into a pousada (hotel).

Around the fort fishermen offer boattrips, to show you the island from sea, so you can see some caves and interesting rock formations.

To see everything the island has to offer you can follow the marked footpath. This takes you to the fort, caves, the lighthouse, beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, and to some spots that give you spectacular views.

The islands also attract many divers who enjoy the beautiful underwater flora and fauna.

From May to October the islands are open to the public. From the harbour of Peniche you can take the boat, the crossing takes about 45 minutes. It is recommended to make reservations for the boattrip, especially during summer months, because only a limited number of people per day are allowed on the island.

www.berlengas.eu

www.viamar-berlenga.com

www.feelingberlenga.pt

 

 

Endless pine forests, quiet beaches and Roman excavations

North of Nazaré and Sítio you can explore endless pine forests and quiet beaches: Praia do Norte, Praia da Légua, Vale Furado. Some beaches are guarded in the summer season, so you can safely swim there when the sea behaves itself. On the other beaches swimming is prohibited, because of the steeply sloping sand banks and the strong undertow in the ocean. South of Nazaré there is another beach, the vast Praia do Salgado.

North and south of Nazaré and Sitio there are two marked hiking trails, that take you to beaches, forests and rocks.

On the east side, between Nazaré and Valado dos Frades, in the middle of the woods, you will find a lookout on Mount São Bartlomeu (S. Brás), from where you can see the whole area.

Along the road from Valado dos Frades to Alcobaça, you will find on your left the porcelain factory of SPAL. At the factory outlet you can buy Portuguese porcelain with decorations from very simple to very exuberant, all at reasonable prices.

On the right side of this road, at the village Bárrio, you can find the archaeological site Parreitas. Here are for instance the foundations of an ancient Roman villa.

 

In Coimbra you can visit Portugal dos Pequenitos, or Portugal for the Little Ones. It is a recreational-educational park intended primarily for children.

The park has thematic areas, like Monumental Portugal (miniatures of the country’s main monuments), Portuguese-speaking countries (representation of a.o. African countries, Brazil, Macau), The Islands (main monuments of Madeira and Azores), Coimbra, and Regional Houses.

You can also visit the Dress museum, that has around 300 miniature outfits on display from the 16th to the 20th century. Everything was handmade, and donated to the museum in 1950.

There is also a Barbie museum, the collection on display is the largest in Portugal and possibly one of the biggest in Europe, is composed of over 300 dolls. It includes the original Barbie of 1959, the Barbies of the world, the Hollywood collection, Barbies dressed by couturiers of international reputation, and many more.

Portugal dos Pequenitos also stands out as a high-quality display of sculptures and architectural art, the miniature size and detail of which continues to charm children and adults.

Water feature

When it rains the water is cascading over a carpet of large granite blocks and is collected in a huge basin.

The water is filtered in a natural way in the stomach and lead to a public fountain for the people of Mendiga. (2480 Porto de Mós)

In the park you find a educative model of the water mining. There is also a children playground, a public bbq and toilets.