From Fórnea to the Dinosaurs Footprints

A tour by the Natural Park of Aire and Candeeiros mountains, reaching the great depressions of Alvados and Minde, ending in the far east, in the Natural Monument of Dinosaur Footprints, 175 million years old.

Being in Porto de Mós take the road towards Alcaria. 150 meters after the crossing to Alcaria, turn right onto Fórnea (signposted) and park in the small parking area available. Start your walk by the signaled track, going through a dirt road that crosses a valley with vegetation and ancient olive groves, culminating in Fórnea, a large natural amphitheater resulting from karst erosion. After reaching the center, Cova Velha, you can observe the rare red-billed chough. Get ready for your way back, feeling the wind, enjoying the quiet and spectacular views. Back to the car, continue on the same road, starting to cross the depression of Alvados, which leads to the Polje de Minde. This is the biggest depression in the natural park, with 4 km long and one peculiarity - in years of high rainfall, waters form a temporary lake that can persist for months. If dry during summer, it allows the practice of some adventure sports. But when the reflecting pool is formed, it becomes a favourite for many different water birds and a rich community of amphibians. In Minde, a land famous for their quilts, follow the direction of Fatima. Near the village of Bairro, our final destination, there is a monumental fossil record of the Middle Jurassic period, the footprints of dinosaurs in Pedreira do Galinha (classified as a natural monument), which can be seen over the 20 rails or tracks. Willing, you can ask for guided tours. Recently, a Jurassic Garden was planted here, where they grow ginkgo, cycads, ferns, trees and Araucaria, authentic contemporary living fossils from that remote period that still remain on earth. The accesses to Fátima or Torres Novas are well signposted.

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