PLACES TO VISIT | PROTECTED AREAS

Serra de Aire and Candeeiros Natural Park

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Location Rua Doutor Augusto César Silva Ferreira Bairro do Matão
2040-215 RIO MAIOR
District:Santarém
County :Rio Maior
Parish:Rio Maior
Contacts


This natural park covers an area of 38.900 ha of the limestone massif of Estremadura region, including Aire and Candeeiros Mountains, Santo António plateau and part of São Mamede plateau. Time and water have shaped the limestone, forming surprising geological phenomena: hundreds of grouts (some of them used for tourism purposes, such as Santo António, Alvados or Mira d’Aire grouts); grottos (vertical wells that lead to the subsoil); limestone pavements (blocks of incised rocks permeated by water); poljes and dolines (closed depressions with small lagoons at the bottom). In the southernmost spot of the park near Rio Maior, rock salt mines continue to work, namely since the Roman period. The natural monument of dinosaur footprints is a must-visit place of the park. Located in the east slope of Aire Mountain (in Ourém council, 10 km away from Fátima and 16 km away from Torres Novas), the paleontological reservoir of Pedreira da Galinha dinosaur footprints dates back to the Middle Jurassic period, approximately 175 millions years ago. Discovered in 1994, this reservoir is one of the most ancient register of Sauropoda in the whole world. The Underground Interpretation Centre of Gruta da Pena is also a place worth highlighting, housed in a grout that was found in 1985. In this centre, visitors will be able to understand complex phenomena related to grout creation and underwater flow.

MORE INFORMATION

Responsable: Instituto de Conservação da Natureza

Services available: Interpretation Center, Trails, Eco-Museum site

Observations: There are delegations of Parque in Ourém (Monumento Natural das Pegadas de Dinossáurios da Serra de Aire (Dinossaur Footprints Natural Monument) - Tel. 249530160), Porto de Mós Ecoteca das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros - Tel. 244491904), Alcanede (Underground Interpretation Centre of Gruta-Algar do Pena - Tel. 243400630) and Pedrógão (Interpretation Centre of Grutas do Almonda - Tel. 249819680)

Access: By car - EN 1 (National Road) - Rio Maior and Batalha, EN 360 - Fátima and Moitas, EN 343 - Porto de Mós and Mira de Aire.

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