An area with many important geological sites, undeniably beautiful, with an evident historical and cultural interest and rich in biodiversity, this was the starting point to create the first Natural Geopark in Portugal. With an area of 4.600 km2 which includes the Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros, Proença-a-Nova and Vila Velha de Ródão municipalities, the Geopark Naturteja da Meseta Meridional has a vast geomorphological, geological, paleontological and geomining heritage, was included in the European Geoparks Network and has already received many national and international awards.
With 16 identified geomonuments in a place marked by the generosity of Nature, the Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional offers adventure all year round. Trace fossils in Penha Garcia, the fossil trunk at Perais, the Roman gold mine at Conhal do Arneiro or the Fragas da Águia waterfall are just some natural monuments you will be able to see in this 600-million-year-old place.
At Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional you will find the following geomonuments:
- Natural Monument of Portas do Ródão (Vila Velha de Ródão / Nisa)
- Penha Garcia Trace fossil Park (Idanha-a-Nova)
- Portas de Almourão (Proença-a-Nova / Vila Velha de Ródão)
- Monsanto Granitic Inselberge – Moreirinha – Alegrios (Idanha-a-Nova)
- Meanders of the Zêzere River (Oleiros)
- Erges River Canyons (Idanha-a-Nova)
- Castelo Velho Granitic Forms (Castelo Branco)
- Arez-Alpalhão Pedunculated Blocks (Nisa)
- Conhal do Arneiro Roman Gold Mine (Nisa)
- Ponsul Faulty Scarp (Nisa / Vila Velha de Ródão / Castelo Branco / Idanha-a-Nova)
- Fragas da Água d’Alta Waterfall (Oleiros)
- Segura Mine Rout (Idanha-a-Nova)
- Corgas Geomorphologic Viewpoint (Proença-a-Nova)
- Old Monforte da Beira Mine Complex (Castelo Branco)
- Perais Fossil Trunks (Vila Velha de Ródão)
- Garganta epigénica de Malhada Velha (Oleiros)
Apart from these natural monuments, you will also find monuments built by men like churches, museums, castles and historical villages, as well as the amazingly rich fauna and flora of the International Tagus area to explore.
Integrated into a very rich natural heritage region, the Geopark benefits from the existence of the Tagus International Natural Park, protected areas of the Natura Network 2000, the Important Bird Areas (IBA) and also the proximity of some Schist and Historic Villages. It’s no wonder that it has the ability to offer various routes organized under the themes of Nature, Adventure, Heritage, Well-Being and Culture, and Gold, apart from special routes organized according to the calendar of events in the region.
Face each route as a new challenge and try the available pedestrian walks, sport activities, bird watching programs or historic routes in the most important geotourism destination in the centre of Portugal.
Bird watching at Geopark Naturtejo
Black storks, Iberian imperial eagles, griffon vultures, Bonelli’s eagles, black vultures, blue rock thrushes, Egyptian vultures, black wheatears, pin-tailed sandgrouses, black-bellied sandgrouses, bustards, little bustards, stone curlews, cranes, rollers, greater short-toed larks and calandra larks. If these names sound familiar, it is possible that you have been dying to see some of these birds flying in their natural habitat. At Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional you can watch some of the rarest and most symbolic species in the Iberian Peninsula overflying breath-taking views.
An Open Air School
In such a wide area, there are many lessons to be learned. And what better way to enjoy the Tagus habitat than to take students and let them experience some of the most beautiful manifestations of science and Portuguese heritage? At Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional, teachers have the opportunity to take many didactic tours, regarding geoscience and the environment, available to secondary school and university students. Come and study what Nature has to offer.