Geoparque Oeste

Geoparque Oeste - Baleal
Place: Baleal
Photo: Geoparque Oeste © OesteUGGp
Geoparque Oeste

Protected Areas

Covering a total area of 1154 km2, the Geoparque do Oeste (Western Geopark) is home to several sites and landscapes of international geological importance spread over six municipalities: Bombarral, Cadaval, Caldas da Rainha, Lourinhã, Peniche, and Torres Vedras. To the west, the Geopark borders on the Atlantic Ocean, stretching 72 km along the coast, 15 km of which is sandy beaches well-known to holidaymakers and surfers. 

The park’s geological heritage, which dates back to the Jurassic period, is internationally renowned thanks to the extent to which it has been preserved, as well as the paleontological discoveries made in the area. Over 180 fossil sites have been identified, including nests with eggs containing the oldest known dinosaur embryos in the world. Coastal cliffs made up of layers dating back over 200 million years are of particular interest to scientific tourists. These include the Ponta do Trovão stratotype in Peniche, which dates back to the Lower Jurassic period, and Paimogo Beach in Lourinhã and Santa Cruz Beach in Torres Vedras, which date back to the Upper Jurassic period. 

To better understand this valuable heritage, we recommend a visit to Lourinhã Museum, where a set of dinosaur footprints greet you in the courtyard, and the Lourinhã Dino Park, where you can take a fun approach to learning more about this ancient era.

There is much to be discovered in the region, and the best way to delve deeper is by exploring some of the 28 hiking trails crisscrossing the Geoparque Oeste. However, you can also explore with a bit less physical exertion via a dozen car routes (including an accessible route) or even on a boat trip. The routes are organised into themes and cover many interests ranging from the biodiversity of fauna and flora to various monuments and museums. It is worth highlighting the historical importance of these lands, which played an important role in holding off Napoleonic invasions, as the area set the scene for some important battles, which you can learn more about at the Lines of Torres Vedras or the Battle of Vimeiro Interpretation Centres. 

Don’t leave the region without sampling its culinary flavours, especially the fresh fish and seafood, as well as the local Lourinhã wines and brandy. The creativity of the locals can also be seen in the local handicrafts, such as bobbin lace from Peniche and ceramics from Caldas da Rainha, and in festivities such as the Torres Vedras Carnival.

Geoparque Oeste

AGEO - Associação Geoparque Oeste
Rua Raul Gomes Ferreira, 1/A, R/C Dto - Loja 4
2530-103 Lourinhã
Tel.: +351 928 114 300

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