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Arouca Geopark

Geoparque de Arouca
Place: Arouca
Photo: Associação Geoparque Arouca
Photo: Associação Geoparque Arouca

Don't miss
  • walk the 10 footpaths of geotourist interest: PR1, PR4, PR5, PR6, PR7, PR8, PR9, PR13, PR14 and PR15
  • explore the Freita Mountain with its rare species of flora and fauna, some of which are endangered
  • taste DOP-classified Arouquesa beef
  • try the local sweets originally from the Arouca Monastery
  • see the interesting Romanesque bell tower of Urrô Church

A Geopark is a park with a geological heritage of exceptional importance, recognised as such by the European Network the and UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. Its objective is geoconservation, education for sustainable development and tourism.

Highlights of the Arouca Geopark, which was recognised by UNESCO in 2009, are the Castanheira Nodular Granite (Pedras Parideiras), the Canelas Giant Trilobites and the Vale do Paiva Ichnofossils. But the inventoried heritage includes 41 geosites, i.e. sites of geological interest that stand out for their uniqueness and value from a scientific, didactic and tourist point of view. This true open-air geological museum, covering an area of 328km2, is surrounded by the Freita, Montemuro and Arada Mountains and crossed by several rivers offering excellent conditions for various activities, such as canyoning, canoeing, kayaking and mountaineering (25 routes in 3 areas of the Freita Mountain). And in the River Paiva rapids, you will find some of the best locations in Portugal for rafting and kayak-rafting.

To fully enjoy these landscapes, the Geopark has defined a Network of 14 Footpaths, 13 of which are short distance walks (PR) and one is a long distance walk (GR), all of them properly waymarked. Fourteen geosites are located along ten of these trails.

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