PROTECTED LANDSCAPE OF THE ANCIENT BEACH OF COSTA DA CAPARICA
This protected area was created to preserve unique biophysical features
The Protected Landscape of the Ancient Beach of Costa da Caparica (Paisagem Protegida da Arriba Fóssil da Costa da Caparica or PPAFCC) is a prehistoric beach landscape, that consists of intricately carved cliffs and erosional deposits, intersected by ravines and clifftops covered in vegetation. Its relative proximity to urban development, coupled with the risk of deterioration resulted in the 22nd of May of 1984 decree-law that defined its protection status. The status of protection area contributed to the preserving of the geomorphological characteristics and the natural communities that existed within this territory, promoting a balance between the biology and landscape. On 24 November 2008, a government resolution provided a mechanism for safeguarding the resources and natural value, establishing a specific use and management strategy for the area.
The most notorious feature is the fossil cliff
The fossil cliff is constituted by a succession of sedimentary rock strata, one of the most important examples of its kind in Western Europe, whose origin dates back to the Pliocene period, around 10 million years ago. At that time, the Sea reached the base of the cliff, but over time it progressively pulled back due to the movements of the tectonic plates of the Earth's crust and the impact of the 1755 earthquake, that originated coastal plains dominated by sand dunes.
The unusual shapes of the fossil coast can be seen in their full splendour at dusk, when they acquire golden tones. Over time, erosion has sculpted shapes into the steep cliffs, where several birds of prey such as the round winged eagle and the barn owl build their nests.
The reserve also includes forested areas
In order to prevent the sand dunes from advancing inland, thus damaging farming land, in the 18th century King D. João V ordered the Mata dos Medos to be planted - the woodland of "medos" (which normally means fears), that was so named not because it was a dangerous location, but because “médão” or “medo”, also means sand dune. This area is also know as the King's Pineforest (Pinhal do Rei).
Also under the management of the PPAFCC, is the Mata das Dunas da Costa da Caparica e Trafaria (Dunes Game Preserve of Costa da Caprica and Trafaria), at the base of the beach; a 600 hectare area of forest, the Mata das Dunas is a natural forest still maintained.
CONSERVATION & NATURE PROTECTION:
Diogo Cunha Matos UNIPESSOAL LDA and it's brand LisbonBeach are committed to sustainable tourism solutions that ensure adequate conservation of the environment and protect the human and biophysical values of protected areas. We are proudly recognized by the Portuguese Environment Conservation Agency (I.C.N.B.) as a provider of EcoTourism.
Our tours will take you to the a Protected Landscape of the Ancient Beach of Costa da Caparica. Therefore, as a participant of one of our tours, we would like to ask you to: