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Discover the Blue Coast of Portugal

Oct 10, 2007
One of the most valuable assets of the Costa Azul (or Blue Coast) lies in nature. The 60,000 hectares of protected areas governed by regulations and special protection measures constitute the very best that nature has to offer and mankind has been able to preserve.

Tagus, the Caparica Fossil Cliffs, Arrabida, Sado; Santo Andre, and Sancha Lagoons and Southwest Alentejan Coast are names that reflect the best of our landscape and the best preserved areas of our environment.

The Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve with it Setubal estuarine waters, mud-flats and fens, salterns, islets and farm land has a population of 80,000 birds in Winter and is truly a sanctuary for the rarer species of Europe.

Close by the 13 kilometres of beaches is an area of huge environ mental value, which is, at one and the same time, a leisure and entertainment area.

The Caparica Fossil Cliffs Protected Landscape is a geological formation of great beauty surrounded by characteristic flora and fauna.
The Arrabida Natural Park is the natural link between Sesimbra, Palmela and Setubal, and it constitutes the meeting point of the green and majestic hills and the ocean, blue and indented, that lies beyond the cliffs, the small inaccessible beaches and the modest stretches of dunes.

The Sado Estuary is an area abundant in life and it is a point of encounter of river and ocean that has allowed channels, creeks and mud-flats to Costa de Caparica fossil cliffs, become home both to mammals such as the otter; the badger and the fox; and to about a hundred species of birds including the white stork, the marsh harrier and the heron.

The Santo Andre and Sancha Lagoons Nature Reserve embraces two coastal lagoons and a system of small freshwater lakes formed in depressions among the dunes. The Reserve also covers a marine strip with a sandy substrate.

The Southwest Alentejan and St Vincent Coast Nature Park is ideal for a journey along the western coastline of southern Portugal. Beaches, cliffs, well-preserved villages, Roman traces, a chapel dating from the fifteen-hundreds and an Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see.

The dolphin, the symbol of the Costa Azul; is an illustrious species often seen in the Sado and the perfect host of a world in which nature constitutes both a surprise and a discovery.

In the Costa Azul, a time for beach and coast. Costa da Caparica, Melides, Carvalhal and Troia affirm boundless space, sand stretching out beyond the horizon.

Portinho da Arrabida and Porto Covo reveal the intimist scale of the small beach. Sesimbra bears witness to the Portuguese way of living the sea and shows the traditional fishing.
In Costa Azul the Atlantic is the maker of beaches. Huge beaches where the dunes meet the sea. Discrete beaches at the meeting of hill and ocean. In the South the sun.

The sea, blue and vast, and the peaceful virgin sand. These qualities lead us to extend an invitation: dream of a summer on the Costa Azul. On the Costa Azul, the sea and the river.

The Atlantic Ocean, the river of typical craft and discrete distances. Inland, the dams form their plains of water. Yachting, windsurf, water-ski, canoeing, rowing, surf, bodyboard, motor-boating, diving and angling fill the Costa Azul with activity and colour. Boat clubs, underwater activity centres and marine tourism companies provide the ever necessary support.

Typical craft of the river Tagus and the Galeoes (old salt wherries) of the river Sado provide trips through tradition and history. Boat trips invariably provide a promise of surprises, bedazzlement and dolphins. Dolphins that are the symbol of sea and nature in the Costa Azul. A year of adventure and discovery in the seas of the Costa Azul.

Museums, archaeology and monuments take you on a trip though the rich past of the Costa Azul. At the very bottom of history traces of the Neolithic, of the Chalcolithic and of the Iron Age reveal the very beginnings of the human adventure, mankind's initial gestures and the challenge of survival.

Roman presence has left throughout the entire geography of the Costa Azul important remains that include activities and facilities of an industrial nature, spas, shrines and a hippodrome.

History and the passage of time have left the Costa Azul with a remarkable trail or mediaeval castles, renaissance palaces, manor houses, churches, chapels, convents and shrines that invite you to make an appointment with a representation of the world of those days.
Our museums also provide another vision of our way of life down the centuries.

In every municipality, museums, reflecting complementary ways and realities, reveal our collective memories and display visions of art, traditional crafts, ethnography, habits, celebrations and moments that history has kept and the future wants to preserve.

In the Costa Azul, history and heritage are a constant feature. The possibilities and encounters with the heritage are to be found in every city, in every village, in each comer of the region. In the Costa Azul, a place with a history and a time with memory.

The culture of a people is the memory that every day is built up and experienced at festivals, fairs and feasts, at displays of culture and handicrafts, at the bull-fight.

The Costa Azul is rich and diverse in events that are organised yearly, a calendar of encounters with tradition, religious sentiment, a liking for festivity and celebration, the display of that which makes us unique, the construction of our identity.

Whatever the month or the time of year in the Costa Azul some event is always taking place, some celebration will be a cause for festivity. In every municipality, from the South where the coast and the plains come together to the Tagus, a world of happenings is waiting for you, the culture of our people still and forever to be remembered and continued.

In addition to the sea the Costa Azul has a rural, inland world where everything is softness, peace and. tranquillity .The relief is itself an invitation to the horizon where cork oaks and evergreen oaks rise up towards an intense blue and to a light of permanent Summer.

The typical houses of the Alentejo mark the presence of mankind and are gendy revealed as though glued to the landscape. The towns and villages are white, the houses gathered together in exemplary harmony, the casdes vigilant and haughty.

Tradition is not just a memory but is alive and is a part of today's world. Food that tastes of the land and handicrafts that maintain techniques and transform materials are a constant feature that is not to be lost. On the Costa Azul, the plain travels along vine-covered ground that flows to the sea.

The Costa Azul with its southness, its plains, its blue lagoons, its historic centres that constitute a heritage of great wealth. Traditions, savours, arts and crafts recalling pleasures of old.
About the Author
Alentejo Home is the Real Estate specialist in the Alentejo region of Portugal between Lisbon and the Algarve. Find out how we can make your dream come true at >Alentejo Home Real Estate
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