NATURTEJO GEOPARK (Portugal)
Naturtejo Geopark is located in the centre of Portugal, near the border with Spain. It is located 200 km from Lisbon and 350 km from Madrid, right in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula. The Geopark has strong historical and cultural components, and promotes the integrated development of tourism. The Geopark is a strong partnership of municipalities and local entrepreneurs for sustainable development.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
Naturtejo territory is rich in geological heritage, starting some 600 million years ago, with deep-sea turbidites evidencing some simple life forms. The Geopark’ is characterized by very ancient landscapes, such as the 50 million-year-old Meseta Meridional peneplain, the quartzitic crests and gigantic white ramparts that rise from the plateau and represent the ancient Ordovician ocean. The outstanding geoheritage is highlighted at geosites like the Ichnological Park of Penha Garcia, Portas do Ródão and Vale Mourão gorges, the Roman gold mine of Conhal do Arneiro and the granite landforms from Serra da Gardunha and Monsanto.
Geoconservation is one of the main aims of Naturtejo Geopark with several areas protected by local and national laws, providing interpretation to sensitize people to the importance of geology. There are also several educational programs for the Portuguese school curricula where students and teachers can apply what they learn outside the classroom. These programs are guided by experts in geosciences and are implemented in different places of the Geopark depending on the particular program. This allows the students to learn about the various geosites and to better understand the history of our planet.
Naturtejo offers a large network of trails with more than 550 km that invite visitors to discover the area’s geodiversity and culture. Boat trips in the Tagus and Zêzere rivers and bus tours are also available. There is also a museum network that enables the visitor to discover geology and local culture. Local products and real geo-experiences are available in the villages where time flows gently and good life keep goes on.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States