The territory of the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark is located in the region of Trás-os-Montes in northern Portugal and corresponds to the area of the municipality of Macedo de Cavaleiros with about 700 km2. The Macedo de Cavaleiros county is located in the northern plateau (41º 32’ 16.15’’ N, 6º 58’ 8.29’’ W), 181 km from Porto and 505 km from Lisbon.
In the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark 42 geosites with a high scientific value were identified containing mineralogical, petrological, structural, geomorphological and hydrogeological elements. From these 42 geosites, 11 are included in the National Inventory of geological heritage, with four of them classified as geosites of international relevance.
In the territory of the geopark one can observe and access geosites which document an important stage of the Planet Earth’s history, in particular a sequence of rocks from both the oceanic crust and an old continent with more than 500 million years of age that overlapped the oceanic crust. The geopark’s geology is expressed by the Pre-Mesozoic allochthonous geological units, namely the Parautochthonous Complex (equivalent to the Iberian Massif autochthonous stratigraphic sequence), the Allochthonous Basal Complex (continental passive margin of the Iberian Terrane), the Allochthonous Ophiolite Complex (complete ophiolite sequence) and the Allochthonous Upper Complex (complete continental lithospheric sequence). In the contact zone between the autochthonous and allochthonous units thrust faults can be recognized. Furthermore the geopark’s territory incorporates a large range of structures and landforms: granite landforms, Cenozoic sediments representing an ancient fluvial network, push-up tectonic reliefs and strike-slip basins, Cenozoic active faults, and a canyon and incised meander-style fluvial valleys.
Besides its geology, the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark has also a remarkable collection of natural and cultural values. To those belong the Albufeira do Azibo protected landscape, with a beach ranked as one of the best lagoon beaches in Portugal, and as a cultural highlight the Caretos of Podence, diabolic and mysterious figures characteristic of the Carnival. 151 sites in the geopark contain archaeological value, representing diverse periods from the Neolithic period till the Middle and Modern Ages.
In the territory of the geopark there exists a diversified set of infrastructures and centers for scientific, environmental and cultural interpretation, aiming at the protection, dissemination and promotion of the natural and cultural heritage applying a holistic approach.
It is the vision of the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark to position itself as a geotouristic destination of excellence, which provides scientific, educational and cultural experiences. With its strategy for a sustainable development of the territory, the natural characteristics and the authenticity of people will be preserved.
Adventure yourself! Immerse yourself in landscape, emotion, history, art, colors, flavors and unforgettable smells