Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina

Vila do Bispo

Information

The Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina is a majestic sweep of coastline and hinterland that stretches from S. Torpes near Sines in the north to the border of the Algarve in Odeceixe to Sagres and the rural district of Vila do Bispo in the south west.
Declared a protected zone in 1995, it is a wild place of rugged landscape where nature and history combines, creating awesome landscapes.
This is Portugal’s largest protected coastal zone and ironically owes itself to the fact that at the onset of mass tourism in the Algarve in the 1960s developers considered the region too desolate for tourism development so it was spared the high rise buildings and resorts that characterize much of the southern coastline.
The park embraces an area of 74 786 hectares and comprises a vast underwater strip of around 2km parallel to the coast, the mountainous terrain of Serra do Espinhaço and Serra de Monchique, and the western interior region.
The area of the Sudoente Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park engages several towns and villages. For centuries the population was dedicated to Fishing, Agriculture and livestock farming, however nowadays Tourism is developing and a very important activity, namely in localities as Porto Côvo, Vila Nova de Milfontes and other spots in the Park’s Algarve coastline, not existing practically volume in the industrial sector.
The park has an inventory of around 750 different Flora species, some of them protected and unique in the world, with a mixture of Mediterranean, North-Atlantic and African vegetation.
The west coast is also one of Europe's most important habitats for sea and land birds migrating to and from Africa and more than 200 species are recorded, some of them very rare. Mammals and, of course, Sea species are also diversified.




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