THE NORTHERN LITORAL NATURAL PARK
In the coastal strip of the platform of the Northern Litoral Natural Park is characterized by its natural beauty. The 16 kilometers of coastline hide some of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal, worth photographing or painting thus retaining the image in time.
This protected area was established in November 1987, earned requalification for Natural Park in July 2005. The defense of the cluttered urban coast and preservation of natural values are important factors in its ranking, and this area is also included in the site "North Coast" of Rede Natura 2000. The Natural Park emerges as a way of reconciling sustainable development and conservation of natural resources, not intending to interdict the use of this territory, but rather to establish the rules and mechanisms for its proper use.
Between the mouth of Neiva and Apulia, the coastline consists of several beaches and dunes that are associated with reefs, small estuaries of the rivers Cávado and Neiva, pinewood, a rural landscape with several population agglomerates and new residential area.
The northern beaches, once extensive beaches of fine sand, alternating now between the pebbles (ancient marine terraces) and the sands that make us reflect on the progress of the sea and the importance of the dune system as a protective barrier.The beaches of the south still retain long sandy areas so attractive for tourism and that made a tourist resort of Ofir reference. On the beaches of Apulia, the seaweed became a symbol of agro-maritime chore as the fertilizer of the land came from the sea, in a scenario where the fields themselves were made of sea sand have a sea m
The North Coast is also recognized by large areas of dunes, home to plant and animal species is also an important element of protection against water and wind and interior habitats. The dunes are particularly developed in the northern (Antas and Belinho) and south (Fão and Apúlia). This habitat has unique features because of the extremely difficult and harsh conditions, where there are very unique species such as Reversal (Ammophila arenaria), sea euca (Cakil sea), among others. Beyond the dunes there is a significant area of pine forest where you find the pinaster (pinus pinaster) and stone pine (pinus pinea). Also there are small areas of riparian forests with alnus glutinosa and oak forest where you can find species such as oak (quercus robur), cork oak (quercus suber), bay (laurus nobilis), alder (alnus glutinosa) or Hawthorn (crataegus monogyna).
One of the particularities of this park is its natural marine area. In a total surface area of 8887 ha, the marine area covers 7653 ha. The cold Atlantic waters associated with a bedrock outcrops that may exceed 18 m, are some of the ecological factors to the great biodiversity that exists in this habitat.
With a strong connection with the marine area, the estuary of Cávado river and the small estuary of Neiva river are very important. Its rich landscape associated with a diversity of flora and fauna, breeding grounds and "nurseries" for many species, makes estuaries harboring some of the most significant habitats of PNLN.
Northern Coast Natural Park brochure Download
Discover the hiking routes:
PR1 EPS - Trail between Neiva and the Atlantic - Wind and heaven path
PR2 - Nature trail: between the Cávado and the Atlantic
PR-12 EPS - Kneading trail. Wind and Man path