In the heart of the transitional area of the Algarve known as the “barrocal”, in the inland part of the municipality of Loulé (Salir, Benafim), rises the rock known as Rocha da Pena, a veritable natural monument with immense geological wealth and biodiversity.
Consisting of a steep limestone ridge, it has a plateau that is approximately two kilometres long and rises to a height of 479 metres at its highest point. Thanks to its various micro-climates, it shelters some unique species of animals and plants.
An outing here will let you come into close contact with nature and enjoy magnificent rural scenery, while witnessing some traditional activities that still take place today, from shepherding to nut-picking.
Take the opportunity to admire plants such as the rosa-albardeira (a type of peony), rosemary, thyme, rock rose, French lavender, carob and cork oak.
You will be pleasantly surprised to spot some of the small mammals that live here, including badgers, mongooses, foxes, hedgehogs and hares. The area is also home to colonies of bats, as well as various species of amphibians, such as toads and salamanders, which live in the small dams, wells or water tanks.
Admire the flying skills of the birds of prey which nest here, such as Bonelli’s eagles, common buzzards, little owls, Eurasian eagle-owls, common kestrels and kites. Take delight in the many passeriformes that make this area their home.
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