Section 11 takes you through the Alentejo region, starting in Sines and heading towards Melides. Along the way, you’ll encounter Santo André and Sancha Lagoons, which together form the Santo André and Sancha Lagoons Nature Reserve.
This protected area recognizes the ecological importance of these wetlands and the surrounding landscapes, including the dunes that separate them from the ocean and the nearby coastal zone.
The mix of freshwater and brackish waters in this area supports the diverse aquatic and the riparian ecosystems, including saltmarshes, willow groves, reed beds, heathlands, and wet grasslands.
These natural conditions attract a wide variety of bird species, especially in late summer and early autumn when other areas are dry. The Reserve, known for its exceptional natural beauty, offers opportunities for activities like hiking, canoeing, windsurfing, or simply relaxing and sunbathing on the spacious beaches of Costa de Santo André Beach and Fonte do Cortiço Beach, which are conveniently nearby. You can plan your visit on this website.
Continuing northward, you’ll reach the picturesque Melides Beach. After a refreshing swim, head to the village of Melides, a typical Alentejo town with white houses and peaceful streets, perfect for exploring.
In terms of cultural and architectural heritage, there are notable archaeological remains from various historical periods. This includes the Pedra Branca Dolmen in Herdade do Montum, Vale Figueira, which is classified as a site of Public Interest. Additionally, the Necropolis of Cistas das Casas Velhas in Herdade das Casas Velhas in Vale Figueira also holds the status of a property of Public Interest.
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