Stalactites and stalagmites

The Natural Park of Serra de Aire and Candeeiros is a protected area mostly known for being the most important limestone area in Portugal. Stone is an element that is always present in the landscape of this Natural Park. Over the time and through geomorphological processes the stones of calcareous origin have been modeled  by natural elements, giving rise to more than one thousand and five hundred caves in this region. The most known are Grutas de Alvados, Grutas de Serra de Santo António and Grutas da Moeda.

If you get to visit any of these caves you will see how beautiful and extraordinary they are, and you will be amazed with this work of nature that will invite you to delve in and adventure and imaginary world.

 

Grutas da Moeda (The Coin Caves)

The Grutas da Moeda in São Mamede are the most touristic ones and if you decide to visit during the summer time make sure that you get a ticket, otherwise you might spend some time waiting (and you do not want to waste any hot day in a queue). It was created the interactive Centre for Scientific and Environment Interpretation where you can discover and explore the formation of the cave. You will also be able to learn the reasons why the limestone is so important in this region.

 

Grutas de Alvados e Serra de Santo António

With more that 50000 years old, the cave of Alvados and the cave of Serra de Santo António are really close to each other but they have some differences and it’s worth a visit to both of the caves.

The cave of Alvados stands out for the long and continuous corridors that open unexpectedly in small rooms uneven, several natural lakes and rooms adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.

The cave of Serra de Santo António is impressive for its monumental room, with small water courses and natural lakes and with temperatures in between 16º C and 18º C also adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.

You can buy a ticket and visit both caves on the same day. The visits are guided and with in a small group to ensure the safety of the visitors and the preservation of the cave.

 

gruta santo antonio

The cave of Serra de Santo António. Picture from Joaquim Moedas Duarte in O Lugar no Tempo

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