The Oeste Region or Western Region of Portugal features beautiful landscapes and a gentle climate, and blends the benefits of both the coast and the country into one amazing area. The long tradition of hospitality and the varieties of activities available make traveling to the Oeste Region of Portugal the perfect location for vacations or holidays.
The Oeste Region encompasses the municipalities of Alcobaça, Alenquer, Arruda dos Vinhos, Bombarral, Cadaval, Caldas da Rainha, Lourinhã, Nazaré, Óbidos, Peniche, Sobral de Monte Agraço and Torres Vedras. This area is a unique region full of rich and exciting cultures that have centuries of maritime and fishing traditions, and a history full of vineyards and wine growing.If you are interested in visiting this spectacular region, you must check out the top five preserved and protected areas: Natural Reserve of Berlenga, Serra de Montejunto Protected Landscape, Cliffs of the “Oeste”, Paúl da Tornada or Swamp of Tornada, and the Óbidos Lagoon.
Natural Reserve of Berlenga
This a protected underwater maritime environment. The Reserve consists of the main island of Berlenga and the adjoining reefs; Estelas and Farilhões-Forcados. This area features fabulous beaches, the S. João Baptista Fortress and lighthouse. If you enjoy scuba diving, this will be your paradise. The clear waters of the Berlengas ensure good visibility of the marine fauna and flora, exotic fish, not to mention several sunken ships to explore, including the São Pedro de Alcântara.
Serra de Montejunto Protected Landscape
The Serra de Montejunto or Hill of Montejunto features the highest point in the Oeste Region. Its geological structure is that of a large hill containing dozens of coves and gullies spotting the beautiful landscape. The Serra de Montejunto Protected Landscape features a plethora of beautiful flora and fauna that are here due to the transition between the sea and land creating a microclimate ecosystem. For birdwatchers and nature lovers, the Serra de Montejunto Protected Landscape makes the perfect retreat to enjoy their beloved activities.
Cliffs of the Oeste
features beautiful high river banks between the beaches of Santa Cruz and of São Bernardino. This area not only boasts beautiful vistas but rich history running back millions and millions of years. The Cliffs of the Oeste have originated from the separation of Pangaea giving origin to the continents and landmasses of today. Because of this, the area contains a valuable depository of paleontological finds and becomes a great destination for history buffs or individuals interested in observing history in present time.
Paul de Tornada
This is a humid sweet-water zone, formed by various lagoons surrounded by damp lands and is one of the last swampy areas existing in the region. This complex biological ecosystem features an endless variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects for a nature lover to observe and behold.
Lagoa de Óbidos
The Lagoa de Óbidos (Óbidos Lagoon)is arguably one of the most beautiful locales of the Oeste Region in Portugal. It features a fragile ecosystem of diverse species living in a rich habitat. While here, observe any one of the many species of migratory water birds or shellfish, or partake in a number of exciting watersports available in the lagoon. Boating, rowing, windsailing, or windsurfing are all great adventures to try when visiting the Lagoa de Óbidos.
Photo credits: Wikipedia under Wikimedia Commons and Turismo do Oeste