Best time to travel to Lisbon

Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica Protected Landscape in Lisbon

Picturesque prehistoric cliffs hang over vast beaches creating an impressive landscape

Best time: March–October (all year round)

Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica Protected Landscape
Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica Protected Landscape

These dark yellow and light red fossil cliffs were created over centuries by erosion and other geological processes. Their formation dates back to the Pliocene period. Hence, today, they serve to show us the former coastline, the one which existed around 10 million years ago. It is not hard to notice how significantly it differs from the modern one. The best time to visit the protected area, 40-minute drive from Lisbon, is before the sunset when the warm light saturates the natural yellowish colors of the fossil cliffs. From their top, an amazing view opens on the entire area.

For birdwatchers, there is surprise hidden in the cliffs: some birds, for instance, round winged eagles and barn owls build their nests here.

In the area, there is also a Botanical Reserve dominated by stone pines and mastic-trees. During the spring, the area gets covered with wildflowers in bloom. Meanwhile, during the warm months, it is the best time for visiting plenty of beaches that stretch for about 10 km and stop by the picturesque Albufeira Lagoon. Moreover, in winter months the beaches are much more narrow due to erosion.

Practical info

What is Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica Protected Landscape and how was it formed?

Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica is a landscape located in Lisbon, Portugal. It features cliffs that were formed over time by natural processes like erosion. Scientists estimate that these cliffs date back to millions of years ago. They provide a glimpse into the former coastline that existed around the Pliocene time. Travelers can enjoy its beauty while exploring the protected area. Show more

What is the best time of day to visit the fossil cliffs and why?

Before sunset is the perfect time to visit the fossil cliffs at Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica. The natural colors, particularly the dark yellow mixed with light red, are complemented by warm light during sunset, giving it a beautiful golden glow. What’s more, it is a short drive from Lisbon, making it easy to get there for families, friends, and solo travelers. Show more

What bird species can be spotted in the cliffs?

The cliffs at Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica are home to some bird species like round-winged eagles, barn owls, and others that nest here. Bird enthusiasts can enjoy watching these birds glide over the cliffs. The protected area serves as an excellent destination for bird lovers who can marvel at these feathered creatures while enjoying the natural beauty of the cliffs. Show more

What is the Botanical Reserve near the area and what is its dominant species?

In addition to the cliffs, Arriba Fóssil da Costa de Caparica has a Botanical Reserve that boasts of unique flora. The region is dominated by stone pines and mastic-trees. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing walk and soak up nature's serenity in the reserve. During spring, the area bursts into color with wildflowers that add to its beauty. Show more

How does the landscape change during different seasons and how does that affect the beaches?

The landscape in the Botanical Reserve comes alive in spring with the flourish of wildflowers. The area has pristine beaches that extend for approximately ten kilometers during the warm summer months. During winter, the beaches become smaller due to erosion. The area remains a fantastic destination throughout the year, thanks to its rich geology and numerous attractions that visitors can enjoy during their vacation. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin