Lisbon - Portugal, 17-21 September

Pre-meeting tour 1

Travel to the North of Portugal and LTER site Sabor

A pre-meeting tour to the Upper Douro Region (North-East Portugal) will be held between 14th-16th September. The tour will include visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Côa Valley (Palaeolithic Rock Art; http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/866) and the Alto Douro Wine Region (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1046), and to the Baixo Sabor LTER Site.

Alto Douro Wine Region; Example of Côa Pictures; Baixo Sabor LTER Site

The Upper Douro (Alto Douro) Region of north-eastern Portugal is one of the most beautiful in the country, bringing together a breath-taking natural landscape with a millenary cultural heritage. The region is best known for its wine, which has been produced by traditional landholders for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, the region main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.
The Rock Art Site of the Coa Valley consists of rocky cliffs carved by fluvial erosion and embedded in an isolated rural landscape, in which hundreds of panels with thousands of animal figures (e.g., aurochs, horses, deer, chamois, Iberian ibex) have been engraved from the Upper Palaeolithic to the final Magdalenian/ Epipalaeolithic (22.000 – 8.000 BCE). The Upper Palaeolithic rock art of the Côa valley is considered an outstanding example of the sudden flowering of creative genius at the dawn of human cultural and throws light on the social, economic, and spiritual life on the life of the early ancestor of humankind in a wholly exceptional manner.

The Baixo Sabor LTER site is one of the four Portuguese LTER sites, and results from collaboration between the research center CIBIO and the Electrical Company EDP, aiming to assess the long term ecological consequences of a new dam and the associated biodiversity compensation offsets. The Site includes the river valley of the Sabor river and its main tributaries, as well as the surrounding cliffs, shrublands, oak forests, and permanent cropland (mainly olive and almond groves). The site is typically Mediterranean, with hot dry summers and rainy and cold winters, and it is very rich and plant and animal life.

Preliminary program:
13th Sep. (Thursday). Arrival at Lisbon.
14th Sep. (Friday). AM: Travel in Bus from Lisbon to the Côa Valley (about 5 hours). PM: Visit to Palaeolithic Rock Art Sites and to the Museum of the Côa Valley.
15th Sep. (Saturday). Visit to the Baixo Sabor LTER Site.
16th Sep. (Sunday). AM: Visit to Alto Douro Wine region. PM: Return to Lisbon (about 5 hours).