Beach and dune trail
Over 60 kilometres of sandy beach extending from Troia to Sines, shaped by the waves and wind, is indeed a long stretch of sand. The trail will take you first along the beach and then through the dunes.
If you are lucky you may even watch flocks of small birds – the sanderlings (Calidris alba) running along the sandy beaches as the water retreats, stopping frequently to peck for food in the sand. These small birds seen in Troia in winter migrate north in spring, to the Arctic Circle, to nest. This is the bird species that migrates farthest north. By the breaking waves, the first colonising plants can be found, like the European searocket (Cakile maritima). On the embryonic dune, the Elymus farctus, the Eryngium maritimum and the Otanthus maritimus anchor wind-blown sand. Next come the primary dunes, with tall ridges and only a few years of life, covered in Ammophila arenaria. Further back, the secondary dunes (which are several decades old) are rich in aromatic shrubs, like the Helichrysum stoechas and the Ononis ramosissima. Inland, the older dunes are covered in larger shrubs, such as the Lygos monosperma.
Learn more about this trail HERE