In Troia you may choose between two tracks that will help you to discover Troia in a unique way.
Caldeira and Pine Forest Trail
This trail takes you through two different environments: the Caldeira lagoon and the surrounding pine forest.
Caldeira is a lagoon which fills up and empties twice a day with the tide, unveiling the wetland and muddy bottoms. It is an area of great value that provides food and shelter to many species of waterfowl, such as the sanderling, bar-tailed godwit, herons and mergansers.
The wetlands, typical of estuaries in mild climates, are the basis of complex and varied food webs; they play a very important role in cleaning the water and preserving biodiversity.
The pine forest encompasses the oldest dunes in Tróia. It is mostly composed of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and stone pine (Pinus pinea), but also includes plants like pistacia lentiscus, armeria maritima and corema album. The juniper (Juniperus turbinata and J. navicularis), lichens, the Linaria ficalhoana and Ionopsidium acaule, two small rare plants which grow here, must be noted.
Beach and Dune Trail
Over 60 kilometers 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) – they run along the sandy beaches as the water retreats, stopping frequently to pick up small food items. These small birds which we see in Troia in winter migrate north in spring, to the Arctic Circle, to nest. This is the bird species that migrate farthest north.
By the breaking waves, the first colonising plants can be found, such as the European searocket (Cakile maritima). On the embryonic dune, we find the Elymus farctus, the Eryngium maritimum and the Otanthus maritimus, which hold the sand blown by wind. 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, such as the Helichrysum stoechas and the Ononis ramosissima. Further inland, the older dunes are covered in larger shrubs, such as the Lygos monosperma.