The Castle of Montemor-o-Velho, 35 minutes away from the charming coastal city of Figueira da Foz, rises majestically upon the endless rice fields of the Mondego River. This iconic castle was the main fortress of Low Mondego during Medieval times.
This extensive land has been successively occupied since Roman times and when the Arabs first settled during the 8th century, the Mondego lands became a constant stage of intense fights between Muslims and Christians.
After the Catholic Reconquer and the Portuguese independence, Montemor-o-Velho and its majestic fortress were the stage of countless events of Portuguese History. The stones of the castle have defended the valley and the river which fertilizes it and have received Kings and Infantas, being closely associated with tales born out of traditional popular imagination.
The Special Protected Zone of Paul do Taipal, located on the plateau of Lower Mondego River in the council of Montemor-o-Velho, between Figueira da Foz and Coimbra, is a 233-ha wetland, divided in two different areas: a swampy area and an involving agricultural area.
The marshy area is inhabited by reeds, bulrushes, alders, ash-trees, poplars, water lilies, and chickweed, whereas the surrounding area is occupied by irrigated and rainfed tree crops.
The Taipal can be seen all year round and among the most frequent species it is worth highlighting: red heron, purple heron, spoonbill, cayman, curlew, teal, black ibis, mallard duck, great egret, Northern goshawk, booted eagle, reed weasel, nightingale, among others.
There are also birds, such as: the common pelican and the yellow-billed warbler but we rarely find them.
A true sanctuary of fauna and flora to discover!