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Praia das Furnas

Vila do Bispo

The beach stands at the mouth of an occasional stream, whose riverside vegetation and small pebbles reach all the way down to the sand. On the east bank is a small eucalyptus wood with the typical scrubland of the “Barrocal” clay region amongst its undergrowth, which is sometimes used for unauthorised camping. The beach here is wide, with a small sand dune where you can find such plants as European beachgrass. This spreads over some distance eastwards, since at the western end there is an enormous rocky spur that marks out the boundaries of the beach. Exuberant endemic juniper bushes, together with the vegetation that has successfully adapted to the salty atmosphere, are the main features covering this limestone cliff. Praia do Zavial is very popular among surfers, with the eastern end of the beach being calmer with its jagged cliffs and rock formations that are known locally as furnas. It is possible to reach this part of the beach by walking along the sand or by climbing down from the top of the cliff. In the area close to Praia do Zavial, you can also visit the ruins of a 17th-century fortress. To the east of Praia do Zavial is the small Praia das Furnas, which owes its name to the shape of the cliff, greatly eroded by the elements and where furnas have developed: enormous undercut slopes dug out of the base of the cliff and grottoes. The coastal scrubland reaches right down to the sand, where a small stream also finds an outlet. This is a very peaceful beach.

Access: There is a tarmac road from the village of Raposeira (EN 125), heading towards Praia do Zavial or Praia da Ingrina, roughly five kilometres away. The parking is disorganised, but the beach has basic support facilities (restaurant and toilets) and is supervised during the bathing season. Access to Praia das Furnas is via a dirt track from the village of Figueira (roughly two kilometres away). The parking area is disorganised and the beach has no basic support facilities or supervision. The beaches face south-west (Zavial and Furnas).

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