Site details

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5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
Normal Focal Site

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Rocky shores of the Costa Vicentina. Photo: M Sprung

Synoptic description of site:

Steep rocky shore of different degree of wave exposure with sandy beeches of different extension

Extensive description of site:

The Costa Vicentina marks the SW-part of the European mainland; it consists of steep rocky cliffs on a tidal coast with sandy beaches at more remote sites.

Habitats present:
Littoral XX
Sublittoral XX
Seagrass beds 

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna and flora have been under investigation sporadically for certain taxa during recent years, particularly for the rocky shore line.

Human impact:

Due to its marginal position and its status of protection, human impact on the fauna and flora is limited to fishing and shellfish collection on the shore; sporadically touristic activity may have some impact (diving, beaches used for recreation and water sports) or possible oil spills from passing ships.


Facilities for marine biodiversity research on site are very limited. However, this part of the coast is only situated some 100 km away from the University of Algarve at Faro.

Available database and website:

There are no websites at present for biodiversity data available, but some reports and a photograhic compilation of the macrofauna.

Commitment and ongoing research:

The Costa Vicentina is integrated into a Natural Park whose administration constitutes part of the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza (ICN). Projects on biodiversity on this part of the coast are executed by the Universities at Faro, Evora and Lisbon.