GUIDED VISIT TO THE PARK
Penascosa is located on a large beach on the right bank of the Côa River, in Vila Nova de Foz Côa county, in terrains belonging to the parishes of Castelo Melhor and Almendra. The visit departs from the village of Castelo Melhor, at the Park’s Reception Center. For about 6 kms, aboard an all-terrain vehicle and accompanied by a guide, visits follow a dirt road along fields planted with almond and olive trees.
15 € per person
Total walking distance
About 600 metros.
Difficulty: very easy
The route chosen for public visitation includes five engraved rocks
Duration of the visit
Place of departure
Park’s Reception Center at the village of Castelo Melhor. This village is located 15 kms from Vila Nova de Foz Côa, via EN 222, towards Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo (GPS: N 41º 01 ‘31.7’ ‘/ W 7º 04’ 00.2”)
In the afternoon, every day except closing days
On the way to the river, Quinta de Ervamoira, famous for its wines and the breadth of its vineyards, can be seen on the opposite margin. The landscape at Penascosa forms a wide open valley area, where the river still runs its natural course. From the car park to the last visited rock, visitors follow on foot through a path about 300 meters long. It is a flat area that does not present difficulties, only being necessary to climb a small stone staircase to the visit last two rocks.
Penascosa is a hill forming a natural amphitheatre on top of the river. The slope presents 36 engraved outcrops, 30 of them with Paleolithic motifs, of which five can be visited.
The engraved rocks are organized in two large groups. The one more to the north, extending from the beach to the top of the hill, mainly possesses Paleolithic incised figures, but also some rare Neolithic and Iron Age figures. The south sector, where the visit takes place, presents all the engraved panels on or near to the beach. The motifs here are mainly Paleolithic depictions of animals, done by pecking and abrasion, representing the characteristic species of the Côa figurative bestiary.
It is the most visited site of the Côa Valley Archaeological Park due to the ease of access and the great beauty and tranquility of the place, but also in virtue of the great significance of its Paleolithic engravings, well representative of the best of Côa rock art.