Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley was a must for me

By December 10, 2017 No Comments
Caveman drawing in the Coa Valley

Coa Valley rock art 1The Prehistoric Rock Art in the Coa Valley is yet another World Heritage Site and is located on the bank of the Agueda River, which is a tributary of the Douro river in the northeastern part of Portugal. It documents the continuous human occupation of the area since the end of the Paleolithic Age. Hundreds of panels with thousands of animal figures were carved over several millennia, representing the most remarkable open-air ensemble of Paleolithic art on the Iberian Peninsula.

Coa Valley rock art 2The rock art is really cool and dates from 24,000 to 12,000 years old. There are carving on horses, cows, other animals, humans, and abstract shapes. Some of the rocks have multiple carvings on top of each other and sometimes it gets hard to figure out what you are looking at.

Coa Valley rock art 3Would you believe me if I told you these carvings were not discovered until 1990? Yes I typed that right. They were discovered when a dam was being built. Of course, the government and energy company want to continue, but luckily wiser minds came to the rescue. Now there is a very good museum telling you about all the art work. From there you have to have a ticket for a guided tour of the actual sites. A little heads up for you, make sure you book your tickets in advance because you have to do a two-hour tour to the site in their vans. They only offer the tours 3-4 times a day and in different languages. You can get more info on the official website.

This was a great choice for our last day in Portugal. It is off the beaten path and offers a sight totally different than the rest of what we saw in Portugal. Now it is time to drive across Spain and visit Andorra with some homemade trail mix to keep is going. What you have never heard of Andorra? Well come back and I will tell you all about it!

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