Departure: Reception Center of Castelo Melhor. This village is 15 kms from Vila Nova de Foz Coa, going by the road EN 222, in the direction of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo.
Schedule: In winter visits start at 13h00, and in summer at 13h30, there being several during the afternoon.
Duration of the visit: about 1h30
Total walking distance – about 600 meters, very easy
Due to the very high temperatures reached in the summer, it is strongly recommended the use of a hat and sunscreen, and also of comfortable clothing and footwear. Each visitor should carry enough water for himself.
We recommend previous booking!
The Penascosa site is on a large river beach on the right bank of the river Côa. The visit starts in the Reception Centre of Castelo Melhor. The visitors go on an all-terrain vehicle, with a guide, by a dirt road through fields planted with almond and olive trees, over about 6 kms.
On the way between the village and the river we can see, at the opposite bank, Quinta de Ervamoira, famous for its wines and the extension of its vineyards, and which has a local museum. Shortly after we arrive at a river beach on the right bank of the Côa, an area of open valley where the river still flows in its natural course. From the parking lot of the car to the last visited rock is about 300 meters on foot, by a wide, flat area that offers no difficulties, being only necessary to ascend a stone staircase to the last two rocks.
The Penascosa is a hill above the river, on whose slopes are scattered 36 engraved rocks, 30 of them with Paleolithic motifs. Five rocks can be visited. The engraved rocks are organized in two large clusters, one further north, extending from the beach to the top of the hill, and where one mostly finds Paleolithic incised figures, with some rare Neolithic and Iron Age engravings. The other group, where the visit takes place, lies in the southern sector, with all the rocks along the beach. It mostly has Paleolithic figures of animals, made by pecking and abrasion, representing the various species present in the rock art of the Côa.
It is the most visited site of the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley, for the easy access and great beauty and tranquility of the place, as well as for the immense value of its Paleolithic engravings, well representative of the best in the Paleolithic rock art of the Côa valley.