Mindelo Field Trip

The “Paisagem Protegida Regional do Litoral de Vila do Conde and Reserva Ornitológica de Mindelo” stands as a sanctuary for nature conservation in Vila do Conde. Initially birthed from the “Reserva Ornitológica de Mindelo”, Portugal’s pioneering protected area for nature conservation established back in 1957, its inception owes much to the tireless efforts of Professor Joaquim Santos Júnior from the University of Porto. Professor Júnior initiated a bird monitoring program in Mindelo centered around bird banding, with a particular emphasis on tracking the migration patterns of the European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur).

However, the landscape’s significance waned notably from the 1980s onwards. Encroachment, marked by the conversion of natural areas into construction zones, sand removal, the proliferation of exotic plant species, waste dumping, and illegal bird trapping, led to a period of distressing degradation. Recent efforts have aimed to restore the area, evident in the installation of marked trails over the last five years.

The locally scoped protected area boasts a relatively compact size, spanning the coastline between the mouth of the Ave River and the mouth of the Onda River. Its habitats encompass mixed forests of eucalyptus, pine, acacia, and oak, agricultural fields (mainly intensive maize cultivation), coastal and interdunal zones, scrublands, and two small estuarine areas (Ave River and Onda River). Notably, the region hosts a rich variety of biological treasures, including a diverse array of amphibian species (12 out of Portugal’s known 19 species have been recorded), thriving due to the abundance of temporary ponds. Additionally, two plant species endemic to the North Portuguese coastal dunes, Coincya johnstonii and Jasione maritima var. sabularia, flourish within its confines. The avian community within the protected area is also remarkably diverse, with records of more than 160 species.

However, alongside these invaluable assets, invasive alien species are impacting the area, for example, the golden wattle (along with its natural control agent Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae), the Asian hornet, and the common waxbill (among many others!)

Field trip route:

Social dinner

A social dinner will be held on the 29th at the Centro de Memória – Museu de Vila do Conde (10 min walk from the auditorium).

The conference will take place at Auditório Municipal de Vila do Conde

The venue is located close to the centre of Vila do Conde. 

See more information of how to get here below.

The city of Vila do Conde is a charming small coastal city with several options, from youth hostels to hotels. 

 

The city of Porto, the largest town in the north of Portugal, has endless accommodation options (from hotels, to hostels, to airbnb) and the metro connects both cities in 35 minutes. 

By metro

You can reach Vila do Conde by metro (“Metro do Porto”). Line B (red line), runs from Porto to Póvoa de Varzim.

Exit at stations “Santa Clara” (10 min. walk to the conference venue; 15 min. walk to the city center) or “Vila do Conde” (13 min. walk to the conference venue; 15 min. walk to the city centre). 

By train

If you come by train, take a train that stops at the central Porto station “Porto-Campanhã“. There, you can take the metro line B (red line) and exit at “Santa Clara” or “Vila do Conde” stations (direction: “Póvoa de Varzim”).

By air

If you are coming from Porto Airport, take line E (purple line) and exit in “Verdes” station. Then, change to line B (red line), direction: “Póvoa de Varzim”, and exit at “Santa Clara” or “Vila do Conde” stations (direction: “Póvoa de Varzim”).

By car

To reach Vila do Conde by car you can take the A28 highway, which can be easily reached if you are coming from Porto or the airport. Take the highway towards the North (in the direction of Vila do Conde / Viana do Castelo) and leave at exit 15 (signalled “N206 – Vila do Conde”). To reach the conference venue, follow directions for “Auditório Municipal“.

Car parking
There is a paid car park next to venue (underground) – “Parque de Estacionamento José Régio” (Rua Joana Maria de Jesus, Vila do Conde) – Payment is about 40 cents/hour.
Alternatively, there is a free car park near the public library “Parque de Estacionamento Biblioteca Municipal” (Rua de Santa Catarina, Vila do Conde). From this park to the venue is a 15-minute walk.

Walking

Vila do Conde is a town where most of the attractions are at walking distance. Most of the hotels are located in the town centre or on the other side of the river. 

Claustro da Igreja do Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Claustro da Igreja do Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Aqueduto e Igreja do Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Aqueduto e Igreja do Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Centro de Memória de Vila do Conde.

Centro de Memória de Vila do Conde.

Alfândega Régia - Museu da Construção Naval

Alfândega Régia - Museu da Construção Naval

Praça da República e Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Praça da República e Mosteiro de Santa Clara

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia

Taxi

Several taxi companies operate in Vila do Conde. You may find some of their contacts below:

Central de Táxis Foz do Ave: (+351) 252 631 933 – taxisviladoconde@gmail.com

Táxi Vila do Conde: (+351) 917 534 712 

Táxi Narciso Peixoto: (+351) 967 048 374 

The driver applications Uber and Bolt operate at Vila do Conde and Porto, including near the conference venue.