Largo do Cardal, 3100-440 Pombal, Portugal | Tel. (+351) 236 200 220 | Fax. (+351) 236 200 220| info@cardalhotel.com
Share |
Hotel | Region

Pombal

A city with history

It is difficult to define with precision the coming of the first inhabitants in the city, however its castle is known to have been a “residence” of Moorish and Christian people, as we can read in the legend of the Moor “Al Pal Omar”. The city was founded by the Grand Master of the Order of Knights Templar, Gualdim Pais, who also gave it Foral in 1174.

In the eighteenth century, a new moment in the history of Pombal city occurred, in the presence of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (1777-172), who would also adopt the title of Marquis of Pombal. Besides being responsible for ordering the lower part of the city, having built the prison, the site of the old pillory and the cellar, he took a central role in the economic and social development of the region, especially by encouraging the creation of the manufacture of hats, at the estate of Quinta da Gramela.

In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the town was ravaged by French invasions that left a mark in people’s everyday life. Once these adversities were overcome, Pombal city became an obligatory stop for the railway and postal services, which gave a new impact to the population growth and economic development.

The municipality of Pombal integrates the northern district of Leiria that extends from the mountains of Sicó to the sea, with a wonderful landscape of hills meandered of olive trees and small stone walls. Where the centennial pine woods hide pristine beaches that few know, and the cuisine invites you to taste savoury crackers and cheeses.

Come explore our county from the mountains to the sea

Serra da Sicó (Mountain of Sicó)

With 553 meters at its highest point, the mountain which gives its name to the calcareous massif is the highest of its western bloc. The way it rises in the regional context will almost caused the exhumation of the total sediments of covering, revealing the limestone. The intense process of erosion that it endured, converts the Serra da Sicó info a splendid example of karst landscape in the region.

Besides the extensive caloareous stone fields, we can find here other surface and depth karst shapes. It is the case of partially dismantled dolines that nest on the vast col that separates Mount Sicó from its western “brother” , Mount do Ouro, and also the case of some grottos and caves which having profited from the intense tectonic fracturing that this area has suffered, occur mainly in the east of the mountain (the cave Lapa da Cerãmica, the grottos Algar da Lagoa, Algar da Pena Só, Algar da Ervilha, etc.) in an area that is still today one of the most searched by speleologists.

The strong asymmetry and, namely, the steep slope that constitutes the northeast side, turn the highest point of this mountain range into a wonderful viewpoint, from where it is possible, to the east, to catch sight of significant part of the calcareous massif and, to the south, to admire a vast area that takes the mountain range of Alvaiázere and, in days of good brightness, to the Extremaduran Calcarcous Massif. The pity is that this top, though poorly served by a narrow path, which is practically only accessible to all terrain vehicles, is today heavily damaged. On one hand , the necessary fire watchtower and useful radio antennas, on the other hand, an unfinished chapel and the unsightly yard of cement that was intended to support festivals that take the faithful of the region to the top of the Serra da Sicó, where the open character of spaces and the bleakness and sumptuousness of the landscape invite us to interior thought and spirituality.

On this massif, which structural and geomorphological features lead to an important penetration of the superficial waters within the limestone mass, making the surface dry and the rock stripped, develops, thus conditioned, a vegetation of Mediterranean characteristics, from the which the rare spots of holm oak thickets, and small residual areas of Portuguese oak and cork oak woods are carefully preserved.

The spreading of agriculture, mainly olive yards and seldomly pine and eucalyptus forests, as well as the pasturing and the fires, changed the vegetation of the mountain of Sicó. Consequently, nowadays it has a very bare appearance, mostly composed of a thicket, where prevail a specific vegetation like the epazote, the white leaved rockrose or the sage-leaved rockrose.

In these open areas, the orchids grow easily, as well as otherbulbous and rhizomatous plants, such as the heart-shaped lip serapias and the woodcock orchid. Their high commercial valve incite people to collect them with great intensity, which will soon turn them into endangered species.

The narcissus calcicola, the crown imperial, but also the wall-rue that is very common in the basic rock crevices, under the grove of holm oaks or in low thickets, can already be considered rare in Portugal.

From the top of a cliff or from the branch of a tree, the Eurasian eagle-owl watches its territory with serene self-righteous head movements. It controls with perfection its auditory and visual systems; with radar accuracy it can locate the prey then, in a silent flight, it dashes onto the heedless victim with the talons stretched it is the hunting ritual of the great nocturnal predator.

By day, it sleeps lazily, protected by the stillness of the gloom of a hole, within the chalky cliff, awaiting the arrival of the night. The excitement of the little birds, that frantically inform against its presence, let it imperturbable.

Very rare in the region and in the country, the Eurasian eagle-owl holds a prominent position among the natural jewels of the Sicó Mountain. We cannot remain insensitive when faced with the dangers that threaten the biodiversity of an area, which is already so arid that Raúl Proença named it “the gauntest mountain in Portugal”, which is also the reason why it is one of the most beautiful.


Praia do Osso da Baleia (Whale Bone Beach)

The beach called Osso da Baleia is situated in the middle of the National Forest, in the parish of Carriço, Pombal. The name of this beach has its origins in the early twentieth century, due to the appearance of a whale skeleton that according to oral testimonies, should have beached on the sandy shore.

This beach is a perfect place for those who enjoy hiking, fishing, bodyboarding, surfing, beach volley, as well as for those who enjoy the natural beauty of a beach (sand dunes, flora and fauna).

The beach of Osso da Baleia received the award “Golden Beach” in 1998. This award is given to beaches that have singular valve in terms of geology, flora, fauna, landscape or heritage, and naturalized environments with low degree of infrastructure.

The classification as “Golden Beach” allows the execution of works and actions for environmental restoration, enabling their enjoyment and use by tourists, in full respect of the existing environmental conditions.

On the beach of Osso da Baleia were carried out some works to environmental restoration, including the deployment of beach facilities and construction of wooden walkways, used as pedestrian access to the beach, in order to preserve the existing vegetation and dunes.

Since 2004, the beach of Osso da Baleia receives, consecutively, the award “Blue Flag”, awarded by the Blue Flag Association of Europe-the Portuguese section of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education).

The Blue Flag is a certificate of environmental quality, attributed to sea beaches, inland beaches, ports or marinas and boats. The Blue Flag for beaches is only valid for a bathing season and is a campaign that is voluntary, it is up to local authorities to submit the application or not. This process is independent, participative, requiring the involvement of different entities and actors who are present in the region.

The European Blue Flag campaign began in 1987, integrated into the Actions of the European year of the Environment, with the purpose of raising the level of public awareness to the problems of the coastal and inland environment, and encourage actions that contribute to their resolution.

Criteria for awarding the Blue Flag Award – coastal and inland bathing area. Set of 27 criteria of which 23 are mandatory and cover 4 areas:
I – Environmental Information and Education;
II – Water Quality;
III – Environmental Management and Equipment;
IV – Security and Services.

The beach of Osso da Baleia has seen significant improvements in recent times, particularly in the beach support and especially for the disabled. The good access and good infrastructure have brought more swimmers to the beach, yet the natural and characteristic beauty of the beach of Osso da Baleia remains virtually intact.

It has been able to preserve the surrounding vegetation, dunes and even the beach itself.

Then, do a walk through the wooden walkways that lead down to the beach and soak up nature.


Traditions

Festivals and Fairs
Feast of Santo Amaro in January
Bodo Festival the last week of July
National Fair of Mandicrafts and Pubs


Markets

In the city, every week there is market, which takes place on Mondays and Thursdays. There are also markets distributed through the rest of the country; you can consult the website of Município de Pombal.

Municipal Holiday

November 11

Created by: