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Centro Ciencia Viva Da Floresta - Proenca-a-Nova

This is a fascinating and very well-put-together centre, focusing on the role of trees and forests in Portugal. It's great for adults and families - with lots of interactive exhibits - and well worth a visit if you're heading north from the moinho. Here's a review we posted online previously:

After paying our €3 each to enter, we were shown an interesting short video on the role of forests worldwide and led into the permanent exhibition by our guide, Nuno. The exhibition is ‘guided’ but not in an intrusive way - the emphasis is on interactive learning and it’s done very well - the vast majority in English as well as Portuguese, which was useful for us! Nuno was brilliant, answering our questions and explaining the exhibits, whilst also letting us just get on with it in our own time.

There was plenty to engage with and a lot to learn, but the way the space is set out leaves you free to get as involved or not as you’d like to. The exhibits ranged from interactive descriptions of native trees, to ant farms, to a miniature pencil factory, to having a go on the actual helicopter firefighting simulator used to train pilots - thankfully accompanied by a thorough explanation from our guide! We were seriously impressed.

As well as the permanent exhibition, there is a little shop selling some interesting and useful things related to the exhibition (we took home some heritage seeds for vegetables from the area), as well as a temporary exhibition (we spent a pleasant few minutes browsing stamps from around the world, all with mushrooms on!) and a cafe with not only a view of a lovely pond they’ve recovered on the premises, but also the next-door aerodrome; I’m sure many pleasant hours can be spent watching the light planes and paragliders leaving and coming back in.


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