Figueira da Foz turismo has details of several waymarked walks in the area, including the 4km Rota das Salinas, an interesting estuary route around the saltpans that you glimpse from the bridge on the way into town. The walk begins 7km out of Figueira, at Armazens de Lavas, where you can leave your car by the small Núcleo Museológico do Sal, which details the history of salt production in these parts. Salt has been produced in the Mondego estuary for almost a thousand years, and around fifty salinas still operate between May and September each year. A boardwalk leads out across the saltpans, past weatherbeaten plank huts with salt bags piled outside. The well-signposted circular route takes about an hour (at a brisk stroll), through a pretty estuarine habitat of hedgerow flowers, rustling stands of bamboo and salt-tolerant shrubs. Black-winged stilts and other estuarine birds are a common sight, while the return leg of the path runs along the muddy banks of the Mondego, where a few fishermen still eke out a living from their painted wooden boats.

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