In addition to an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils in the museum, the park is dotted with life-sized models of the extinct creatures (photo: José Gonçalves)
Less than a half hour from Óbidos and about one hour from Lisbon, Lourinhã is a town close to the Atlantic coast that’s known for its beaches (Praia da Areia Branca and Praia do Areal), and especially for being a real “Jurassic Park” -- a large number of fossilised dinosaur bones, eggs, embryos and footprints have been found all over the region.
If you’re interested in the beaches, know that both have strong waves that attract water sports enthusiasts -- Praia da Areia Branca is good for bodyboarding, while Praia do Areal is known for its national surfing events. If you’re curious about the dinosaurs, you can see many of the findings at a museum. It includes an extraordinary nest found in 1997, containing eggs with embryos inside, and there are also reconstructed dinosaur skeletons.
The museum is part of “Dino Park,” inaugurated in February of 2018. Located about 5 minutes outside the center of Lourinhã, in Abelheira, it’s Portugal’s largest open-air museum, and one of Europe’s largest dinosaur-themed parks. Its 10 hectares (25 acres) are a “real” Jurassic experience, showing 120 life-sized models of dinosaurs, plus the fossils in the museum, taking visitors millions of years back in time.
How to Get to Dino Parque Lourinhã
If you’re coming from the south (Lisbon), take the A8 highway, and on exit N8-2 follow the signs to Lourinhã. Take road N247 in the direction of Peniche for about 7km, and at the intersection, turn right, going down road N247-1 for another 2.5km until you reach Dino Park.
If you’re coming from the north, take the A8 highway, exit to IP6-Peniche, and continue to exit Atouguia da Baleia/Lourinhã. Follow the road for 7km, and at the intersection turn left, going down the N247-1 road for 2.5km until you reach Dino Park.
Rua Vale dos Dinossauros, 25 - Lourinhã
Admission and Tickets to Dino Parque Lourinhã
Tickets are €12.50 for adults and children over the age of 13, and €9.00 for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Children up to 3 years old are admitted for free.
Opens every day at 10am. Closing time depends on the seasons -- at 5pm in winter (gate closes at 3:30pm), 6pm in the spring (gate closes at 4:30pm), and 7pm in the summer (gate closes at 5:30pm)