CERES Picture Gallery

why west coast?

    centre assisted

    the supplements

student projects

module development

work experience

exploratory visits


"no-hassle"  packet

transport, h&s support,
equipment and licenses

 €239 pp / week

our guests include:


"CERES provided a really

  outstanding field course

  experience for us"

Prof William Hughes

"CERES is doing a great
 job in providing fieldwork
 experience in a wonderful
 place. I truly enjoyed
 every bit of my visit there"

Student Newcastle 2014

"I really enjoyed the hands

 on approach to learning.

 I also found all the staff  

 incredibly friendly and  

Student Sussex 2014

"Newcastle University
 students love visiting this
 beautiful part of Portugal
 and CERES provides an
 excellent range of
 activities  that enhance
 their learning experience"

Staff Newcastle 2014

"Absolutely fantastic
 week!  Learned so
 much! Axul and  Astrid
 and all the staff made us
 feel right at home! The
 variety of places visited
 was  great! Highly
 recommend this trip!

Student Portsmouths 2014

"Ceres field-courses in

 SW Portugal are  

 transformative field  
 experiences for our
 students -  and
 represent excellent value
 for money"
Staff Portsmouth 2014

"In one word, the whole
 experience was amazing.
 There was and there is
 nothing I would've done
 differently and is certainly
 a trip I will never forget"

Student Ashbourne 2014

"Loved it! Students are
 gaining invaluable
 experience and learning
 vital skills in an fun,
 exciting and beautiful
 setting. Skills and
 experiences they will
 keep with them for a
 lifetime and that would
 be impossible to learn
 in a classroom"

Staff Ashbourne 2014

"All aspects were great
 but the 'best' is split
 between Carrapateira
 and Tom's cooking"

Staff Plymouth 2013

CERES Project geology / geography Aljezur, Algarve, Southwest Portugal

geology / geography

field work for geology and geography courses


The Algarve region has a diverse and interesting geology. The south-western part of the Iberian peninsula can be divided into Upper Palaeozoic rocks of the Variscan basement and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. The Palaeozoic basement forms a mountainous range of Devonian – Carboniferous rocks and extends to the littoral part of the western coastline, exposed in Carboniferous shales of the sea cliffs.  Further inland the Monchique Massif forms the highest elevation of the Algarve (902m) consisting of alkaline igneous rocks (syenite) that intruded during Late Cretaceous times. The famous Algarve Mesozoic limestone cliffs are located along the south coast, with karst developments exposed from the Cabo de São Vicente to Faro.  East of Faro, extending all the way to the Spanish-Portuguese border, a low lying area is characterised by a Quaternary barrier island / lagoonal system.


The region is tectonically very active up to present times, with the major fault line (Sao Teotónio - Aljezur - Sinceira fault) running across Aljezur creating small Cenozoic basins. The regional geological setting, together with the seismic activity, create cliff instabilities, rock falls and smaller landslides.


The west coast provides a large variety of different geomorphological coastal formations:  wide dune systems around Amoreira and Carrapateira, small estuaries located between Villa Nova de Milfontes, Odeceixe, Amoreira and Bordeira, Plio-Pleistocene and  fluvial terraces. The south-east coast with its barrier island system, wash over fans, small inlets and back barrier lagoon systems provides great geomorphological examples. The lack of vegetation during the dry summers and the mesotidal environment allow an easy access to study the different formations.

Raised beach deposits
 Pleistocene cemented dunes
 Mesozoic structures

workshop format

Workshops, run by CERES staff with specialist knowledge and fieldwork expertise can be booked for either half a day or a full day. Workshops led by us enable the group leader to concentrate on other aspects of student learning that are not often possible with traditional self-led fieldwork. All workshops are tailored in direct consultation with the group leader to suit the groups requirements.

Day workshops are normally supported by pre-and post-excursion classroom activities that establish the context for learning and provide the necessary follow-up and reinforcement.

To focus on specific study themes, or to target specific syllabus and topic outcomes please contact us.

Workshops are usually booked by groups staying at our field study centre. For information about prices go to page, for more general information on field trip core packets go to page.

 Folded Carboniferous shales
 Cliff instability at Amoreira
 Mesozoic limestones at Lagos

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