Gruta das Torres Visitors Centre
The Gruta das Torres Visitors Centre is an example of sustainable use of a natural resource for recreational purposes and environmental awareness because the tour does not disturb its natural elements.
The Gruta das Torres is the largest lava tube in Portugal, with a length of 5150 metres, and it is part of the formation of Lajidos – Gruta das Torres, inserted in the Mountain Volcanic Complex. It is estimated that it was formed about 1500 years ago during an eruption in Cabeço Bravo.
The visit is an innovation in Portugal, following the cave over a length of 450 metres and with the approximate duration of one hour.
For this expedition, the visitor is provided with the necessary equipment to discover the cave in its natural state and to observe various types of lava and several geological formations. From these stand out the different types of lava stalactites and stalagmites, side benches, lava balls, striated walls and ropy lavas.
In 2006, it was a finalist of the Portuguese selection commission of the V Ibero-American Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. It was nominated, in 2007, for the Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award and, in 2009, it won first place in Tektónica National Award of the Architects Order.