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2009 Landscape Investigation in Iberian Peninsula—Spain and Portugal

Investigation date: November 1~11, 2009 

Professional content direction

Taking interactive activities along with the local

Madrid: visit the urban landscape; visit the local landscape architecture studio and talk with the members of Spanish Landscape Architects Association.

Donana National Park: visit European Natural 2000 Systems Flagship Area in the company of professional and technical personnel.

AIqueva Dam area: this important site is explained by environment, community, development and landscape experts.

Sevilla: visit the World Expo 1992 site and the Guadalquivir river pedestrian zone in the company of professional and technical staff. 

Lisbon: visit the World Expo 1998 site; meet with the members of local Urban Planning Association; visit the site with landscape architects together; visit the local landscape architectural studio and participate in a welcome party held by the Portuguese Landscape Architects Association. 

Investigation Route


We will depart from Beijing and fly to Madrid, the capital of Spain. Madrid is one of the essence European architecture sites as well as one of the most rapidly growing cities in Europe, which currently has six million people. Here is a significant city of Iberian architecture, culture and concentrated-business, which is traditional and innovative and walking in the forefront of the trend. This will be a very good opportunity to understand local culture characteristics, experience night life and interact with local professionals.


We will take bus to the autonomous region of Andalusia in southern Spain and take short breaks in the town of Jaen. Here is the center of the mountains of Andalusia, where you can enjoy the stunning natural landscape. In addition, we will have a short stay on the Mediterranean coast in the famous city—Malaga.

Jerez De La Frontera

Jerez is world-renowned historic site—here feeds the best horses in the world and has the famous flamenco dance performance, in addition, here is high-quality sherry wine producing area, and the World Motorcycle Grand Prix is held here every year. We will have a short stay here for tasting wine and feeling the local humanistic atmosphere.

Coast of Lights in the Southern Part of Spain

We will travel to the Atlantic coast called “Sunshine Coast” in southern Spain and spend a wonderful night in a town with historic characteristics called Sanlucar de Barrameda. We will also travel to the Guadalquivir estuary, Donana National Park (UNESCO cultural heritage, also the most important park of the European Natural 2000 systems) to investigate and discuss the Spanish landscape management with the technical staff in the park if we have chance.

Ceuta Africa

We will depart from the Atlantic coast to Algeciras in the southern tip of Spain, travel through the Gibraltar Strait and reach Ceuta—Spanish enclaves in Morocco Africa (in the first country’s territory and subordinate to the second country), which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


It was once the most influential city on earth and retained many charming architectures built in the heyday of 16th century. There is also the largest and best preserved ancient city center in Europe, which was listed as UNESCO World Heritage cities; therefore Seville is an important location of this trip. Here you can appreciate the landscape with rich cultural deposits as well as review the 1992 World Expo site, which made an island of Guadalquivir back to vitality and regarded “Brownfield Site Recycling” as a subject to be discussed.


After crossing the Portuguese border, you will not immediately feel any difference—because both southern Spain and Portugal remain certain Arab culture with a similar landscape, climate and architectures. The first stop will be Alqueva dam, which forms Europe’s largest artificial lake. The lake provides municipal water, which is the source of economic development in some semi-arid region. We will enjoy the artificial lake from Mourao and Reguerlgos de Monsaraz and then visit the famous village of Luz, a hydroelectric plant there.

Borba Wine Region

We will travel North to Sao Gregorio for the ancient villages there, which have been successfully transformed into rustic play area with local characteristics remained. Here, you can enjoy tranquil atmosphere and have an adequate rest. The second day, we will visit and taste in the neighboring grape wine and olive oil manor. Paying a visit to Alentejo village and grape wine, olive oil and cork (oak bark) products ecological processing industries, which made a decisive effect on the local landscape formation.


Situated in Portugal, it was once one of the important Roman cities in Portugal and southern Spain as well as one of UNESCO World Heritage cities. Ancient cities are well-preserved and the inner city has many Roman and medieval ruins.


From south to north through Tagus Bridge, we will reach the Portuguese capital—Lisbon, where was once a European and world trade center. Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site in the city, you can also enjoy magnificence from the majestic mountain scenery. The population in Lisbon is 3.5 million, which makes it not only an important historic city in Europe continent, but also an innovative and dynamic capital. Here, we will work with many excellent local city planners and meet with landscape architects, and visit important sites with their leading, such as the 1998 World Expo site.


Because of the unique micro-climate here, lush vegetation and the palace with the most intensive distribution in Europe have become UNESCO cultural landscape and cultural heritage. The landscape design of palace garden in 18th century is distinctive—there is a perfect combination of European garden design and tropical garden design; the scenery enjoyed from the Sintra Mountains is spectacular.

Atlantic Coast 

Departing from Sintra, through Casccqis National Natural Park (an important site of European Natural 2000 systems), we will arrive Azenhas do Mar and European continental geographical endpoint—Cape Roca in 30 minutes. At this important landmark, we will hold a small celebration for this investigation activity. 

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