Welcome to Mira 2018

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President of the Local Organising Committee

The European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country constitutes an event of the utmost importance for our municipality. As it brings together athletes from all over Europe, we have become accustomed to consider it a reference event in the promotion of Mira and the region.

It is also an event of great relevance due to the high quality of its participants: elite athletes, dedicated technical teams and outstanding leaders who support them.

The high level of the European Athletics, the Portuguese Federation of Athletics and Federations of the other European countries honour us with the responsibility of hosting such a prestigious competition.

In our global world we are determined to share and celebrate the differences that enrich the continent of Europe. This competition is a unique moment for the exchange of the cultural diversity of each and every one of its participants. We value the opportunity to embrace the upcoming emotions of joy and excitement, which all of us expect from this event. Let us therefore pursue a common goal of uniting cultures through sports.

Despite the damages caused by the recent forest fires, we are very proud of our natural flora and fauna, so may we invite you to explore the beauty of our ponds, the purity of our streams, lakes and ocean and the magnificence of our flora and endogenous species.

May you also take this opportunity to indulge in our mild climate and engage in year-round outdoor activities. Seemingly, we urge you to feel at home in our well-maintained facilities  and enjoy our rich natural surroundings. 

However, let it be known that our greatest wealth lies in our people, our cultural traditions and our way of life. Our region is renowned for its friendliness and generosity and the people of Mira take pride in welcoming those who have entrusted us with their visit.

Finally, we have put all our enthusiasm in the preparation of the sports facilities by carefully following the technical guidelines we have received from the organization. Last but not least, great efforts and care have been taken so as to ensure everyone a warm and unforgettable welcome.

It is in this spirit that on behalf of the people of Mira I welcome you to this European Championship.

To all the federative leaders who have placed their confidence in our capacity to carry out this event, we express our sincere appreciation and gratitude. To all the athletes and  coaches, let Mira be a milestone for you.

 

To all a good competition!

Raul Almeida

 

 

Mira

Located in the Central Coast, Mira belongs to the district of Coimbra and is part of regional tourism in the area of Central Portugal. Situated between the basins of the Vouga and the Mondego, on the North is confronted by the municipality Vagos, on the east and south by the municipality of Cantanhede and on the West by the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of approximately 123 km2 and a population of around 13,000 inhabitants, the county is composed of four parishes: Mira, Praia de Mira, Seixo and Carapelhos and has a central location in relation to three major cities: Aveiro, Coimbra and Figueira da Foz.

The Municipality of Mira has direct access to the A17 in a distance of 100 kilometers of city of Porto and 200 kilometers of the city of Lisbon.

 

Environmental assets

Environment
The municipality of Mira is a privileged location for observing nature and the landscape due to diverse habitats, some classified as Sítio Rede Natura 2000 - Special Area of Conservation of Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas and as Zona de Protecção Especial da Ria of Aveiro. Several streams that feed ponds, straws and marshes, by a large forested area of pine forest and coastal dunes of beaches, dunes and bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, which present a biodiversity that comprises over 400 species of flora and over 300 of fauna, define the ecological and environmental importance of Mira.
 
Cycle Pedestrian Track
The Cycle-Pedestrian Track of the of Mira has a total length of about 28 km, passing through agricultural areas, lagoons (Barrinha and Lagoa de Mira), water courses, marshes, forests, dunes, beaches and characteristic habitats of this county. Also worthy of note the passage through water mills, by the Ethnographic Museum / Tourist Office, Sítio do Cartaxo - Ecotourism, picnic and camping parks, and by urban and rural areas. While on this track, enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of the region, practicing sports in a quality environment.
 
Pedestrian Routes
The 6 pedestrian paths of interpretation of the heritage are implanted on traditional paths and, in part, in the cyclo-pedestrian track. Being an exceptional form of contact with the natural rural environment for the interpretation of the environment and the cultural aspects of this territory, they promote the sustainable development and conservation of the heritage. Altogether, the six pedestrian routes, interconnected, total more than 60 km in length and are part of the Pedestrian Routes of Interpretation of Mira Heritage.
 
Blue Flag
Praia de Mira has been awarded with the Blue Flag Award since its beginning in 1987 and Poço da Cruz Beach since 2006.
 

Cultural Heritage

Gastronomy
The regional cuisine of Gândara, weaving traditions of a rural area, very close to Bairrada, with an area linked to the Ria de Aveiro and bounded by the Atlantic coast, divides itself in a variety of products and distinct flavours, worthy of consideration. With heritages linked to agriculture and fishing, the busy life of industrious and intelligent people led them to create a unique food based on local products, more or less easy to make, particular and effective, that values spices and knowledge inherited for generations. A cuisine based on local products ensures the supply of aromas and genuine and characteristic flavours such as: punched potatoes, fresh fish and cod fish stews, fish pasta, skate pitáu, sardines grilled on the tile, sarrabulho (a stew made of curdled blood of a pig), broad beans, greaves, turnip greens, rice pudding and pumpkin fritters, among others. Each year, on the 3rd weekend of September, the Mostra Gastronómica da Gândara, held in Praia de Mira, ensures the provision of all these products and flavours in a festive atmosphere that allows an unparalleled gathering in a pleasant natural surroundings, next to Barrinha de Mira.
 
Moinhos de Água
The mills are craft milling devices powered by water that transform grain, mainly corn, into flour. There are still some water mills laboring in Mira, with several clusters of mills along the Cycle Pedestrian Track. They are important testimonies of the popular architecture of the past, the beginnings of an industrial production that fed people. Some built in wood, such as the Palheiros da Costa and other of bricks, such as the Casas Gandaresas.
 
Fishing in the sea
As this is an ancient activity, it has undergone changes over time, but it remains a true art as a whole - boats, nets, labor, fishermen - representing, as well as a way of life, a tourist attraction and a wonderful painting or live theatre for those who long for being in Praia de Mira. It is a traditional form of fishing where even today, fishermen organized in companhas (companies), face the swell and go out to the sea in a unique wooden boat shaped in half-moon to launch after the huge but well-worked fishing nets, surrounding and dragging to land the shoals. In order to pull the nets to shore they rely on the help of tractors, which now replace the mighty yoke of oxen, which for decades helped the fishermen to pull boats and nets. Soon after, the show of the opening of the bag of the fishing net takes place, after the discovery of the fishing and finally they proceed to a careful choice of several kinds of fish that jump and slide the hands of knowledgeable fishermen to the baskets of the fish market. For fishing, there are two different seasons in the year: from November to March, when men, due to the altered state of the sea, stay on land preparing the fishing nets with their own techniques, and from April to October, when they gather about 15 men, some of which go to the sea (usually 8), while others stay on shore spreading out the fishing nets to the next cast, picking the fish from the previous, among other tasks.
 

Be sure to visit the Igreja Matriz de Mira (Parish Church), the Capela Nª. Senhora da Conceição (Chapel)  in Praia de Mira, Museu Etnográfico da Praia de Mira (Ethnographic Museum) and Museu do Território da Gândara in Mira (Museum).

 

 

 

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