Rio Zêzere

Canal · Aldeias do Xisto · 322 m
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  • Meanders of Zêzere
    Meanders of Zêzere
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
The Zêzere River rises in the Serra da Estrela, at about 1900m of altitude, next to the Cântaro Magro, where the beginning of the largest glacial valley in Europe (13 km) is defined. 
After descending the Serra da Estrela in agitated course, the Zêzere, already more serene, passes by Belmonte and Covilhã. From here, and almost until it flows into the Tagus River, in Constânica, after a course of about 248 km, it is fed, from both sides by the sea of mountains that frames the Schist Villages.

After the Mondego, it is the second largest river exclusively Portuguese. Near Cambas (Oleiros), between the villages of Janeiro de Cima and Álvaro, the Zêzere ceases to be a river and goes to the calm of a reservoir (Barragem do Cabril), where its waters rest before continuing their journey. It is on this stretch that we find it in the curves and countercurves that the Naturtejo Geopark of Meseta Meridional called "Meandros do Zêzere". If it did not run in such a winding valley and embedded from here to Constância, one would see that all the reservoirs of the three dams (Cabril, Bouça and Castelo do Bode) form an immense artificial lake, with over 5,800 hectares.

More than separating, Zêzere is the common denominator of the identity of the six Schist Villages that are in its basin. Its importance in the hydrography of the country, the diversity and quality of the habitats it creates and crosses and the heritage values that we find in its surroundings, justify the establishment of the Great Route that will soon have its name.

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Aldeias do Xisto
Update: November 02, 2020


40.065211, -7.805222
40°03'54.8"N 7°48'18.8"W
29T 601890 4435678
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Long distance hiking trail · Portugal
Meanders - GRZ on Foot: Stage 6.2
recommended route Difficulty easy
Distance 1.9 km
Duration 0:30 h
Ascent 28 m
Descent 43 m

Percurso alternativo à travessia do rio no Açude de Janeiro de Cima.

from Aldeias do Xisto,   Aldeias do Xisto
recommended route Difficulty easy
Distance 3.5 km
Duration 0:50 h
Ascent 70 m
Descent 100 m

In this 3.5km course, which connects Janeiro de Cima e Janeiro de Baixo, the River Zêzere reaches all its splendour through the famous "curves" – ...

from Aldeias do Xisto,   Aldeias do Xisto
recommended route Difficulty easy
Distance 0.7 km
Duration 0:10 h
Ascent 25 m
Descent 15 m

With about 700 meters, this short section connects the Janeiro de Cima Schist Village to the Rest Area of ​​the same locality. 

from Aldeias do Xisto,   Aldeias do Xisto
recommended route Difficulty moderate
Distance 10.5 km
Duration 2:50 h
Ascent 345 m
Descent 340 m

With just over 10km, this section connects Dornelas to the Aldeia do Xisto of Janeiro de Cima, along secular paths. 

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