Irrigating Cova da Beira - Valhelhas > Vale Formoso - GRZ on Foot: Stage 1
Aldeias do Xisto Verified partner Explorers Choice
Irrigating Cova da Beira - Valhelhas > Vale Formoso - GRZ: Stage 1Photo: Diogo Martins, Aldeias do Xisto
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Waymarks > 2- There’s a lot of marks missing. (GPS or mobile app needed)
Conservation of the path > 3- Some degradation that can increase the difficulty of the trail.
General conservation > 2- Common degradation of the surroundings but with no negative impacts on the experience.
Information boards and signs > 3- Reasonably maintained and with interest
Complementary boards > 1- Nonexistent or without minimum quality
Safety and suport structures > 2- Degraded but without danger for the user
Local community integration > 3- Interaction / occasional contacts with the community
Landscape integration > 3- Well integrated into the landscape but without relevant points of interest
General Safety > 4- Has occasional low-risk situations
Track typesShow elevation profile
Safety informationTake the necessary precautions for high temperatures in summer and slippery terrain in the winter. The levels of difficulty and times given are only indicative. They were calculated on a physical effort basis and do not include stops. Make your estimate by analising the technical data of path to be taken.
There is more than one intersection without signaling so we recommend using GPS or APP.
SOS Emergency: 112
SOS Forest: 117
Guarda Municipal Council: (+351) 271 220 220 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Covilhã Municipal Council: (+351) 275 330 600 | email@example.com
Tips and hints
Washed by the calm, clear, cool waters of the River Zêzere and flanked by leafy poplar, alder, ash and willow, the Valhelhas River Beach allows visitors to contemplate all the natural surroundings in one of the sublime corners of Serra da Estrela Natural Park. It is at the end of the Serra da Estrela Glacier Valley, the steep schist-covered landscape where the River Zêzere meanders through farmland, orchards, forest and riverside woodland. Throughout the year, these landscapes provide a variety of frames: in winter, snow covers the top of the hills, the autumnal tones and spring green provide unique environments and in summer, the cool translucent waters are a delight for beach goers. Also visit the Valhelhas Chapel, the Lagar Museum and the Philippine Bridge.
As far as handicrafts are concerned, wicker basketry is the highlight. The Medronheiro [arbutus tree] and mushrooms are some of the main plant produce. As for the fauna, keep a look out for the kingfisher, one of the most colourful specimens of Portuguese birdlife.
Mountain gastronomy has a very distinguished presence, with tables full of sausages, cheeses and migas [crumb-based dishes].
Situated about 22km from Covilhã, Vale Formoso is an old village where remains of the Roman era are still visible. The main activities of the resident population are fruit-growing, construction and carpentry, handicrafts and small shops. Since this is a nation of religious and popular traditions, the annual village festival is held in mid-august, the date being set each year, in honour of its patron saint, Nossa Senhora da Sáude, in a chapel on top of the hill. As for cultural heritage, we highlight the parish church, the community oven, Manueline windows and the old fountain. It also has a place of interest for tourists – the viewpoint, from where you can enjoy all the natural landscape and the neighbouring localities.
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