MTB Transalp recommended route Stage 6

Just You and the River [GRZ - MTB sector 6]

MTB Transalp · Portugal · closed
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Aldeias do Xisto Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Just You and the River - Philippine Bridge > Cabeço Mourisco Rest Area - GRZ: Stage 2
    Just You and the River - Philippine Bridge > Cabeço Mourisco Rest Area - GRZ: Stage 2
    Photo: Diogo Martins, Aldeias do Xisto
m 300 200 100 20 15 10 5 km
Just You and the River is the 6th sector in the Multistage Route of Zêzere. Spanning 22.9 km, it runs between Pedrógão Pequeno in the municipality of Sertã, and Bouçã in the municipality of Figueiró dos Vinhos. It passes through the Philippine Bridge, the Cabeço Mourisco rest area, North Atalaia, South Atalaia, the Bouçã Viewpoint rest area and Bouçã itself.
Distance 22.9 km
2:30 h
452 m
671 m
369 m
136 m

Author’s recommendation

Stroll across the Philippine Bridge and try the fish soup. Learn the stories and discover the natural and cultural heritage of the region. 

Book your acommodation, experience or meal in Book in Xisto.


Responsible Trails Criteria:

This route as the auditing in progress at this date.

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Aldeias do Xisto
Update: July 23, 2021
Highest point
369 m
Lowest point
136 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Aldeia do Xisto of Pedrógão Pequeno
Albufeira do Cabril River Beach
Aldeia do Xisto of Mosteiro
Mosteiro River Beach

Safety information

WARNING: Half of this section burned down. Caution is recommended due to the moderate risk of mudslides and the probability of ground deterioration. Take 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.

The stages 3 and 4 are closed do to extreme erosion. Check the current conditions.


Contact information

SOS Emergency: 112

SOS Forest: 117

Sertã Municipal Council: (+351) 274 600 300 |   

Tips and hints

The Mother Church and the Philippine Bridge, classified as a National Monument, are the main points of interest of Pedrógão Pequeno Schist Village. The Philippine Bridge in Pedrógão Pequeno was built during the 17th century, when Portugal was ruled by the Spanish monarchs. The probable date of construction covers the period between 1607 and 1610 and its function was to replace an old wooden bridge, of Roman origin (of which there are still traces), which connected the two banks of the Zêzere River. Built in stone, the bridge consists of three arches and is 62.4 metres high. The access road to this bridge was only built in 1860. Before that, it was accessible only on foot or horseback. With the construction of the Cabril Dam, the bridge was no longer used, falling into disrepair. Already during the new century, improvement work has transformed the bridge and access road into real tourist attractions. You will have the opportunity to see natural and cultural heritage of incalculable value. Examples are the Penedo Granada, a place of meditation for Frei Luis de Granada and inspiration for the poet Luís Vaz de Camões for his poem "O Pomar Venturoso"; the Ribeira de Pera, which rises in Serra da Lousã and which, apart from the lush greenery of the riverside, will transport you to the past and the legend of Princess Peralta, daughter of King Arunce, who walked here with her handmaidens; the watermills, which have been some of the most important economic and social activities since the early days of nationality. It is mandatory to taste the fish soup. 

The Rest Area of Cabeço Mourisco is within the limits of the Bouçã Lagoon so you will not lose sight of the waters of the River Zêzere along the route. Enjoy the green landscape, the sounds and the aromas that nature has to offer. 

Atalaia Norte is a very ecologically important space because, for example, the Iberian nase come here during spawning season when the moon is full. Otters too found their habitat here, and you can easily find traces of their presence. 

Before the construction of the Bouçã dam, the banks of the River Zêzere were used essentially for agriculture. It is still possible to observe some of the embankments built from regional stone. Some olive trees and vines still cling to existence here. When the slopes were planted, they mainly produced cereal and potatoes. Today the agricultural land is occupied by different species of trees, especially eucalyptus and pine. Here you will also find the myrtle, an aromatic shrub that can reach up to five metres high, with numerous dense branches. It has ornamental and medicinal interest and its branches are used for pickling olives. 

The Bouçã dam is located in Graça Parish in Pedrógão Grande Municipality. It was built on the River Zêzere, near the small town of Bouçã, downstream from Cabril Dam and upstream from Castelo de Bode dam. The construction was completed in 1955. In times of flooding when the Cabril dam spillways open, the Bouçã dam has a feature that differentiates it from all other dams: the discharge water is carried over the wall, giving a cascade of water 63 metres high, creating a unique and indescribable scene. Although the dam is mainly used for producing electricity, the lagoon is now being sought out for a variety of sports and environmental activities, such as fishing, canoeing, hiking and mountain biking. On the more exposed slopes, the vegetation is marked by the presence of rock rose, broom and furze and gorse.


"Pedrógão Pequeno Lat.: 39° 54' 13.32"" NLong.: 8° 7' 56.748"" W " (366 m)
39.903879, -8.132427
39°54'14.0"N 8°07'56.7"W
29S 574160 4417449
Show on Map


"Bouçã Lat.: 39° 51' 21.96"" NLong.: 8° 13' 30"" W "

Turn-by-turn directions

Leaving Pedrógão Grande on the small route, in this strecht of GRZ you will find a Roman road a few hundred metres ahead, the only existing land route connecting the banks of the Zêzere River until 1954. Zigzagging down this route, 200 metres above the Philippine bridge, the routes diverge with the PR culminating at the Moinho da Freiras Intermodal Station. The main route after the bridge begins the ascendant that leads to the next information panel.

After about 250 metres and passing near Penedo Granada, the route begins to descend sharply, on very rough ground, which will take you near the mouth of the Ribeira de Pera. After crossing on a foot bridge and passing by the watermills, the GRZ begins a climb that at its highest point give access to a Landscape Reader. The next 3.7 kilometres are travelled by river, which will gradually bring you to a Rest Area. 

At this location, known as "Ribeira dos Nunes," the GRZ meets the PR8 PGR, the “Bouçã Lagoon Shore". Both routes follow a forest path, with the river Zêzere always at hand. After having travelled about 4.5 km, you will come to the Bouçã Intermodal Station where you can find a small picnic area and other support structures. After over 500 metres of identical characteristics, this route ends at the Information Panels. Given the impossibility of obtaining drinking water or any other type of supplies on the next few kilometres of the GRZ, take note of the warning. 

The GRZ and the PR 8 PGR, "Bouçã Lagoon Shore" separate at this location known as “Vale do Braçal". The GRZ route in this direction keeps close to the water for a little more than 2 km, after which it begins an ascent that will lead to a viewpoint and rest area, where you can rest and observe the Bouçã dam. 

Next, after the initial climb, the GRZ stays on high ground for about 1 km, in an area dominated by eucalyptus and an intricate network of forest paths. The descent that follows, stretching for approximately 800 metres, crosses a watercourse and leads to a municipal road. Taking this route on the left, and again descending slightly, the route continues along the road to the Bouçã bridge, where this stretch ends.


all notes on protected areas


39.903879, -8.132427
39°54'14.0"N 8°07'56.7"W
29S 574160 4417449
Show on Map
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22.9 km
2:30 h
452 m
671 m
Highest point
369 m
Lowest point
136 m
Multi-stage route


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