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Responsible Trails Criteria:
This route as the auditing in progress at this date.
Rest StopTrízio River Beach
Casa do Olival
Fernandaires River Beach
Moinhos da Ribeira
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.
SOS Emergency: 112
SOS Forest: 117
Tips, hints and links
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.
Geologically, the Figueiró dos Vinhos area consists of schist, greywacke and also some quartzites. However, iron and gold were also intensely mined on the Zêzere River for economic reasons, from at least the mid-17th century, especially in the area around the mouth of the Alge and in this area of Prudência, although there are traces of operations from Roman times in the conheiras (a place where rolled pebbles resulting from gold mining were piled up) found. One of the deposits that was mined to supply ore to the Foz de Alge factory was a Prudência Stream mine, located between Bairradas and Vale do Rio, with its history closely linked with the Foz de Alge Iron Foundry Factory, which at that time was one of the best in the country. From the Prudência Stream mines came iron to make cannons, naval artillery and military fortifications, nails for ships, rifle barrels, bayonets, rods, fasteners and sword blades, heating stoves (one of which is in the Convent of Mafra), agricultural tools.
The history of Foz de Alge is closely linked to the history of its forges, the river that gives it its name and the Zêzere River. On the banks of this small river, the Alge, you can find the most important evidence of the history of the industry in the country, the Foz de Alge Forges, which spanned three centuries of Portuguese history, operating from 1692 to 1834. Founded in 1692, the result of the industrial promotion policy of D. Pedro II, these forges used the latest technology in Europe, using the force of the Alge River as a driving force for the variety of equipment used. In 1761, the Marquis of Pombal ordered their closure, probably as a result of poor management and low yields. However, the 19th century brought new investment in iron manufacturing and, in 1802, orders were given to begin operation under the control of José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva. In this phase, there was Germanic technical influence. They operated until 1834 when the losses incurred by the state, low production, and bad operation led to their closure once again. In this region, the eagle-owl and the alder are the prime examples of fauna and flora. Among the many activities that can be practised here, traditional fishing prominently stands out. The traditional boats of the Zêzere River still endure, the three-board boats, still used in fishing and transportation between the banks.
Dornes is one of the best-preserved and most characteristic villages on the banks of the Zêzere with a history dating back to Roman times. It is superbly framed by the landscape provided by the river and surrounding the mountains, with cobbled streets and medieval layout, finishing at the river and the Nossa Senhora do Pranto Shrine, which is an important place of pilgrimage (Círios). Also of note are the houses in traditional architecture, where evidence of the Order of Christ can be found, helping to tell the story of the unique Medieval Templar Pentagonal Tower, a defensive watchtower on the Zêzere, admirable for its splendid location and mysticism and a veritable landmark of the region. In the surrounding area, there are restaurants where you can savour freshwater fish, terraces with views of the river and Rural Tourism and Residential accommodation. There is also a boatyard where the Abrangel boat is built.