MTB Transalp recommended route Stage 9

The Tagus Route [GRZ - MTB Sector 9]

MTB Transalp · Portugal
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  • The Tagus Route - Live Science Centre of Constância > Constância - GRZ: Stage 8
    The Tagus Route - Live Science Centre of Constância > Constância - GRZ: Stage 8
    Photo: Diogo Martins, Aldeias do Xisto
The Tagus Route is the 9th and final sector in the Multistage Route of Zêzere. 
Distance 50.2 km
4:50 h
933 m
1,078 m
296 m
20 m
Spanning 54.7 km, this stage goes from Penedo Furado, in Vila de Rei, to Constância, passing through Matagosa, Fontes, the Souto rest area, the Cabeça Gorda rest area, Aldeia do Mato, Martinchel and the Live Science Centre in Constância. 

Author’s recommendation

Visit the Aldeia do Xisto of Água Formosa. Observe the flora and birdlife that inhabit this region. 

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

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Aldeias do Xisto
Update: March 14, 2022
Highest point
296 m
Lowest point
20 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Penedo Furado River Beach
Penedo Furado Walkways
Fontes viewpoint
Ciência Viva Center of Constância

Safety information

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.


Contact information

SOS Emergency: 112

SOS Forest: 117

Vila de Rei Municipal Council: (+351) 274 890 010 |  

Tips and hints

Penedo Furado is the most sought after resort in the municipality of Vila de Rei. At its highest point, there is a giant rock outcrop with an enormous tapered opening, after which the beach is named, where the Penedo Furado Viewpoint is located. From there, the magnificent landscape of mountains and hills covered in pine can be admired, as can the Codes Stream, the Castelo do Bode Reservoir Dam and some outlying settlements. Below the Penedo Furado Viewpoint is the “Bicha Pintada”, a fossil that some scholars believe to be more than 480 million years old. The Fragas do Rabadão Viewpoint is also located nearby. This is the start point of a trail connecting with another trail from the previous viewpoint, reaching “Bicha Pintada”. There is also a connection with the Bufareiras Trail and with the straight “Conheiras Route” pedestrian route, connecting to the Aldeia do Xisto of Água Formosa. Nearby are several conheiras, heaps of rolled pebbles from open air alluvial gold mining by the Romans. 

At Matagosa, get ready to enjoy lush landscapes and the existing natural heritage. This is the sole access point to the Castelo do Bode Reservoir in this civil parish, through the floating dock installed for holidaymakers.


Near the Cristo Rei Viewpoint, formerly known as Pico do Castelo, vestiges of pottery were found, attesting to human occupation in the Chalcolithic and Bronze and late Roman or Visigoth periods. It is located precisely at the confluence of the municipalities of Abrantes, Vila de Rei and Sardoal on the left bank of the Codes Stream, a tributary of the Zêzere. Here it is possible to enjoy the lush landscapes and natural heritage, highlighting some specimens of the Portuguese oak, maritime pine, eucalyptus, gorse and heather. It is the only place in the parish with access to the Castelo de Bode lagoon through the floating dock installed for holidaymakers. Throughout the parish, it is possible to taste the bread and chickpea soup, the boca do forno cakes, Santos cornbread and leavened bread. In handicrafts, of note are the rag dolls, regional dolls, rodilhas, mats nest-egg flowers. 

Despite being a recent parish, there are records of human presence in Fontes dating back to the Chalcolithic period. It boasts a rich ecosystem resulting from the diverse existing vegetation (maritime pine, eucalyptus, arbutus, heather, olive trees and other tree species). Given the natural richness of the region, one of the most important economic activities is logging and cutting, transporting and selling timber, as well as agriculture and carpentry. The construction of the hydroelectric dam in Castelo do Bode (1951) flooded populated centres and arable land, which conditioned settlement and sustainability. On the other hand, it facilitated the enjoyment of the landscape and access to the Zêzere waters. 

Souto is a veritable natural paradise, surrounded by pine groves, with a rich ecosystem resulting from varied vegetation and the excellent conditions for the development of fish species. 

Cabeça Gorda Rest Area is located on the meandering River Zêzere and is close to Castelo de Bode Lagoon. It offers views over mountains and bodies of water of unparalleled beauty. There is pedestrian access to the lagoon here and the beach is an excellent place for recreation and leisure activities, with good potential for fishing. The local wildlife is an indisputably important ecological asset. You can find hare and wild rabbits, foxes, mongoose and wild boar. The non-migratory birds to be found here include the Red Partridge, the Jay, the Magpie, the Carrion Crow, the Great Cormorant, the Booted Eagle and the Common Buzzard, as well as other migratory birds. The area also has diverse flora, of note being the xerophites (gorse, heather, sunroses). 

Aldeia do Mato is on na elevation facing Zêzere. In the past, the main sources of income were olive oil and pine, but the construction of the Castelo de Bode Dam led to the disappearance of the most productive olive groves. Today, forestry is predominant. On some hiking trails you can enjoy the sight of the existing flora and the wide variety of birds characteristic of this region, of note being the rare red-necked nightjar and the white stork. Pedestrian access to the reservoir is through Carreira do Mato, Cabeça Gorda, Bairro Fundeiro, Aldeia do Mato and Vale Manso. There are swimmimg áreas in Cabeça Gorda and Bairro Fundeiro. 

The civil parish of Martinchel grew mainly due to the construction of the Castelo de Bode Dam. In the 19th century, during the French invasions, it is believed that the French commander Junot passed through this village heading to Lisbon. The remaining traditions include Epiphany singing, the pig slaughter and grape and olive harvest. In crafts, the Ovos Bordados [Embroidered Eggs] stand out; it consists of decorating previously emptied eggs. After covering them with wool or brightly coloured thread, which formed rhombuses and pompoms at the end, they were hung on cabinet handles, which served as a decorative feature on the walls of Martinchel houses. Food-wise, the dishes that stand out the most are the Ferradura cake and goat, lamb and freshwater fish dishes: shad soup, barbel stew, mullet in tiles and lamprey rice.


"Penedo Furado Lat.: 39° 37' 33.6"" NLong.: 8° 9' 43.344"" W " (165 m)
39.624978, -8.159342
39°37'29.9"N 8°09'33.6"W
29S 572149 4386472
Show on Map



Turn-by-turn directions

After leaving Penedo Furado, the GRZ goes along a stretch of the old national road 2, which will take you across a bridge over the Ribeira de Codes. A few hundred metres after this, the route turns right on to a forest path. The unique characteristics of the rocky massif make this woody place a veritable paradise. There is also a group of small waterfalls. 

From Matagosa to Fontes, the route is marked by exuberant landscapes. Start your journey along the road, with the dam to your right. As you move away from the water, you will reach the village of Água das Casas. There, enter a small levada, after which the route follows mostly along dirt roads and paths toward the village of Fontes. 

There’s a long descent here that will lead to the village of Sentieiras, then towards Atalaia, with magnificent views of valleys and the lagoon. Before Souto, the route goes into forest paths. 

After travelling 700 metres, the GRZ goes back on to paved roads and the same distance here will take you to Bioucas. After narrow passages between houses and garden walls, we leave this town. Through pine plantations, fruit trees, like fig trees and cherry trees, vineyards and cultivated fields, both on roads and forest paths, the route will pass through the villages of Castillo and Carreira do Mato, to access a Rest Area situated near Cabeça Gorda. 

After passing Cabeça Gorda and travelling 1,000 metres through pine plantations, fruit trees, fig trees and cherry trees, vineyards and cultivated fields you reach Bairro Cimeiro. From here, the GRZ follows the road. After passing through the neighbourhoods and travelling about 3 km along the arms of the Castelo de Bode lagoon, the village of Aldeia do Mato is reached. 

After passing 300 metres from the River Beach of Aldeia do Mato where an intermodal station is located, the route begins a climb on a large dirt road until you reach a high point on the right, onde again over the waters of the reservoir. The next descent leads to the Vale Manso inn. Joining the paved road, the path will after about 2 km, reach the village of Martinchel. 

2 km after leaving Martinchel the route crosses a road and enters an intricate network of paths characterized by “hopping” from village to village. After a long descent, the GRZ meets, onde again, the road which you will leave almost immediately to move away from thr river and begin a climb that will lead to Casal da Serra. The next 1.600 metres of this strecht will take the path to Ribeira do Carvalho. The final stretch of identical distance ascends, in an intricate network of forest paths, with an abundance of eucalyptus trees. 

The Multistage Route of Zêzere ends at the Live Science Centre, located about 5 km form Constância.


39.624978, -8.159342
39°37'29.9"N 8°09'33.6"W
29S 572149 4386472
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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50.2 km
4:50 h
933 m
1,078 m
Highest point
296 m
Lowest point
20 m
Multi-stage route


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