Hidden Gems in Portugal…

hidden gems

1. The Loriga River Beach, a small hidden gem and paradise.

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“Loriga River Beach? Where is it? Is it worth a visit?” Yes, it is one of the many hidden gems in Portugal…

For many of us this name does not ring a bell, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. The Loriga River Beach, situated in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, is the only river beach in Portugal which is located in a glacial valley. The beauty of this place is outstanding. The landscape is simply lovely.

Looking at the pure and crystalline water in the river with its numerous waterfalls in the middle of the rocks is astonishing and sublime. But this vision of beauty is not used up with the waterfalls. In the distance, the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains, makes this place a magical and an almost utopian setting.

There is silence inside of me. How is it possible that I had never heard of this place before? This could be in Switzerland or New Zealand. But no, this is Loriga. This is Portugal.

2. The ecotrail in Sever do Vouga

hidden gems

The Ecotrail in Sever do Vouga begins at the Foz and ends in Fontelas. The trail passes through five tunnels and over a century-old bridge, the Ponte do Poço de Santiago, built between 1913 and 1917. This bridge is considered one of the symbols of the county and is about 28 metres high.

This 10 kilometre trail twists through a stunning scenery along the Vouga river and valley with its lovely gentle slopes. Whether on bike or on foot, it is undoubtedly a tour not to be missed.

3. The Cabreia waterfall

hidden gems

The Cabreia waterfall is located in the namesake mount Cabreia, in the parish of Silva Escura, in Sever do Vouga. In the midst of nature and silence, this 25 meter high cascade is one of the main attractions of the region and one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal. The picnic area has an appealing and romantic atmosphere, it is lovely to sit and listen to the sounds of the river and wind. From there a few small and circular trails start, inviting the visitor to a bucolic and graceful walk in the woods.

4. The Cromlech of Almendres

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The cromlech of Almendres is situated about 12 km away from the Évora. It is a prehistoric monument that comprises one hundred standing stones of various shapes and sizes, distributed in an ellipsoidal shape.A study carried out in the 70s allowed to confirm that the installation of the monument occurred in the Neolithic period, somewhere between the 6th and 5th millennia BC, being contemporary to the megalithic culture which had a strong expression in Alentejo.Unlike dolmens, whose funerary purpose has been long established, there is still an active debate about the meaning of these great megalithic precincts, despite general recognition of its symbolic and sacred nature. Its location seems to confirm an intentional relationship with the cyclical movements of the sun and the moon. Chances are they face a once holy place, where communities gathered to celebrate the great cycles of nature.
Photos © Rui Daniel da Silva

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