Maybe this is the most beautiful part of Serra da Estrela, a U-shaped glacial valley. It is 13 km long and one of the largest in Europe.
The Zêzere Glacier Valley is a gift from Nature and, at the same time, an open-air lesson about the vestiges of the last glaciation season, thousands of years ago.
In its "U" shape, it has unparalleled geological beauties, such as the granitic rocks of the Cântaros, Magro, Gordo and Raso (1,928 meters above sea level) and biogenetic reserves of high natural and landscape value.
At the foot of Cantaro Magro (1420 meters above sea level), one of the gems of the Valley, Covão D’Ametade, was an old glacier lagoon and is wonderful.
At the bottom of the valley runs the Zêzere River. There are green pastures that feed herds with hundreds of sheep and goats. Also visible are some typical constructions of the mountain range (stone houses with straw roofs), called "cortes", which give shelter to the shepherds.
I started this route in Teixoso, went to Sarzedo where a wonderful descent begins to the village of Verdelhas, where for the first time we find the River Zêzere, a river with clean, transparent and crystalline water.
In Verdelhos it‘s important to stop for a few minutes to see the small church and the bell tower built hundreds of years ago with stones from the region.
Completed this first phase of the route, I cycled about 20 km towards Manteigas on an almost always flat road. In the middle of these paths I stopped at Vale da Amoreira where I took the opportunity to swim in a river beach.
And it is here, Manteigas, that the wonderful climb from Vale do Zêzere begins to Piornos with a mandatory passage in Covão D’Ametade.
After the Piornos, you’ll find Penhas da Saúde where there are several restaurants and places to sleep.
More tours in Serra da Estrela: