7 waterfalls, typical villages and enchanted forests to discover in Serra do Açor

In recent years, Serra do Açor has gained more and more prominence among tourists who seek genuine and authentic places to spend the holidays. And it is not by chance: there are several successful villages that live in these mountains, interspersed with centuries-old forests that hide waterfalls and quase secret lakes.

Therefore, this is a destination that is sure to attract the most demanding tourists, especially those who appreciate a few days of peace and calm in communion with nature and with the oldest traditions of Portugal. And as it could not fail to be, another two great highlights of Serra do Açor is its delicious gastronomy, which does not leave anyone indifferent.

The region still has several trails and well-signposted pedestrian paths that allow you to get to know all the little secrets of these mountains better. Here are some of the most stunning places to discover in Serra do Açor.

1. Foz d´Egua

Foz d’Egua

Little more cheia of charm. Assimé Foz d´Égua. It belongs to the municipality of Arganil and is near Piódão, so a visit to both is recommended. Foz d’Égua enters the mouths of the world thanks to the restoration works of a local inhabitant. Some of his houses were meticulously restored and preserved in their essence. Or best of all? You are available for accommodation.

The dazzling scenery is made up of a small river beach resulting from the conjugation of 2 riverbanks, crossed by 2 small pontos de xisto and with another suspended a little higher.

2. Fraga da Pena

Fraga da Pena
Fraga da Pena

This idyllic waterfall, where the water opens space between the vegetation, rising from a height of more than 20 meters, is located in the protected area of ​​Serra do Açor, in the heart of Mata da Margaraça.

The place is untouched, being a good place to marvel at the local flora and fauna. We cannot fail to highlight some ancient specimens of trees on its margins.

3. Sobral de Sao Miguel

Sobral of Sao Miguel
Sobral of Sao Miguel

to village of Sobral of Sao Miguel It is seen by the inhabitants as the “coração do xisto”, because they have two major national agglomerates of buildings in this material. Despite the houses being the ex-libris of the village, there is much to see, from its three bridges (the most emblematic of which is the Ponte do Caratão, where it passed Rota do Sal) to the Casa-Museu João dos Santos, where You can see pieces referring to the old daily life of the village.

Not that it says respect to the religious patrimony, do not stop visiting Igreja Matriz, with its sineira tower erected in 1937, the chapel in homage to Santa Bárbara, ordered to be erected by mineiros in 1938.

4. Piõdão

piodao
piodao

Few villages are as charismatic as piodao. And few can be mistaken for having such a special beauty that manages to attract visitors to the most remote location of the mountains. Many kilometers of curves along a mountain road lead us to this village of success, where everything seems to have stopped in time and where the houses and roads remain intact and show us what life was like in these places many years ago.

Piódão, also known as a “precious village”, is located in the heart of the Serra do Açor, in Arganil, and presents visitors at their disposal in the amphitheatre, where the traditional houses of success stand out, descending on the socalco, their chests covered with lajes e portas e janelas painted blue. The houses occupy narrow, wild and tortuous streets, an irregular arrangement typical of medieval towns.

5. Mata da Margaraca

Mata da Margaraça
Mata da Margaraça

In the Serra do Açor Protected Area, in the heart of Mata da Margaraça, you can find this idyllic waterfall, where the water opens up space between the rock and the vegetation, to rise from a height of more than 20 meters.

The place remains untouched, but it is a good place to marvel at the local flora and fauna. Highlights for some ancient examples, nas margins, of carvalho-alvarinho, of castanheiro, of medronheiro and of trovisco.

6. Fajao

Fajao
Fajao

Located in the picturesque Serra do Açor, on the headwaters of the Ceira River, and embedded between quartzite penedos, we find Fajao, one of the Aldeias do Xisto and an authentic viveiro of culture in the interior of Portugal. The typical houses feitas em xisto, with wooden doors and lousa roofs are the great attraction of the village.

Fajão may be a small picturesque town in Pampilhosa da Serra, but it has its own museum, where you can see some woodcuts, watercolors and historical objects that belong to the village, such as its first public telephone. The looting of this museum is a living proof of love for two of its inhabitants on their land.

7. benfeite

benfeite
benfeite

In Serra do Açor, we find five Aldeias do Xisto: Benfeita, Aldeia das Dez, Vila Cova de Alva, Fajão and Sobral de São Miguel, encompassing the counties of Góis, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil. In this last municipality, between Côja and the Protected Landscape of Serra do Açor, we find benfeiteone of the “white villages” of the Rede das Aldeias do Xisto.

Here you will find an agglomeration of casarios de xisto, plastered and painted white (day or name “white village”), perfectly integrated into the mountainous landscape that surrounds Benfeita. Strolling along its streets, with its benches and wheels, is a delight for the senses and it is possible to feel the whole soul of the village in every little detail.