Abandoned PlacesRoad Trip

Drave: a magical and abandoned village with stone houses and lakes

Uninhabited for 10 years, Drave is a village belonging to the Geopark of Arouca, located-se numa cova between the serras da Freita, São Macário and da Arada. This typical village of the region, with lousin stone houses and shattered roofs, seems truly stopped in time. There is no car access, no electricity, no piped water, mobile network, gas, mail or telephone.

To get to the village, you have to walk a trail of about 4 kilometers starting in Regoufe. But it is a place that is worth visiting and where or time does not seem to pass, so absorbed that we are by the landscape and the charm of Drave.

A first reference to Drave goes back to the reign of D. Dinis, I don’t know. XIV. More hoje, here I can testemunhar how life was in the most remote regions of the country and see how your own eyes to desertification to which some regions are voted.


This place, at about 600 meters of altitude, is in the center of a montanhosa formation, or Monte Fuste, which divides the Douro and Vouga hydrographic basins, being delimited by the Arda, Sul, Vouga and Paiva rivers. The entire area rich in granite is here, bem visíveis na paisagem (in the houses).

The socalcos da encostas da aldeia are still used for agricultural purposes, since the land here is quite fertile, due to the rivers and shores that descend from this encosta. The rest of the landscape is covered by a vegetal mantle that draws us to attention and transmits a sense of peace and contact with nature.

The Drave River is born from the confluence of the Palhais River, the Ribeirinho River and the Bouça River River, having an extension of five kilometers, where there are two tributaries of the Paivó River. In this region, the settlements are quite scattered and are almost deserted. A village closer to Drave é Regoufe, from where it departs or trilho to reach the village. From the same parish, it is still part of Covelo do Paivó, which is about 10 kilometers from Drave.

Drave (Rui Videira)

If you want to visit Drave, you will have to start in Regoufe. We advise you to leave your car not long, before going down to this village. O trilho para Drave (PR14 Arouca) come de pois da ponte and it is not of great difficulty, but it takes about two hours, hair that will not need to be washed with water and a chapéu (like a small boat).

There is a fairly steep climb at the beginning of the trail, but, after reaching the top, you will have a wonderful view over Regoufe and the mountains. Following the path through a rocky road, you will begin to descend to Drave.

Here chegados, explore the village with its houses in ruins, a capella of Nossa Senhora da Saúde (covered with lime and ceramics), or solar (which is a house with a balcony and two floors, being or superior covered with lime) I tied the remains of an adega. In the lower zone of the povoação, you will find two large community farms.

Also try to absorb the landscape descending to the Palhais riverbank, taking advantage of the shade and the natural pools and waterfalls. I can take advantage to make a snack and rest a little before returning to Regoufe.


Drave tem ainda festa, in honor of Nossa Senhora da Saúde, every August 15. This festivity, there is the Eucharist, a procession and a community picnic. But this is not the only curiosity about Drave. Despite being uninhabited, the Martins family, one of the oldest and numerous (the last one to leave or place) meets here every two years.

Drave is also a meeting place for two escuteiros, since the Corpo Nacional de Escutas opened in 2003 a Base Nacional da IV/Drave Scout Center, a center for caminheiros (escuteiros between 18 and 22 years old). The center receives thousands of Portuguese and foreign truckers annually, who collaborate in the reconstruction and maintenance of this village.

Drave is truly a magical place where we can appreciate or better what we naturally have to offer, and where or time it seems to make no sense.

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