Xistopedia

Zêzere River

Zêzere River
villages and territory
Winding between the Aldeias do Xisto

The Zêzere River rises in the Serra da Estrela, at about 1900 m altitude, near Cântaro Magro, where the largest glacial valley in Europe begins (13 km). After going down the Serra da Estrela in an erratic course, the Zêzere, now more serene, passes through Belmonte and Covilhã. From here, and almost until it flows into the Tagus at Constânica, after a journey of about 248 Km, it is fed from both banks by the sea of mountains that frame the Aldeias do Xisto. After the Mondego, it is the second largest river in Portugal.

Near Cambas (Oleiros), between the villages of Janeiro de Cima and Álvaro, the Zêzere ceases to be a river and becomes a calm reservoir (Barragem do Cabril), where its waters rest before continuing their journey. It is on this stretch that we find the curves and counter-curves that the Meseta Meridional Naturtejo Geopark named “Meanderings of the Zêzere”.

If it didn’t run through such a deep and winding valley from here to Constância, it would be possible to see that all the reservoirs of the three dams (Cabril, Bouça and Castelo de Bode) form an immense artificial lake, spanning more than 5,800 hectares.

More than separating, the Zêzere is the common denominator of the identity of the six Aldeias do Xisto that are contained within its hydrographic basin.

Its importance in the context of the country’s hydrography, the diversity and quality of the habitats it creates and crosses and the heritage treasures found in its surroundings, justify the establishment of the Great Route that will soon bear its name.

WHICH APPEARED FIRST, THE RIVER OR THE TREE?

“... and the zenzereiro (Portuguese laurel), a tree the river named after it, because it is created only in it, large and crowned, with very green leaves in the shape of a laurel tree, the flowers of which are white, and which look like a bunch of grapes in blossom...”, Miguel Leitão de Andrade (1629). Today still, Portuguese laurel occurs in several places in the Zêzere hydrographic basin, some of them very close to its waters. Some specimens can be seen in the vicinity of the cemetery in Pedrógão Pequeno.

Miguel Leitão de Andrade, in 1629, when referring that the river “... being called Ozeraco, was now known as the Zênzere...” gives us a hypothesis for the evolution of the river’s name. But elsewhere in his work he indicates that it was the river that gave its name to the tree that was abundant on its banks and slopes. At least we have learnt that since the 17th century the name of the river evolved from Zênzere to Zêzere.

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restaurants
Fugas Restaurant
Fugas Restaurant
restaurants
As Beiras
As Beiras
Pampilhosa da Serra
restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
restaurants
Varanda do Casal
Varanda do Casal
Casal de São Simão
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Santo Amaro
Santo Amaro
Sertã
restaurants
Bem-Me-Quer
Bem-Me-Quer
Martim Branco
restaurants
João Brandão
João Brandão
Oliveira do Hospital
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
lodging
Casas do Sinhel
Casas do Sinhel
Relva da Mó
lodging
Casas do Favacal
Casas do Favacal
Favacal
lodging
Hotel Parque Serra Da Lousã
Hotel Parque Serra Da Lousã
Miranda do Corvo
lodging
Arganil Municipal Camping Park
Arganil Municipal Camping Park
Sarzedo
lodging
Casa da Moenda
Casa da Moenda
Benfeita
lodging
Aldeia Ruiva Campsite
Aldeia Ruiva Campsite
Aldeia Ruiva, Proença-a-Nova
lodging
Casas da Mina - Hostel
Casas da Mina - Hostel
Cabeço do Pião
tour
Panoramic Road: Barroca - Fajão
Panoramic Road: Barroca - Fajão
offer
Dia e Noite no Centro da Natureza
Dia e Noite no Centro da Natureza
offer
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
heritage
Chapel of São Sebastião
Chapel of São Sebastião
heritage
Religious tour in Pedrógão Pequeno
Religious tour in Pedrógão Pequeno
tour
PR1 PPS - Fajão Schist trails  – Climbing the cliffs
PR1 PPS - Fajão Schist trails – Climbing the cliffs
Casas do Rio
village
Benfeita
Benfeita
village
Comareira
Comareira
heritage
Igreja Matriz de Aldeia das Dez
Igreja Matriz de Aldeia das Dez
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
village
Martim Branco
Martim Branco
tour
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps