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.

explore

restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
restaurants
Ponte Velha
Ponte Velha
Sertã
restaurants
Adega dos Apalaches
Adega dos Apalaches
Roqueiro
restaurants
Fiado
Fiado
Janeiro de Cima
restaurants
Casa da Ti Augusta
Casa da Ti Augusta
Figueira
restaurants
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Gondramaz, Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Bem-Me-Quer
Bem-Me-Quer
Martim Branco
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Fugas Restaurant
Fugas Restaurant
alojamento
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casal Novo, Arganil
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
lodging
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Mountain Whisper
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lodging
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Casas de Água Formosa
Vila de Rei
lodging
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Aldeia Oliveiras
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lodging
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
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lodging
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Casa Lausus
Talasnal
alojamento
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Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
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lodging
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Casa Cova do Barro
Janeiro de Cima
offer
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
heritage
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Ferraria de São João
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The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
heritage
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Roman Villa of Rabaçal
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
offer
Aventura Épica XL
Aventura Épica XL
tour
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
village
Sobral de São Miguel
Sobral de São Miguel
heritage
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
village
Figueira
Figueira

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