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
Bem-Me-Quer
Bem-Me-Quer
Martim Branco
restaurants
Casa da Ti Augusta
Casa da Ti Augusta
Figueira
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Adega dos Apalaches
Adega dos Apalaches
Roqueiro
restaurants
Fiado
Fiado
Janeiro de Cima
restaurants
Ponte Velha
Ponte Velha
Sertã
restaurants
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Gondramaz, Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
restaurants
Fugas Restaurant
Fugas Restaurant
lodging
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casal Novo, Arganil
lodging
Mountain Whisper
Mountain Whisper
Gondramaz
lodging
Casa Lausus
Casa Lausus
Talasnal
lodging
Casa Cova do Barro
Casa Cova do Barro
Janeiro de Cima
lodging
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
Fontaínha 3260-328 Figueiró dos vinhos
lodging
Aldeia Oliveiras
Aldeia Oliveiras
Proença-a-Nova
lodging
Casas de Água Formosa
Casas de Água Formosa
Vila de Rei
lodging
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Caldas de São Paulo
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Tábua (P2 - Blue)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Tábua (P2 - Blue)
offer
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Sarzedas (P23 - Blue)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Sarzedas (P23 - Blue)
offer
Aventura Épica XL
Aventura Épica XL
heritage
Church of São Bartolomeu
Church of São Bartolomeu
heritage
Roman Villa of Rabaçal
Roman Villa of Rabaçal
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
heritage
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Açor Mountain - Coja (P31 - Green)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Açor Mountain - Coja (P31 - Green)
village
Sobral de São Miguel
Sobral de São Miguel
village
Figueira
Figueira
village
Ferraria de São João
Ferraria de São João

next events

event
Exposição de Fotografia: "A Ver Figueiró dos Vinhos" 2022
Exposição de Fotografia: "A Ver Figueiró dos Vinhos" 2022
19 nov 2022 - 08 jan 2023, 11:00
event
Um Dia de Xisto (Schist Day)
Um Dia de Xisto (Schist Day)
25 nov 2022 - 02 dec 2022, 10:45
Casal Novo, Chiqueiro, Talasnal
event
National Soapbox Racing Championship 2022 - Aldeias do Xisto Circuit
National Soapbox Racing Championship 2022 - Aldeias do Xisto Circuit
27 nov 2022 - 11 dec 2022, 13:00
Miranda do Corvo
event
3rd Aldeias do Xisto Soapbox Racing Circuit Race 2022 – Figueira
3rd Aldeias do Xisto Soapbox Racing Circuit Race 2022 – Figueira
27 nov 2022, 13:00
Figueira
event
Natal no Candal
Natal no Candal
01 dec 2022 - 08 jan 2023, 10:00
Candal
event
Moonlight Talasnal
Moonlight Talasnal
09 dec 2022, 20:00
Talasnal
event
4th Aldeias do Xisto Soapbox Racing Circuit Race 2022 - Pedrógão Pequeno
4th Aldeias do Xisto Soapbox Racing Circuit Race 2022 - Pedrógão Pequeno
11 dec 2022, 09:00
Pedrógão Pequeno
event
Zebro Climb
Zebro Climb
17 dec 2022, 10:00
Estreito
event
Aldeias do Xisto Geotour 2023
Aldeias do Xisto Geotour 2023
24 feb 2023 - 26 feb 2023, 09:00
Fundão