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Unveiling the secret of Covão dos Conchos

You probably never heard about Portugal's Covão dos Conchos. In fact, until the beginning of the year, this “monument” was a secret that remained unknown until three Portuguese presented it to the world. They challenge themselves to do the 2-hour hike in the Serra da Estrela mountains, carrying  all the necessary equipment, and film this “mystery”. The video about the strange case of Covão dos Conchos went viral and this difficult access area is now part of the Portuguese landscape treasures.



© ProBilder


Unveiling the mystery beyond Covão dos Conchos

If you see Covão dos Conchos it sure seems like a nature masterpiece. Although, the tunnel was built back in 1955 to ensure the water diversion from Ribeira das Naves to Lagoa Comprida. The 1,519 meters long hole creates the illusion that the dam is broken, similar to a portal to the center of the earth. Recently another video was made – using a drone – where it is possible to see the channel more closely.



© Portugal visto do Ceu


If you are planning to visit this “secret” in Serra da Estrela the blog “Viagens à Solta” offers some recommendations:

  • To bring walking shoes, preferably waterproof, some "snacks" and water;
  • To wear appropriate clothing for the cold. Ideally dressing three layers (thermal underwear, then a polar and finally a waterproof warm jacket), gloves, hat and a headband or scarf;
  • To avoid stepping on the ice, as it is very slippery.

image from

© Viagens à Solta


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Jill Yael Weiner

So is this in Portugal?

F de Almeida

Yes, in the mountains of the Serra de Estrela, Centro.


So cool!


This is magnificent...!! The natural world is marvelous.....!! Thank you for sharing this rare treasure..!!

Julia Nicholson

I went last week. In summer you need a hat and sun block - a drink and a sandwich are advisable.... but not 3 layers. Would NOT recommend visiting in winter. The path is very varied - river rocks in places with flowing water! Muddy and normal track as well. The going is not level so there are a few hills. It only took me 1 hour 15 minutes to walk back and that was with my 11 year old son. We took longer to get there as we enjoyed taking photos (you must stand still when you take them or you could miss your footing on the path).

The last part of the journey to the 'hole' is quite difficult as you have to either walk along the damn wall 30cm wide or climb down 1.5-2 m below (not wet) and walk through scrub bushes. Then you walk over rocks and through more bushes before you get there. The Frog chorus is fantastic. Amazing wilderness. When away from the lakes the 'silence' is all consuming!

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Oh my god. Yes, this man made natural resource is marvelous. Do people even read before commenting. Worst video ever. 3mins plus and it shows the actual interest point for two seconds at the end.

Moti Bar-Tal

Is it possible to get there with a car?

Portugal Adventures

You have to hike 6 miles round trip from the road - about 2.3 hours.


So where does the water come out? After it has been through a subterranean turbine?


Where do we start the hiking? And is it easy to find? :) I so want to see this!!


This isnt natural, it's a man-made dam that is part of a hydroelectric even looks man-made. To the person who said "the natural world is so marvelous"..: true! but sadly not in this case, at least not in the case of the spillway dam.

Afonso de Albuquerque

Winter is probably the best time to do this walk that begins in the largest lagoon of the Serra da Estrela and ending one of the most amazing.
Information Rail

Difficulty: Low
Category: Linear
Home: Long Pond (once in the pond parking, if you are facing the souvenir shops, you must follow the left of them, where there is a dirt road)
End: Covão of the Conchos
Length: 10 km (round trip)
Average time: 2:30 a.m. (roundtrip)

We started our walk along the Lagoa Comprida, the largest mountainous lakes. The sky is clear and the sun shines. The car thermometer, however, 5 ° C mark, or is freezing cold, demonized by a cold wind. Just leave uncovered the eye area and there we go.

The path follows the left side of the pond at this time of year is unusually full, with ripples pushed by the wind. Always followed by a dirt road, with some areas of loose stones. The vegetation is creeping and find themselves large granitic boulders, some in precarious balance. almost-fluorescent lichens make them even more beautiful.


How far is Conches Dam from Lisbon? Can I make one day trip, since I'm in Lisbon, right now?

Jayme Simoes

It is 3 hours by car, 4 by rail


I wonder what is in the inside of that falls, it seems like a portal to another world, looks amazing

Port Adventures

It is a drain, built in the 50s.

Ashley B

Wow this is so magical, what a beautiful natural wonder!!! Magical portal to another world I bet! Where magical unicorns fly around and reading isn't fundamental....


I have one of these in my pond...... Though I never considered it a natural wonder since all it is is a drainage pipe.


what would happen if you fell in ??? would you survive. just feel like sliding down it x


Put a water proof camara down there

May Tan

It is a man- made wonder that totally look natural! Thanks for sharing this beautiful sercret in Portugal! Definitely will find time to visit this place. It will be in my bucket list.


Agreed, this is beautiful! This is where magical fairies are born! I'd like to take a hike here on my unicorn and see this natural wonder of the Earth. Very breathtaking!


Do you have to pre schedule a guide to take you on this hike? How much is the helicopter ride?


Are there tours that take us there ?

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