Discovering Portugal’s Enigmatic Waterhole: A Gateway to a Different Realm

If you’re seeking an adventure to a far-off land, why not consider a trip to the center of the Earth? Covão dos Conchos, located in Portugal’s Lagoa da Serra da Estrela, is a mystical waterhole that resembles something straight out of a science fiction film. However, don’t let your imagination run wild – the gaping hole isn’t actually a portal to another realm. Rather, its impressive appearance is due to human engineering.

Constructed in 1955 during the development of a nearby hydroelectric dam, Covão dos Conchos is an artificial lake. The spillway of the lake creates a vortex-like effect, collecting water from Ribeira das Naves and redirecting it to Bayou Lagoon Long to provide fresh water for surrounding communities.

Covão dos Conchos used to be a hidden gem, but it gained attention after some drone footage surfaced online. This impressive structure stands at a height of 4.6 metres and has an opening circumference of 48 metres. The water collection tunnel within it is an astonishing 1519 metres long.

The man-made spillway blends seamlessly with the environment as cascading waterfalls and moss adorn its opening. Its appearance gives off a natural vibe that perfectly complements the surrounding area.

Reaching Covão dos Conchos requires a trek through the scenic Serra da Estrela natural park, which boasts the tallest mountain range in Portugal. As it is situated far from any major cities, visiting this man-made marvel necessitates embarking on a hiking adventure.

Embark on an adventure with an 8.9-kilometre-hike that commences from the parking area at Lagoa Comprida. This scenic journey is a breeze to navigate and takes approximately two hours to complete. You can view the entire trail here. Remember to pack cozy footwear and clothing if you’re travelling during the winter season since the lake might freeze.

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