Covão do Conchos
You probably never heard about Covão dos Conchos. In fact this “monument” was a secret that remained unknown until three Portuguese presented it to the world. They challenge themselves to do the 2-hour walk from Serra da Estrela, 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.
If you see Covão dos Conchos it sure seems like a nature masterpiece. Although, the tunnel was built back in 1955. It’s actually part of a hydro-electric dam system that was built in 1955. The 1500 meter long hole simply funnels water from the lake to the Lagoa Comprida dam at Flores Island.
But with adornments of moss and foliage around the entry to the watery tunnel, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a natural, if slightly otherworldly, attraction.
In the middle of the lake is an opening of 4.6 meters with a circumference of 48 meters through which water free falls into a dam.
Although its remote location means it’s gone unnoticed by many most to Portugal, the Covao do Conchos has become a must-see pit stop for adventurous hikers traversing the Serra de Estrela mountain range.
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 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
Winter weather can be particularly testing as the area becomes blanketed in snow and ice.