Glacier Route


Integrated in the network of green trails of the municipality of Manteigas, the Glacier Route, about 17 km long, accompanies a finalist of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal, the Zêzere Glacier Valley.

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Type: Linear
Start Coordinates W: In the Village: 7º32'22,79"W / 40º24'00,70"N In The Tower: 7º36'44.99"W / 40º19'20.04"N
Start alt
itude: In the Village: 755 m In the Tower: 1986 m
inimum altitude: 755 m
aximum altitude: 1989 m
ed direction: N/A
Difficulty: Medium
Length: 17.2 km
MTB: Yes (with limitations)
Transportation: Includes Transport of Butters

A finalist of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal, the Zêzere Glacier Valley makes itself go through its interior along the Glacier Route, exploring a path of singular beauty. The route follows the refreshing River Zêzere, between paintings that frame the blue of the sky and the green of the Valley.

Along the Glacier Route it is possible to contemplate the Zêzere Glacier Valley, one of the best examples of the modeling of the landscape by glaciers, in the form of "U". Although it is a glacial valley and therefore very open, the slopes are very steep, covered with granite balls and chaos of blocks, mainly at the base of the water lines.

The Glacier Route, comprised on the three altitudinal floors (basal, intermediate and upper), offers a broad perspective of the morphological characteristics of Manteigas and Serra da Estrela, marked by the different landscape typologies.

From a landscape point of view, the trail contains a set of natural and cultural values of invaluable interest. We highlight the numerous traces of glaciarica action and a natural vegetation with endemic species and others of rare distribution, traces that indicate the presence of man in the region since the most remote times, presence that is reflected in the strong humanization marked in the surrounding landscape, and in the traditional activities of grazing and mountain agriculture, adapted to the requirements of the territory of Serra da Estrela.

At the bottom of the Zêzere Glacier Valley you can see the green pastures, the flocks of sheep, the typical houses of the mountain – "cortes" and the Village of Manteigas perfectly embedded in the valley.

The Tower, located in the Upper Plateau of Serra da Estrela with biogenetic reserve status by the Council of Europe, in March 1993, it is a place of notoriety, being the highest point of Mainland Portugal (1,993 m), where D. João VI (1816 – 1826) had the tower erected, all in stone, to complete the 2,000 m altitude and where winter sports are practiced attracting visitors from various points in the country.
In this environment of wide horizon grows a low and thin shrub vegetation from which rocky elements emerge, emerging in depressions, lakes, lagoachos, peatlands and mountain meadows dominated by nardus stricta (Cervum). The Nave de Santo António or Argenteira, as it is also called, is a good example of this type of meadow.

The Covão d' Ametade, a depression of glacial origin, once a cervunal pasture, was wooded with winemakers along the banks of the River Zêzere, and its subsidiary water lines, to create shelter conditions for sheep herds. It is the encounter with a small terrestrial paradise where the micro-fauna and micro-flora of the Sierra reveal its formidable biodiversity.

The Glacier Route is very rich in emblematic elements of natural landscape, namely, Covão do Ferro, Cântaro Magro, Cântaro Gordo, Espinhaço do Cão (moreia), Poio do Judeu, Pedra do Equilíbrio, Covão Cimeiro, Barroca dos Teixos.

It is worth mentioning the Lady of Boa Estrela, in Covão do Boi, which is a work of art of a religious nature, a sculpture from the 40's, embedded in a rock of the butts of the Shallow Pitcher. From this location it is possible to observe the Fat, Lean and Shallow Pitchers, granite outcrops that reach, respectively, 1 875, 1 928 and 1 916 meters of altitude.

In the humanized landscape it is still to show the Shelter of the shepherds and the Fontanário, in nave de Santo António, the Fountain of Jonja, near covão d ́Ametade, the factory quarter, next to the old factory of snacks and the Church of St. Peter, already in the Village of Manteigas.

The Thermal Resort of Caldas de Manteigas is another reference element for its sulfurous waters, indicated in the treatment of various diseases, such as rheumatism, dermatoses, airways and muscoskeletal diseases.

The Glacier Route contains a fantastic biodiversity provided by floristic and faunistic species of singular beauty.

The existing fauna includes the company, the gloomy, the river guard, the mountain gecko, the collared water snake, water mole, black crow, trout, rainbow trout, boga, etc.

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4 people, 5 people, 6 people, 7 people


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