Covão dos Conchos
Covão dos Conchos
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles53 reviews
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2225239
Europe138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
A nice hike, not easy as it seems but also not too demanding. Mostly flat, but rocky and swampy, with some natural obstacles (ice, melting ice, rocks, ponds..) We went in January and there were many ponds along the path, some of which not easy to cross or go around. If going in winter a pair of waterproof shoes is a must! The hole itself is interesting to see, I’ve never seen sth similar before.
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Craig M
Porto, Portugal3,054 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Solo
It might sound unusual that someone would hike for an hour to see a drain-pipe. But perhaps, after you have seen photos of this particular feat of engineering, you will want to visit it yourself. That was the reaction that I had after seeing images online. Whilst it may just be a large funnel-shaped drain, it is surprisingly beautiful and is certainly unusual. It gives the impression of a mystical portal to the centre of the Earth.

Covão dos Conchos is a small lagoon located in the Serra da Estrela mountain range. In 1955, in order to drain water from this lagoon to the larger Lagoa Comprida (a dammed reservoir), a 1519 meter tunnel was constructed. In one corner of Covão dos Conchos, this tunnel has a funnel-shaped opening. When the water levels rise above the lip of this funnel, the water drains through the tunnel to Lagoa Comprida. The tunnel has a longer sister, that runs 2354 meters between Lagoa Comprida and Covão dos Meio, but I haven’t been able to find any reference to a similar funnel-drain for that one.

Those wishing to visit Covão dos Conchos will need to hike from the car-park next to Lagoa Comprida. It is an easy route, the majority of which is on a dirt road the width of a car. Whilst the road could be ridden with a dirt-bike, there are a couple of very rocky stretches.

The dirt road starts from the left of the shop and bar, when facing them from the car-park. The trail is 2.8 miles long (4.5km) with elevation changes from 5,225 to 5,577 feet (1,592 to 1,700 meters). There are no sign-posts along the road, so just stay on the main path. There is a Y-junction along the way – stay left on the rocky footpath and you’ll be fine. It took me about one hour to get to Covão dos Conchos, stopping along the way to take photos. The return leg only took me 45 minutes. But I do walk fast! I’ve seen other reports suggesting that the hike can take between 75 – 90 minutes for those who don’t walk so fast.

The hike to Covão dos Conchos is very pleasant. During the first segment, there are occasional views of Lagoa Comprida and then open areas of rocky habitat with lots of heather and gorse plants. Whilst there are some inclines and declines, they are not very strenuous, so the route is suitable for most levels of walkers and even children. Mostly it is dirt road with a few rocky sections to deal with.

Covão dos Conchos is at the end of the 2.8 miles track, but the star attraction is not immediately visible. In order to see the drain, you need to walk half-way around the lake, counter-clockwise. There is a meter-wide walkway on top of a concrete dam. After walking across that dam, and over some large boulders, there is a much narrower concrete dam. You can either ‘tightrope walk’ across the narrow dam or you can take the easier dirt path to the opposite end of it. From there, walk up and over more boulders and the drain will come into view. And it’s a beautiful sight!

After you have walked back along the trail, don’t forget to stop in at the little shop next to the car-park. They have some nice regional produce for sale, including locally produced chourico, the strongly flavoured Estrela sheeps cheese and a rather nice blueberry liqueur, as well as honey and other items.

Lagoa Comprida is about 181km from Porto, which equates to a 2.5 hour drive. The A1 and A25 motorways will allow you to quickly cover a large chunk of the journey. After that, pick up the N231 towards Seia. From Seia, the N339 will take you through Sabugueiro and up the mountain. You’ll pass Covão do Curral on your right and then, a bit further up the mountain, you’ll see the Lagoa Comprida Dam on your left. You’ll have to pay tolls on the motorways (including electronic-only tolls on the A25) but it is the quickest way to get there. Once you are on the N-roads, the driving becomes more enjoyable.
Written August 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark M
Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Ignore all other posts regarding distance. From the Capark at Lagao Comprida, it's a 4.7km walk to Cavao Dos Conchos, i.e. 9.4km round trip. Easy walk no need for serious hiking boots, I did it in running shoes (trainers for US folks).To start go to the left of the small cafe/bar/shop next to the dam and follow the dirt road to the left and behind the shop. The road continues to Cavao Dos Conchos.
You'll know you're on the right path when you come to a private house overlooking the lake after roughly 1km. Note at the Covao Dos Conchos don't panic if you can't see the drain at first, you need to cross both dams and walk another 25m to the left then it miraculously appears :)
Written June 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeaKromand
Hillerod, Denmark76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
Seeing this is worth the 6-8 km hike. We parked at Lagoa Comprida, which is also worth the trip outhere. And we followed the trail from there.
Bring good hiking shoes and be prepared for warm weather in the summer (bring water).
This hole in the lake is somehow magical and mystical.
The hole was built in 1955 and it’s purpose is to transfer water from one lake to another.
It is an odd sight and the hike there and back is beautiful as well. You will se lots of butterflies, lizards, frogs, grasshoppers and many different insects.
We worried how difficult the route would be, with us not being experienced hikers, but we found the route to be pretty easy.
You will not regret seeing this!
Written August 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sonogirl1968
Cordoba, Spain55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Covao Dos Conchos is well worth the 2 1/2 hour round trip. An amazing feat of engineering in 1955. We enjoyed the scenery, and it was so nice to get away from all the tourist. Follow Craig’s instructions from post 22nd Aug 2018 and easy as. Look out for the little frogs in the lake.
Written June 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fairtrav
Singapore, Singapore229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
There is no indication whatsoever of the path to Covao dos Conchos when you get to Lagoa Comprida but if you stand facing the front of the local speciality shop, go left and follow the dirt road up. You will most probably see fellow hikers on the same path.

I agree with the another reviewer’s assessment of the distance to hike. It is closer to 5 km (to and fro) and takes just under 3 hours to do the return trip, taking into consideration a short rest at the spillway site and photo-taking along the scenic path.

It’s also not an ‘easy’ hike as a few others have said because certain stretches of the path are really ‘rocky’ with loose rocks that are liable to move when you step on them. We had to navigate these stretches carefully and even then, slid a few times on the loose rocks. We were wearing good walking shoes. As such, I would classify the hike as ‘intermediate’ and suggest that anyone with knee problems bring hiking poles for added support and stability. Bring a hat as well if you are going during summer because there is very little shade along the 4+ km path. For those with kids, please bear in mind that it is a demanding hike, even for adults who are fit. The path climbs and dips in many places. I saw parents having to carry their kids on their shoulders on the way back because they were too tired to walk. These were kids of 8-9 years of age.

The Covao dos Conchos is a body of water on the left at the end of the hike. Just before reaching the dam wall, we were able to make out part of the bell mouth spillway in the distance. It was partially hidden by boulders. We crossed the first dam wall and as the second wall looked too risky to cross, we went instead to the right where there was undergrowth. There was a rough path there, snaking to the left. Some clambering over boulders was necessary. After a few metres, there was the spillway - and it was as dramatic as it was beautiful! Like something out of a science fiction movie. Well worth all the huffing and puffing to get there. We knew in advance that it would not have water cascading into it but the sight was still dramatic!

Definitely a must-see, this feat of 1955 engineering!

Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

janice l
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Solo
It was a nice somewhat easy 5km hike to the lake with some nice scenes along the way. Unless you are going during a very wet season you will probably not see any water going down the hole but a I think the trip is still worth it. If you are staying at the pretty town of Manteigas, the road trip to the lake hole is also worth the trip.
Written October 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TVE
London, UK6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
After a hike from around 5km you can see this amazing wonder ... we had a dip in the water, freaking cold but worth it.... it's a must do when in the area ...
Written September 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

john
Montreal, Canada25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
please dont miss this place, portugal has so many gorgeous places and this is one of them, the ilusion on the waterfal is amazing
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana
Leiria, Portugal55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Walking difficult level, due to the large rocks, stones a part of the path that does not facilitate walking. Beautiful, unique landscapes, beautiful lagoons, landscapes and images that can only be ⁇ on a walk.
I strongly advise to bring a hat, sunscreen 50+ water, food, snack, good mountain shoes due to the route full of stones!
9.50km back and forth, 1h30 for it, but to have an idea is not anyone who does that walk if you have not prepared!
Automatically translated
Written June 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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