Inserradaestrela(Glacial Valleys Route)
Glacial Valleys Route
Unique in Portugal, the Serra da Estrela Glacial Valleys are
nowadays the showcase of the way how the glacial era left the better
This rout allow us to see the original place of the glacier (the
mountain copula), drew valleys by the various spits of ice and the
deposits left by this moving ice bulk.
Zêzêre Glacial Valley
It’s the Serra da Estrela glacier with the greatest dimension,
reaching 13km’s of extension.
The place where the glacier goes beyond the actual Manteigas village,
can be easily observed, getting dissolved at 680mts of altitude.
To go through the greatest glacial valley of Europe there are two
possibilities: going through it in its totality by its paths and
take the chance to enjoy the magnitude from the trajectory or simply
do the path by automobile, this is most comfortable and the most
viable to people with less time available.
To make the pedestrian rout you should accompanied yourself with a
tourist map from the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela.
- Duration: 5h05m
- Distance: 15kms
Alforfa Glacial Valley
Situated in the opposite direction of Manteiga´s Valley, this one
was originated by a glacier that reached the 5.5kms of length and
that dissolved itself at 800mts of altitude, the greater solar
exposure regarding the opposite valley justifies the altitude
difference in the top of the glacier (120mts). However, this is the
valley where we can better observe the terraces of proglacier
accumulation, disordered accumulations of rocks and blocks of great
dimensions located in front of the ancient glacier spits.
The most important deposits are downstream of the Vale da Estrela
and Vale da Alforfa, in the junction of Ribeira das Cortes.
- Duration: 4h50m
- Distance: 13kms
- Duration: 50m
- Distance: 13kms
Loriga Glacial Valley
Situated in the west side, the Loriga valley almost got the place of
the actual village. Beginning at 1750mts of altitude, near the
Planalto da Torre, it has a series of four pits that go abruptly
down with an extension of 7kms.
In the Glacier era, the ice went till an altitude of 800mts that,
afterwards, removed all the vegetation, leaving the granite surface
exposed to fractures, which still happens today.
The Loriga creek it’s the water line inherited from this glacier,
giving us a magnificent scenario from Serra da Estrela.
- Duration: 3h30m
- Distance: 9kms
- Duration: 2h30m
- Distance: 9kms (3 by road, 5 by pedestrian path)
Covão Grande Glacial Valley
Situated in the northwest side, so it has the greatest snow falls,
the Covão Grande glacier extended at 5.5kms till Lapa dos Dinheiros
and had an ice thickness of, at least, 150mts, dissolving itself at
Its elevated position was submitted to intensive and prolonged
glacial erosion, over digging the valley base. However, the most
spectacular forms to be seen are the moronic accumulations of Nave
Travessa, actually covered by vegetation, accumulations of erratic
blocks situated in the shores of Lagoa Comprida, an old glacial
- Duration: 5h30m
- Distance: 17kms
Automobile Rout (till Lagoa Comprida, where the rout must be
completed by foot)
- Duration: 3h20m
- Distance: 18kms (11 by road, 7 by pedestrian path)
Covão do Urso Glacial Valley
Also situated in the northwest side, the Covão do Urso had its
origins in Planalto da Torre, in the Conchos place and went till the
place of the actual Sabugueiro village. It had 6.5k ms of extension
but it dissolved itself at an altitude equal or superior to the
Abrupt declivity ruptures, observed at Lagoacho downstream and
successive abrupts, observed in Nave Descida seemed to form the
ideal scenario to the biggest lateral moray of Serra da Estrela,
correspondent to the phase of the greater glacial extensions,
prolonging itself 3kms in the middle of vegetation that, sometimes,
has an arboreal look.
- Duration: 5h45m
- Distance: 20kms