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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 testimonies.
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.

Pedestrian Rout:
- Duration: 4h50m
- Distance: 13kms
Automobile Rout:
- 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.

Pedestrian Rout:
- Duration: 3h30m
- Distance: 9kms
Automobile Rout:
- 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 1000mts.
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 lagoon.

Pedestrian Rout:
- 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 previous (1000mts).
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.

Pedestrian Rout:
- Duration: 5h45m
- Distance: 20kms


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