Covão dos Conchos, the mysterious phenomenon in the heart of Portugal

Mysterious, unusual, amazing. These are some of the first adjectives that come to mind when we contemplate this curious hole with a diameter of 4.6 meters and a perimeter of 48 meters. The appearance of this large sink located in the sensational Serra da Estrela Natural Park makes our imagination fly. Is it a magical portal that leads to another time or place on the globe? Will it be a direct route to the center of the Earth? As if it were a mirage, the answer to the enigma is much simpler.

Halfway between Coimbra, in Portugal, and the town of Coria, in Extremadura, Spain, we find this unique spot. The richness of the area is worthy of admiration. We are in a mountainous environment with 25 lakes with crystal clear waters that faithfully reflect the natural heritage.

Even if it looks like a lie, the reality is that it is a spectacular work of engineering executed by man in 1955. With the aim of providing drinking water to nearby towns, it was decided to create this artificial lake and the aforementioned giant funnel made of cement and granite. This fact would help bridge the distance between Lake Serra da Estrela and Lake Comprida through a long underground tunnel of more than 1.5 kilometers.

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Credits: Daniel Alves

As our footsteps approach the lake, the noise grows louder. It is that kind of deafening noise that we associate with a waterfall, when a large amount of water falls from a considerable height. We will only be able to clearly visualize the gap from very specific points, so the sound is the best proof of its presence. Thanks to the help of a drone, the Portuguese Daniel Alves he got some really fantastic snapshots to be able to admire it in all its greatness.

The plants that grow on the edge and face of the drain give it a more natural air and fully integrate it into the environment. Its existence was very little known until 2016, when some photographs published on social networks turned it into a must visit place for hikers in Portuguese territory.

Those who love mountaineering will enjoy different options to explore this wonderful environment. For example, the Ruta de los Lagos is a circular itinerary of about 11 kilometers and of medium difficulty. The route is not properly marked so it is recommended check the weather conditions and inform yourself about the route before arrival and again at the starting point (Lake bought).

Our footprints will remain imprinted on the road that surrounds said lake, the Sierra de Estrella, Covao dos Conchos, Lake Redonda and Lake Seca. Live, breathe and enjoy this unique ecosystem. Are you ready to embark on this adventure and discover one of the Lusitanian gems?

“Nature always carries the colors of the spirit”, Ralph Waldo Emerson.