Best Things To Do in Pego River Beach, Penha Garcia (Portugal)

Cascata da praia fluvial do Pego
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2024-01-25

Pego River Beach, or Praia Fluvial do Pego, in the enchanting region of Beira Baixa in central Portugal, is a true gem for nature lovers and history enthusiasts.

Located in the parish of Penha Garcia, within the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, this river beach offers a captivating experience.

This idyllic spot is formed by the Ponsul River, a tributary of the Tagus River, cascading into a mesmerizing waterfall and flowing into a serene weir known as the Pego Dam.

Originally built for water storage, the dam has now become a popular summer destination for both swimmers and visitors.

The river’s waters have formed a beautiful lake, providing a perfect setting for diving and water play in a safe environment. Immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters while immersing yourself in the breathtaking natural surroundings.

However, Praia Fluvial do Pego is not just a haven for leisure and tranquility.

History enthusiasts will be captivated by the presence of Penha Garcia’s trace fossils, preserved imprints of prehistoric animals found within the rocks. This region also holds compelling evidence of the Ordovician Sea, offering visitors a glimpse into a distant era full of mysteries.

For those curious and passionate about natural history, we highly recommend exploring the Fossil Route.

This captivating trail unveils the geological and paleontological wonders of this unique region. Embarking on this journey is an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the grandeur of nature and its rich history.

If you seek a place that harmoniously combines natural beauty, rejuvenating water experiences, and an enthralling dive into history, do not hesitate to visit Pego River Beach and explore the Fossil Route.

Rest assured, your visit to Penha Garcia will leave you with unforgettable memories and a longing to return.

Discover the Natural Beauty of Pego River Beach in Penha Garcia

Praia fluvial do Pego
Praia fluvial do Pego (Pego river beach).

Our visit to Pego River Beach on a scorching summer day left us pleasantly surprised by the abundance of water.

While it’s common for waterfalls, rivers, and lagoons to have reduced flow during peak summer, the Pego pool was remarkably well-stocked.

However, it’s important to note that human intervention has noticeably altered the area. The lagoon’s bottom is now lined with stones and cement, and whimsical trilobite-shaped floaties add a playful touch that kids adore.

While these enhancements provide added comfort, such as benches and steps, I personally had anticipated a more untouched setting, especially considering its location within the Naturtejo Geopark.

The pool area is fully exposed to the sun, resulting in pleasantly warm water. However, walking barefoot can be challenging due to the uneven terrain, which may be a concern for families with children.

It’s worth mentioning that the water in the Pego river pool is untreated, allowing natural sediments to settle at the bottom. Occasional cloudiness may occur when the water is not refreshed, but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience at Penha Garcia’s river pool.

Furthermore, the pool boasts varying depths and appears to be relatively safe for children, as there are no strong currents and the bottom remains fairly level.

Surrounding the river beach, clusters of trees offer pockets of shade, creating ideal spots for picnics. As avid picnickers, we thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of these inviting areas.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pego River Beach and embrace the unique experience it offers. Despite the interventions and slight considerations, it remains a captivating destination within Penha Garcia

Easy Parking at Pego River Beach: How to Reach the Praia Fluvial do Pego

To access the breathtaking Pego River Beach, a short walk awaits you.

Rest assured, the path is clearly marked, ensuring a hassle-free journey. However, it’s important to note that shade is scarce along the way, so be prepared for sun exposure.

Upon arrival, you’ll find several parking areas conveniently located near the beach access points.

These designated spaces offer safety and protection for your vehicle. However, please be aware that availability is subject to the number of visitors.

To maximize your chances of securing a parking spot near the access points, we recommend arriving early at the river beach.

By doing so, you can relish a day of relaxation and fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders that this place has to offer, all in the utmost comfort.

Naturtejo Geopark (PR3 – Fossil Route): Discover the Fascinating Fossil Route in Penha Garcia

Rota dos Fósseis
Fossil Route in Penha Garcia, Portugal.

The Fossil Route is a route inserted in the Naturtejo Geopark and is part of the network of pedestrian routes in Idanha-A-Nova.

It is a circular trail that starts and ends at Largo do Chão da Igreja, in Penha Garcia.

With a length of 3 kilometers, this pedestrian trail is considered of easy difficulty.

Along the way, visitors have the opportunity to appreciate the impressive trace fossils of Penha Garcia, among other attractions.

Ichnofossils, also known as “painted snakes” due to their snake-like appearance, can be seen near the river beach of Pego.

In addition, the Fossil Route takes hikers past places of historical and cultural interest, such as the Pelourinho de Penha Garcia, the Mother Church (Igreja Matriz), the castle, the dam and the mills.

Although the route has some descents and ascents, it is not considered complicated to be done with children.

Where to Stay in Penha Garcia: Accommodation Options

Hotel Fonte Santa (Monfortinho).
Hotel Fonte Santa (Monfortinho).

Penha Garcia offers a range of places of interest that make it a desirable location for an extended visit. If you wish to stay close to the river pool, I highly recommend Casal da Serra.

This charming rustic house, hosted by friendly owners, exudes a unique charm. You may even be treated to a delightful musical performance by Mr. Pascoal, accompanied by his guitar.

For those seeking the amenities of a hotel, Hotel Estrela Da Idanha (4 stars) in Idanha-A-Nova is an excellent option. It offers a swimming pool and good value for money, although the surrounding beauty may be lacking in comparison.

Personally, I have a preference for Hotel Fonte Santa (4 stars) in Monfortinho, despite it being a 14-kilometer drive from Penha Garcia.

If none of these suggestions appeal to you, feel free to explore the map and follow the link below for more alternatives on where to stay in Penha Garcia.

Take your time to choose the perfect accommodation and enjoy your stay in Penha Garcia.

Hotels in Penha Garcia (Near Pego River Beach).

Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Pego River Beach

Praia fluvial do Pego
Pego River Beach (Praia fluvial do Pego).

When planning a visit to Pego River Beach, keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your experience:

  • Limited Space: Please note that the beach is relatively small and can reach its maximum capacity quickly, especially during peak times. Arriving early is recommended to secure a spot.
  • Sun Exposure: While there are some trees that provide shade, it’s important to be aware that the pool area is largely exposed to the sun. Remember to bring sun protection such as sunscreen, hats, and umbrellas to stay comfortable.
  • Watch Your Step: Be cautious of slippery rocks, particularly if you are visiting with children. Take extra care when navigating the rocks to ensure everyone’s safety.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can have a more enjoyable and safe experience at Pego River Beach.

Must-Visit Destinations near Penha Garcia

O que visitar em Monsanto
Monsanto Historic Village (Aldeia Histórica de Monsanto).

In addition to exploring Penha Garcia Castle and the Fossil Route, there are several nearby attractions worth visiting. Consider adding these destinations to your itinerary:

  • Historic Village of Monsanto (12 km): Experience the enchanting atmosphere of this historic village known for its unique blend of houses built amidst enormous boulders.
  • Historic Village of Idanha-A-Velha (22 km): Step back in time as you wander through the ancient streets of this village, where Roman and medieval remnants intertwine.
  • Penamacor (30 km): Discover the charming town of Penamacor, offering a rich historical heritage and picturesque landscapes.

Make the most of your time in Penha Garcia by exploring these captivating nearby destinations.

Getting to Pego River Beach: A Convenient Day-Trip from Porto and Lisbon

Located in the central region of Portugal, Pego River Beach is easily accessible for a memorable day-trip from both Porto and Lisbon. Here’s how to reach this beautiful destination:

From Lisbon: It takes approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes to reach Pego River Beach from Lisbon. Follow the A1 highway southbound until you reach the exit for A23 towards Abrantes. Continue on A23 and take the exit towards Idanha-a-Nova. From there, follow the signs to Penha Garcia, where Pego River Beach is located.

From Porto: The journey from Porto to Pego River Beach takes approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes. Start by driving south on the A1 highway until you reach the exit for A25 towards Aveiro. Continue on A25 and then take the A23 towards Guarda. Finally, take the exit towards Idanha-a-Nova and follow the signs to Penha Garcia, where Pego River Beach awaits.

Prepare for an unforgettable experience as you soak up the natural beauty of Pego River Beach, conveniently reachable from both Porto and Lisbon

Day-trip from Lisboa

Day-trip from Porto

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