Things To Do in Piódão, Foz d’Égua and Chãs de Égua (Portugal)

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2024-01-25

Piódão, located in the municipality of Arganil, district of Coimbra, Portugal, is a captivating village nestled in the heart of the Serra do Açor. As one of the 12 Historic Villages of Portugal, it holds a special place in the country’s cultural heritage.

Known as the “aldeia presépio”, that means “nativity scene village,” Piódão charms visitors with its natural amphitheater configuration and picturesque surroundings.

During the Christmas season, the village transforms into an even more enchanting sight, with its characteristic lighting casting a magical glow after dusk.

In recognition of its unique character, Piódão received the prestigious Silver Rooster award in 1980, a testament to its status as one of Portugal’s most typical villages. Although the title of “most typical village” now belongs to the Historic Village of Monsanto, Piódão remains a cherished gem in its own right.

Adding to its allure, Piódão was elected as a winner in the Remote Villages category of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. This esteemed recognition further highlights the village’s captivating appeal and cultural significance.

Just a few minutes away from Piódão, you will discover two equally charming villages: Foz d’Égua and Chãs de Égua. While these villages may be less known than Piódão, they possess their own unique beauty and are conveniently located nearby.

In this article, I invite you to join me on a journey through the wonders of Piódão, Foz d’Égua, and Chãs de Égua. Together, we will explore the hidden treasures, recommend must-see attractions, and unveil the distinctive experiences that make these three villages an unforgettable destination.

Embark on this adventure through the captivating center of Portugal and discover what makes Piódão, Foz d’Égua, and Chãs de Égua truly special.

Best Things To Do in Piódão, Portugal

Anfiteatro do Piódão
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Discover the Hidden Magic of the Piódão Schist Paths: Unveiling Alleyways and Secrets

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the enchanting streets of Piódão, in Portugal. Walking through these narrow paths is an extraordinary experience, reminiscent of bygone eras.

The winding cobbled streets, nestled between shale houses, are like precious gems waiting to be discovered. These characteristic dwellings, with their sturdy walls, slate roofs, and charming blue-painted doors and windows, stand as iconic symbols of this historic village.

As you wander through this labyrinthine maze, you’ll find yourself captivated by the authenticity and allure that emanates from every building. Take your time to explore and uncover the hidden treasures that lie along your path.

Every corner reveals picturesque scenes: flower-filled balconies, intriguing architectural details, and delightful surprises that invite you to unravel the secrets of Piódão. It is precisely these discoveries that inspire my own travels!

So, embrace the moment, allow yourself to wander through the alleys, and soak in the unique atmosphere of this place. Listen to the gentle whispers of the river that gracefully meanders through the village, feel the caress of the wind, and relish the breathtaking views that unfold at every turn.

Walking through the streets of Piódão is like penning a captivating story, diving into an ancestral narrative that still lives and pulsates within its very core.

Allow yourself to be embraced by this enchanting magic and indulge in a truly memorable experience as you explore every nook and cranny of this hidden treasure in the Serra do Açor.

So, make sure to include a leisurely stroll through the streets of Piódão in your itinerary. It’s an invitation to embark on an unforgettable journey through time.

Unveil the Magnificence of the Historic Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição in Piódão, Portugal: A Glimpse into the Past

Step into the enchanting realm of Piódão, in Portugal, and behold the remarkable Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, also known as the Igreja Matriz do Piódão and Parish Church of Piódão. This architectural and spiritual gem stands as a testament to the rich history and religious heritage of the region.

Dating back to the 17th century, the church is steeped in tales of antiquity. Legend has it that it succeeded an earlier sanctuary, of which a limestone sculpture of the patron saint, dating back to the 16th century, serves as a cherished relic.

As you approach, the pristine white walls of the church gracefully harmonize with the rustic allure of the shale, adorned with traditional blue accents reminiscent of the typical houses found throughout the region.

This captivating fusion of elements creates a profound connection, bridging the sacred and the mundane, and immersing visitors in a realm of serenity and introspection.

Beyond its religious significance, the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição holds a pivotal role as a cultural and historical landmark within the village of Piódão.

The church square and the steps leading to its entrance serve as gathering spots, where locals and visitors alike converge throughout the day, engaging in conversations or simply observing the ebb and flow of time.

So, if you seek inspiration and tranquility during your visit to Piódão, ensure that the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição graces your itinerary.

Step inside, and let its timeless beauty and sacred atmosphere transport you to a bygone era, where echoes of the past reverberate in every corner.

Embark on a Journey of Serenity: Discover the Delights of the Chapel of São Pedro in Piódão

Immerse yourself in the allure of Piódão, a picturesque village nestled amidst the slopes of the Serra do Açor in Portugal, and uncover the hidden gem that is the Chapel of São Pedro.

Perched atop the village, reaching the chapel entails a gentle ascent, but the rewards that await are nothing short of magnificent.

From the moment your gaze falls upon the chapel, prepare to be enthralled by its unassuming simplicity and an atmosphere that exudes tranquility.

Within the confines of this humble abode, a treasure of historical and religious significance awaits—a 16th-century sculpture of Saint Peter, a relic that bears witness to the passage of time.

With its pristine white walls standing in stark contrast against the cerulean sky, a delicate bell that emits a gentle echo, and a resplendent blue door beckoning visitors to step inside, the Chapel of São Pedro envelops all who enter in a unique ambiance of contemplation and peace.

As you marvel at the splendor that unfolds around the chapel, be prepared to feast your eyes upon the breathtaking vistas that stretch far and wide, offering glimpses of the natural wonders that adorn the Serra do Açor.

So, let simplicity be your guide and allow the Chapel of São Pedro to ignite your spirit of exploration. Venture forth, and be captivated by the harmonious blend of history, spirituality, and natural beauty that awaits in this hallowed sanctuary.

Relax in the Clear Waters: Explore Piódão River Beach

In the Historic Village of Piódão, in Portugal, hides a river beach that deserves to be better known and frequented.

I am referring, therefore, to Praia Fluvial do Piódão.

So that’s how, during the summer, a barrier is placed in Ribeira do Piódão, creating a very creative river pool!

Believe me, this place enchants all who visit it. In fact, Piódão River Beach was awarded the blue flag, recognizing its quality and excellence.

Therefore, if you are looking for a cool refuge to enjoy the summer, be sure to visit Piódão River Beach.

In other words, discover for yourself why it received the coveted blue flag and enjoy unforgettable moments in the middle of nature.

Uncover the Rich Heritage of Piódão, in Portugal: Immerse Yourself in the Núcleo Museológico do Piódão Museum

Step into a realm of history and culture as you venture through the doors of the Núcleo Museológico do Piódão Museum, a captivating stopover that promises a deeper understanding of this enchanting schist village.

Though compact in size, this hidden gem nestled within the Tourist Office is an essential destination deserving of your time and attention.

Embark on a journey through time as you explore the meticulously curated collection of invaluable artifacts, offering a glimpse into the ancestral way of life of Piódão’s resilient inhabitants.

Delve into the rich tapestry of local history as you bear witness to the remarkable objects that narrate the tales of the region, painting a vivid picture of the vibrant culture and enduring traditions.

Intrigue awaits at every corner as you navigate the museum’s exhibits, where masterfully crafted local crafts take center stage. Marvel at the skill of Piódão’s artisans, whose creations embody the very essence of the community’s identity, reflecting a timeless heritage.

A visit to the Piódão Museum presents a gateway to the past, inviting you to immerse yourself in the authenticity and charm of this remarkable place.

So, be sure to carve out a moment in your itinerary to wander through the hallowed halls of the Museu do Piódão, (Portugal) where captivating stories and hidden treasures await, ready to enrich your journey and leave an indelible mark on your memories.

How many inhabitants does Piódão in Portugal have?

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According to the available information on the local authority website, as of 2011, Piódão had a population of 65 residents, which is the most recent data I could find.

Through conversations with employees of local restaurants and shops, I discovered that some of the workers in the village are not actually residents of Piódão.

Due to restrictions on new construction and challenges in renovating old buildings, many individuals choose to commute from places like Arganil to work in Piódão.

This commuting distance allows them to access employment opportunities in the village.

Where to Eat in Piódão: Restaurant Recommendations

Solar dos Pachecos

One of my personal favorite restaurants in Piódão is O Solar dos Pachecos. It offers excellent value for money and is conveniently located at the entrance to the village’s square.

Although the restaurant itself is small, the owners also operate a shop next door where you can purchase and take home regional products such as sausages and various types of bread, which are also served in the restaurant.

On pleasant days, you can enjoy your meal on the terrace, which is typically shaded with umbrellas. During the winter, the interior of Solar dos Pachecos provides a cozy atmosphere with its crackling fireplace, creating a warm and inviting dining experience.

The menu at O Solar dos Pachecos features simple yet well-prepared dishes. You can savor comforting soups, sandwiches, bite-sized appetizers with chips, as well as traditional sausages like chorizo, black pudding, and tripe.

If you’re looking for alternative dining options in Piódão, consider visiting Piódão XXI, Fontinha, or Delícias do Piódão restaurants, also located in the village.

Enjoy a delightful culinary experience during your visit to Piódão, Portugal!

Solar dos Pachecos queijo

Best Things To Do and Visit in Foz d’Égua

Foz d'Égua

Foz de Égua, also known as Foz d’Égua, is a stunning village located just a few kilometers from Piódão.

You can reach it by car, but if you have the time, I highly recommend taking a leisurely walk.

As I mentioned earlier, the region of Serra do Açor is exceptionally beautiful, and Foz de Égua is no exception!

Below, you will find some suggestions on what to do and see in Foz de Égua, which is situated in the municipality of Arganil.

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Recharge and unwind at the Fluvial Beach of Foz D’Égua

Foz-de-egua-piodao

Make sure to include a visit to the River Beach of Foz D’Égua during your trip to Piódão! It’s an absolute must-see!

Situated at the confluence of Ribeira de Piódão and Ribeira de Chãs d’Égua, this river beach boasts a unique feature: a strategically built dam adorned with two identical shale bridges.

The result is a refreshing natural pool, perfect for taking a dip and cooling off on hot days.

It’s worth noting that the water tends to be fresh, providing an invigorating experience for the adventurous, although it may not be as inviting for those who prefer warmer waters.

Discover the Foz D’Égua Suspension Bridge

Ponte suspensa de cordas em Foz D'Égua

The wooden and rope Foz D’Égua Suspension Bridge has suffered from natural wear and tear over time, as it has been exposed to the elements.

During my recent visit to Foz D’Égua, I noticed that the suspension bridge was closed to the public, and it appears to have been closed for quite some time.

As a result, crossing the rope suspension bridge is currently not possible.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the bridge and capture beautiful photographs. Visitors are still welcome to visit the site and admire the Foz D’Égua Suspension Bridge, even if crossing it is not an option.

Passar a pé pelas pontes de xisto

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Cross the Shale Bridges

As crossing the suspension bridge is not permitted, make sure to add crossing the schist bridges to your list of things to do in Foz de Égua!

These two bridges, resembling twins, are prominent features in many photographs of the area and are truly fascinating.

Some refer to Foz d’Égua as the Hobbit village, although I must admit I’m not entirely sure why. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it is a place well worth visiting.

Discover the Shale Mills in Foz d’Égua

If you have visited Foz de Égua and missed out on the windmills, make sure to include them in your itinerary for your next visit to the region.

Just follow the stream until you come across the charming shale mills.

Best Things To Do and Visit in Chãs de Égua

Chãs-de-Égua

Below are some suggestions for activities to do in the village of Chãs d’Égua, in the municipality of Arganil.

Visitar o Centro Interpretativo de Arte Rupestre de Chãs d’Égua

Did you know that around 100 cave engravings engraved on stones were found in the Piódão region?

This number of artefacts in the same place is unusual, in fact, the discovery constitutes the most significant concentration of rock art known so far, in the area between the Tagus and Baixo Côa.

These rocks are on display at the Centro Interpretativo de Arte Rupestre de Chãs d’Égua, which operates in the former Primary School.

The center is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month from May to October, and between 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00. For more information use telephone contacts 235 732 787 or 235 200 137.

Therefore, you have one more reason to visit Chãs d’Égua.

Chãs-de-Égua

Accommodation Options in Piódão, Foz d’Égua, and Chãs de Égua

While the Historic Village of Piódão may be small, it offers several accommodation options, including local houses that have been beautifully restored while preserving their original design.

For those seeking a stay in the heart of the village, immersing themselves in a rural experience, I highly recommend Casa da Padaria. I personally enjoyed my stay there, and those I’ve recommended it to have also loved the experience.

Alternatively, Inatel de Piódão (4 stars), though not located in the center of the village, offers a privileged position for those looking to admire the region from above. It boasts excellent amenities, including a heated indoor pool, sauna, and hydromassage, perfect for rejuvenating after a day of hiking in the Serra do Açor.

If you’d like to explore other alternatives for accommodation in Piódão, please check the link and map below to book your hotel.

Feel free to adjust the wording according to your preferences and the specific information you have about the accommodations..

Book your hotel in Piódão, Portugal.

Best Things To Do and Visit near Piódão, Foz d’Égua and Chãs de Égua (Center of Portugal)

A Cascata da Fraga da Pena (The Fraga da Pena Waterfall)

Queda de Água
Cascata da Fraga da Pena (the Fraga da Pena Waterfall).

Just a few kilometers away from Piódão lies another treasure of the region: Fraga da Pena.

Located in the enchanting Mata da Margaraça, it offers a paradisiacal sanctuary that should not be missed during your visit.

The Fraga da Pena waterfall is an awe-inspiring sight, standing tall at 20 meters and cascading into a refreshing lake below.

A well-marked trail provides an opportunity to get a closer view of the waterfall, and there are conveniently placed picnic tables where you can enjoy a delightful meal amidst the serene surroundings.

Between Streams (ribeiras) and Traditions: Explore the Enchanting White Schist Village of Benfeita

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Assunção em Benfeita
Capela de Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption.).

Located within the breathtaking Serra do Açor, you’ll discover the picturesque village of Benfeita, renowned for its charming white schist architecture and idyllic location between two meandering streams.

However, Benfeita is more than just its natural beauty.

It is also home to a captivating annual event that holds significant historical importance.

Every year on the 7th of May, the village comes alive as the bells of the tower resonate an astonishing 1620 times, marking the commemoration of the end of the Second World War.

This momentous occasion symbolizes the unwavering spirit and unity of the community, leaving a lasting impression on all who witness it.

Immerse yourself in the rich traditions and resilient character of Benfeita as you explore its winding streets and embrace the harmonious blend of nature and heritage that defines this remarkable village.

Map and How to get to Piódão, Foz d’Égua, and Chãs de Égua

Piódão is a picturesque village located in the Serra do Açor, approximately 200 km from Porto and 270-290 km from Lisbon.

If you’re traveling from Porto, there are a couple of routes you can take.

One option is to drive on the A1 highway until you’re near Coimbra, and then continue on the IP3.

Another option is to take the A1 to Albergaria-a-Velha and then follow the A25. Both routes will take you around 2.5 hours to reach Piódão.

If you’re departing from Lisbon, you have a couple of choices as well.

You can take the A1 highway to Coimbra and then continue on the IP3, or you can drive on the A1 to Alcanena and then take the A13 towards Figueiró dos Vinhos.

The journey from Lisbon to Piódão will take around 3.5 hours.

As you approach Piódão, be prepared for some winding and narrow roads. It’s a part of the charm of this beautiful village.

Below, you can find a map showing the location and directions to Piódão, Foz d’Égua, and Chãs de Égua from both Porto and Lisbon.

Day-trip from Porto:

Day-Trip from Lisbon:

I hope you have enjoyed accompanying me on this tour of the Serra do Açor, in Portugal.

To conclude, I would like to take the liberty of suggesting that you watch a short video featuring images captured in the Historic Village of Piódão.

Although the video is a bit dated, it showcases some of the places mentioned in this article.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more travel videos!

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