Drave is an abandoned village that is part of the Arouca Geopark. Discover the path that leads to it and be dazzled by a place lost in time.
About 10 years ago, draw it is an uninhabited village. Belonging to the Arouca Geopark, it is located in a cave between the Freita, São Macário and Arada mountains. It is a typical village, with slate stone houses and schist roofs.
It is truly an area frozen in time: it is not accessible by car (it is necessary to follow a path of about 4 kilometers starting in Regoufe), it has no electricity, piped water, sanitation, gas, post office, telephone and almost no mobile network. . There are no stores and the clocks don’t make much sense there.
But it is in fact a magical place, where it is possible to witness how life was lived in the most remote regions of the country, also ending up being a mirror of what has been the progressive desertification of the country. Drave is a trip you won’t forget, not least because the surroundings are absolutely enchanting.
Drave: Tour in the Magic Village
The first reference to Drave dates back to the 14th century, during the reign of King Dinis. This village is in the center of a mountain formation, known as Monte Fuste. This mount divides the Douro and Vouga river basins, being delimited by the Arda, Sul, Vouga and Paiva rivers. The area is characterized by blocks of granite or schist that are visible in the landscape.
This place is about 600 meters high, surrounded by high mountains. The terraces on its slopes are used for agricultural purposes (since the land is fertile due to the rivers and streams that flow down the slopes). On the other hand, the sloping slopes present a vegetal mantle, with bushes and creeping herbaceous species.
The Drave river rises from the confluence of the Palhais, Ribeirinho and Bouça rivers and follows a 5-kilometer route until it meets the Paivó river, one of the tributaries of the Paiva. In this region, the population is dispersed and is almost desertified.
The nearest village to Drave is Regoufe, which is around 4km away. The same parish also includes the places of Covelo de Paivó, more than 10km from the village.
PR14: Aldeia Mágica – the path to Drave
The trail to Drave starts after the bridge and has a low level of difficulty. The route takes about two hours and is very exposed to the sun, so you should bring a hat and water.
At the beginning, count on a fairly steep climb, on stony ground. At the top, you’ll have a privileged view over Regoufe, the mountains and the hills dotted with schist and granite. Then take a rocky road down to Drave.
As you approach Drave, you will marvel at the beauty of this scenery that seems forgotten and lost in memory. The houses in ruins and others in recovery, the chapel, the manor house and the remains of a cellar.
Go down to Ribeira de Palhais and enjoy the shade and the natural pools and waterfalls. Rest and have a picnic to regain strength and energy and prepare for the return trip.
tips and suggestions
- Leave the car in the square before going down to the village of Regoufe;
- Wear comfortable shoes;
- take water and snacks for a picnic by the pond;
- Be prepared with a hat and coat.
Points of interest
- In the lower area, at the entrance to the cluster, there are two large granaries that served the entire village.
- Along the slope, the houses, predominantly made of schist, have annexes intended for agriculture, such as barns, corrals, granaries and watermills.
- In the center of the village of Drave, there is the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Saúde, covered in lime and with a ceramic tile roof.
- Solar da Drave is a house with a balcony and two floors, whose upper floor is covered in lime.
- The most important festival in this village is the Festa de Nossa Senhora da Saúde, which takes place on the 15th of August. In addition to the Eucharist, there is a procession and a picnic.
- One of the oldest and largest families in the village of Drave is the Martins family, the last to leave this place. However, every 2 years, the members of this family make a point of meeting in this place that served as their residence for several centuries.
- In 2003, the National Corps of Scouts opened its IV/National Base in Drave.Drave Scout Center, a scout center for hikers (scouts aged between 18 and 22). This center annually receives thousands of Portuguese and foreign hikers who, in this space, collaborate in the reconstruction and maintenance of the village.