The Fisgas do Ermelo waterfall is one of the largest and most impressive in Portugal. A stunning natural landscape.
In the mountains of Portugal there are a series of landscapes that you must visit. One of them is Fisgas do Ermelo, with a fantastic trail where it is possible to contemplate a series of natural beauties and charms.
Waterfalls, lagoons and landscapes as far as the eye can see, on a route that, despite not being long, is of moderate to difficult difficulty.
Take note of all the information and useful tips that we are going to leave you about the Fisgas do Ermelo trail, in Mondim de Basto, and take the opportunity to do this route while the weather does not heat up too much for these mountain adventures.
Getaway: Fisgas do Ermelo trail
The Fisgas do Ermelo trail is located in the middle of the Alvão mountain range, in the municipality of Mondim de Basto. It surrounds the waterfalls of the river Olo and are among the highest in Portugal, 200 meters high. For this and other reasons, this is one of the most important trails in our country.
It is a demanding route in physical terms, but very rewarding, thanks to the beauty of the waterfalls, the natural lagoons and the views over Serra do Alvão and Monte Farinha. For this reason, the suggestion is that you start the trail early and with time, so that you can enjoy everything without rushing.
route and directions
Although physically difficult, this trail is very well signposted, which facilitates the execution of the route, even for those who are not super experienced in these forays.
The route then begins in the village of Ermelo, next to the Parish Church, where you can park in that area. Cross the village, observe its typical shale and slate houses and head down towards Ribeira de Fervença. After crossing the wooden bridge, take a forest road.
From this place to the next point, the Alto da Cabeça Grande Viewpoint, you will have to climb (and a lot!), overcoming a difference in level of 400 meters in 3 km. This stage is one of the most demanding, especially on hotter days.
However, be sure to take advantage of the route and admire the magnificent landscapes, observable from the Lomba do Bulhão Viewpoint, from where you can see the gorges (Fraga Amarela) and the imposing Fisgas de Ermelo.
Also take the opportunity to rest, sitting on the many available stones and making the most of the natural beauty and sacred silence of those spaces.
The sound of waterfalls
Arriving at the Miradouro do Alto da Cabeça Grande, enjoy listening to the sound of the Ermelo waterfalls and admiring all their beauty. Close to this area, you can also go for a dip in Piocas de Cima, natural lagoons formed by waterfalls and with crystalline water that is very inviting for bathing.
Back on the trail, head towards the forested area parallel to the river Olo. Take advantage of the shade, have a picnic and follow the left bank of the river, passing the village of Varzigueto. Afterwards, cross the river and go to Cancela do Miradouro, which offers a fantastic view over Monte Farinha.
From this moment, begins the phase in which to go down all the saints help and, thus, you will arrive at the Miradouro das Fisgas do Ermelo, where the waterfalls and their vertical cliffs are located. Keep going back down to Aldeia de Ermelo, taking care due to the steep slope and loose stones along the way.
Even before completing the trail, and if you still have energy left, you can take a small detour to other natural pools, in this case, Piocas de Baixo. Return to the trail and continue down to the river, crossing the Abelheira bridge.
- Distance: 12.5 km
- circular: yes
- Difficulty: Moderate/Hard
- Departure/Arrival: Aldeia de Ermelo (GPS coordinates N41º21’37” W07º53’21”)
When to go?
The trail can be walked at any time of the year. The important thing is to favor a day with a mild climate and, if possible, with pleasant temperatures, without too much heat.
What to take?
- Comfortable walking shoes;
- Food and drink, especially water and fruit;
- Trash bag;
- Practical and lightweight backpack;
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat;
- Bathing suit and camera (optional, but very useful).