Dornes is an enchanted world, full of legends and stories. Surrounded by the Zêzere, it deserves a visit, on a getaway with family or friends.
dornes it is a land where enchantment and mystery intertwine, in an unforgettable lesson in history and nature. Located on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Zêzereis one of the most beautiful and preserved villages in Portugal, full of culture and religious traditions.
One of the most outstanding cases will be that of the Círios of medieval origin and the pilgrimages that draw many onlookers. And then, of course, there’s the landscape.
Dornes is framed in a unique landscape, between the river and the mountains, ideal for moments of reflection, relaxation or simply observing nature.
Great for families and groups of friends, Dornes also offers pleasant walks and boat rides, river baths and water activities. Enjoy its calm to relax and have fun with the much that you can discover in this location.
dornes enchanted peninsula journey
The “village” of Dornes is located in Ferreira do Zêzere and is also known as the Enchanted Peninsula or Mythical Land of the Templars.
This small town is actually located at the top of a peninsula, which is surrounded by the Zêzere river reservoir and has the Templar Tower of Dornes at the top. It is a pentagonal defensive tower, unique in our country.
It is believed that Dornes was a settlement prior to the foundation of the nationality, which seems to be confirmed from the archaeological excavations carried out at the site.
What to visit?
Dornes has an enviable historical legacy and it is no coincidence that it was considered one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal – Villages.
Land of legends and mysteries, its stories include the Holy Queen who was its pilgrim, the grand masters of the enigmatic Order of the Templars and many more memories, full of fantasy and curiosities.
Our suggestion is that you start by walking through the cobbled streets of the village, narrow streets with shale houses, disguised by whitewash or white paint. Afterwards, head to the Temple of Nossa Senhora do Pranto.
Temple of Our Lady of Pranto
White on the outside, this church in Dornes surprises on the inside with its richness and magnificent pipe organ. It is a temple that is still very popular, especially at certain times of the year, such as on pilgrimages.
Also noteworthy is the Renaissance pulpit, dating from 1544, made up of five rows of rosettes with the Cross of Christ as the centre.
Pentagonal Tower of Dornes
This bell and Templar tower has a particular shape and its color contrasts with the whiteness of the church. The Templar Tower of Dornes surprises with its unusual shape, its five faces make it a very rare example of military architecture from the Reconquista times.
Built by Gualdim Pais to defend the Tagus line, it was built on the base of an old Roman tower, guaranteeing security for the exploitation of gold that those people used to make in the Zêzere.
At the top of the village of Dornes, next to the road, there is a three-plank boat that bears witness to an art on the verge of extinction: the art of building the boats that once animated the river Zêzere.
Especially in the warmer months, it is also worth going to Praia Fluvial and the Cascata do Penedo Furado, where you can enjoy magnificent landscapes, in a unique natural setting and, naturally, cooler.
Where to eat in Dornes?
In them, you can taste the typical dishes of the region, as well as delight yourself with the local products. Fried river fish, river crayfish or pork with river clams are some of the delicacies on offer.
Honey, on the other hand, is very present in the regional sweets and desserts of Dornes.
This inn has rooms with a bathroom and views over the Zêzere river. In addition, there is a restaurant where you can have breakfast and daily meals.
This is a country house with capacity for 6 people. The space has an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue and a terrace with stunning views of the mountain and the river.
There is also Casa da Avó, Casa de Lis, Casa Nunes, Riverside or Ca’D’oro (in Cagida).