Land of hills and valleys where beauty is shown in every detail and time seems to have stopped. Here reign silence and peace, a silence that is only broken by birds and the murmur of the waters and wind. Huge, and shiny mirrors of water are flanked by green mountains, this is Ferreira do Zêzere.
Between Ribatejo, the pine forests, and the mountains of central Portugal, there is a charming village, close to the blue lagoon of Albufeira. Among the various points of attraction of this region, I advise you to admire the stately homes, the Templar delimitation landmarks, the pentagonal tower, and especially Dornes, this village predates the foundation of Portugal and won the contest of the Seven Wonders of Portugal in the Riverside Villages category, they call it the Enchanted Peninsula or Mythical Land of the courageous Knights Templars. Crossed by the Zêzere River, it still has some traces of the Paleolithic. Come to see the place where the time stopped.
1. Nature in Pure State
Admire the landscapes full of mysticism and impregnated with legends, here where time stops at every moment and where history is so rich that we are easily transported into it.
Stay in nature tourism because in this place you will have the best opportunity to appreciate nature. The light and the climate invite you to walk around. You will be surprised by the scenic beauty that surrounds the area.
Pombeira, São Pedro do Castro and Dornes will flood your soul with the contrast of the green from the mountains with the clear blue from the great lake.
In the middle of all this nature, you can also visit monuments, such as the Igreja Matriz, the Chapel of São Pedro de Castro, the Reservoir Templário do Pego, as well as Ruins of the Medieval Tower D. Gaião and the Triangular Mill in Ave Casta. And, if you want to buy a souvenir more typical to the place, know that Ferreira do Zêzere has a tradition in quilts and made them the old fashion way in huge looms, you also can buy wicker baskets or miniature models of the river fishing boats. The choice is big.
2. The Blue Lake
The ex-libris of Ferreira do Zêzere is the Praia Fluvial da Castanheira, known as “Lago Azul”. The translucent nature of the water as well as the temperature, makes us want to enter there at any time. Nautical tourism offers a huge diversity of activities in Ferreira do Zêzere. The river covers 25 kilometers and offers unique conditions for the practice of all types of water sports, 25 kilometers of fun, tranquility or pure adrenaline. From rowing to diving, including kayaking, wakeboarding, water skies, pedal boating, and unforgettable boat trips. This beach also has a floating swimming pool.
3. Dornes: The Pearl where Time Stopped
This town, born by the river, is immeasurably beautiful. Located on a small peninsula in the Castelo do Bode reservoir, it takes us to the tranquility that only nature can offer. The Templar Tower is unique because of its shape, a rare example of military architecture from the Reconquest period.
Its history is very rich, starting with the donation of the territory to the Order of the Templars by D. Afonso Henriques, which would later be transformed into the Order of Christ. Visit the tower and the square that surrounds it.
If you make this trip, be sure to visit Tomar and the Penedo Furado Waterfall. It is close and it’s worth it!
4. Special dishes and sweets
We taste the river in the fish that we eat here. The panoply of fish dishes inspires our palate. But the special flavors are not limited to fish, here you can also find specialties such as steaks in the hat, rice pudding, cheeses from Areias or roast lamb with sprouts. Piglet and wild boar are also part of the local delicacies, and for dessert, bet on the bowls and also on the “good husbands” and “good wives” sweets, with unconventional names. Also try the “dornites”, which are delicious lemon and orange cookies, with the Templar cross marked on the dough. I advise you to buy a jar of honey from the region, a bottle of olive oil, or a wine. All of them have a huge quality.
5. Gastronomic Festivals
Five festivals are held throughout the year in Ferreira do Zêzere, the gastronomic festival of crumbs that takes place in January, the crayfish that takes place in April, the broad bean you can attend in May, the egg in June, and the pumpkin in November.
Also, get to know two curiosities: Ferreira do Zêzere has been named Capital of the Egg since 2009 and still holds the Guinness record for the largest omelet in the world made in 2012.
Book now to come into this place where time has forgotten to exist, where silence is king, and the water strokes our bodies making the soul disconnect from the world. This is Ferreira do Zêzere!