5 Incredible Waterfalls in Portugal

Written By Lara Silva

Within the diverse landscapes of Portugal, a hidden treasure trove of beauty awaits – its waterfalls. From those tucked into lush forests to those that flow over rugged cliffs, Portugal’s waterfalls reveal its unique diversity. Let’s take a look at 5 incredible waterfalls in Portugal so that you can witness this diversity. 

1. Cascata da Ribeira Quente (Azores)

 

The Ribeira Quente Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall situated in the village of Ribeira Quente, within the municipality of Povoação, on the Azorean island of São Miguel, Portugal.

This fascinating waterfall comes from hot springs and has special qualities in its water due to the way it’s made. It starts inside the island.

When it gets to Ribeira Quente, the water tumbles down different spots because of the steep slopes around the area. This makes its special water even more noticeable. The beautiful scenery around the waterfall adds to its charm.

To reach the Cascata da Ribeira Quente waterfall, you’ll find it close to the Ribeira Quente tunnel when you’re driving from Furnas to Ribeira Quente on road EN2-2a. Simply park your car outside the tunnel, then walk back into the tunnel until you reach the waterfall area.

2. Frecha da Mizarela Waterfall (Arouca)

Frecha da Mizarela waterfall is located in the Freita Mountain Range, near the village of Albergaria da Serra, in the Arouca municipality, Aveiro District.

This waterfall sits right on the granite cliffs of the Freita Mountain Plateau, at an altitude of about 910 meters. It’s fed by the waters of the Caima River and drops from a height of around 75 meters, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in Portugal, and one of the tallest in Europe.

To reach Mizarela Falls, start by taking the exit to Saril from road N224, which is located to the southwest of Rossas. Follow this road that leads to Mizarela. Right before you reach Mizarela, you’ll spot a sign indicating “Frecha da Mizarela”. You can park your car a bit farther along the road from there.

Frecha da Mizarela. Photo by Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)

3. Arado Waterfall (Gerês)

The Arado Waterfall is a waterfall located on the Arado River, about 3km from the village of Ermida, right in the heart of Gerês. Found at an altitude of around 900 meters, it forms a series of unique cascades among the rocks.

The entire path to the waterfall is worth observing, where you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty that Gerês has to offer. This waterfall is a must-stop spot.

Access to this waterfall is possible by car; however, the last kilometer is covered by a dirt road that leads to a bridge over the Arado River. From here, you need to climb stone steps that take you to a small viewpoint from the top from which you can admire the waterfall.

4. Cascata da Garganta Funda (Madeira)

Cascata da Garganta Funda is one of the highest waterfalls on the Island of Madeira located on the west side in the region of Calheta. It reaches 140 meters high and can be seen through a short walk to a viewpoint. 

To reach Garganta Funda Waterfall, start by heading north from Calheta towards Ponta de Pargo. When you get to Pedregal, turn left and then right, where you will park. From here, it’s a short walk along the canyon’s edge to the viewpoint where you can see the waterfall.

5. Cascata do Mourāo (Sintra)

Located in Montelavar in Sintra, the Mourão Waterfall is fed by the Mourão River, one of the tributaries of the Lisandro River, and the surrounding natural scenery is simply picturesque.

This Sintra waterfall is located very close to the small village of Anços, and to reach there, you just need to take a short trail of just over 400 meters (round trip is less than 1 km).

The walking path to the Mourão Waterfall is well-marked and treats the hiker to beautiful landscapes and lush vegetation. Because the distance is quite short, it’s great for families with children.

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