Trilho da Barca d’Amieira


Just twenty minutes drive from the moinho is the new 'Trilho da Barca d'Amieira' (click here for the official leaflet and map), a walk alongside the river Tejo with stunning views, surrounded by wild flowers and birdsong - at least on the lovely spring day that we visited. At the heart of the walk is the rehabilitated Barca d'Amieira, a boat taking people and cars across the River Tejo, and joining the municipalities of Mação and Nisa at a spot where there was a long-lost tradition of crossing people, goods and animals and thus once-thriving communities on each riverbank.

The walk itself can start at either the Barca or the dam at the other end, and is a gentle 7km in total, running mostly along an old towpath beside the river, formerly used for horses to pull boats. There are also large sections of 'passadiço', wooden decking out over the river, similar to that between Belver and Praia Alamal - though here there are a number of added extras: a 'sky walk', where you can stand out over the river, surrounded by glass, with a great view of the dam; a 'baloiço instagramavel(!)', a pair of swings similar to the big one at Brejo which, along with a tree, have been painted lilac for some reason that we're probably too old to understand... but we had a go on them anyway!

Most impressive - and actually quite frightening! - is a long Indiana-Jones style rope bridge (thankfully held up by metal, not rope) suspended over the river. A sign warns against no more than 5 people on the bridge at a time, but even 2 - and a terrified dog - seemed too many to us! The movement and swaying means a fair bit of courage is required to get across, and we wouldn't be surprised if more than a few people decide not to go through with it. If you think this might be you, make sure to start the walk from the Barca d'Amieira end, as you'll have then done most of the distance before turning back at the bridge.

On the opposite side of the river runs the railway line between Lisbon and Castelo Branco (and which stops at Barca d'Amieira) and you'll see the odd train rumble past with - in our experience anyway - friendly drivers tooting their horns at those of us waving from the other side!

Along the route are a few places to rest, a couple of miradouros, a birdwatching hide, and a few sculptures - our favourite was the addition of a feathered headdress to a large rock which has apparently long been known for looking like the face of a Native Indian!

The area around the Barca itself is a nice spot, with a picnic and barbecue area, a fountain to refill your water bottle, and of course access to the river if you'd like to cool off by dipping your toes in.


On that point, it is worth noting that, though there are shady spots along the way, a lot of the walk is quite exposed. We found it hot even in May, so if you're visiting in the summer be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.