A gorgeous wonder just a short 2-hour hike away...

What the what?! Is this a vortex to another astral plane?! Not quite. Although it looks like a natural sinkhole, this is in fact the world’s coolest drain pipe, and you can actually hike out to it! Some brave (i.e. crazy) people even swim near it. This beautiful wonder is not quite natural, although nature has started taking over. Actually, the Covão dos Conchos, located in the Serra de Estrela mountains, is made of concrete and granite, but also has beautiful plant life growing inside it.

Covão dos Conchos

As a part of the nearby massive hydroelectric dam, the Covão dos Conchos was constructed in 1955, and serves to collect water from Ribeira das Naves, and funnels it to Lagoa Comprida, in the mountains of Serra da Estrela in Portugal. It’s an amazing engineering marvel! 

HOW TO GET THERE

Not gonna sugarcoat it, this about a 6-mile hike. So prepare for a little over 2 hours of walking. The good news: It’s a pretty easy hike, to be honest. Park at the Long Pond parking area, there will be some gift shops nearby, which will lead you to a dirt road, this takes you directly to the Covão of the Conchos.

WHAT TO BRING

Good pair of walking shoes, snacks, and plenty of water. Depending on the time of year, you may want layers or sunscreen. If hiking in winter thermal underwear, gloves, hat and warm coat are best.

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