The 12 most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal

In this article, we will explore the most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal, from north to south, highlighting their beauty, the best way to enjoy them, and how to get there. Naturally, many of them are in the north and center areas, as they are the most mountainous regions and have the most rivers.

Whether just to see or to dive in its waters, there are beautiful waterfalls in Portugal for all tastes. Most of these waterfalls have little water in summer, and some are even almost dry in times of drought. However, generally, the natural pools continue to have water and are very appealing.

So, let’s explore and discover Portugal’s best and most beautiful waterfalls.

Northern Portugal Waterfalls

Fisgas de Ermelo, Mondim de Basto

The Fisgas de Ermelo in Mondim de Basto is one of Portugal’s most famous and imposing waterfalls. Unlike other waterfalls on this list, there isn’t just one drop, but several. Over a few hundred meters, the river Olo drops about 200 meters.

During the summer, the waterfall area is very popular for bathing, as both the upper part (Piocas de Cima) and the lower part (Piocas de Baixo) form beautiful natural lagoons where it is possible to dive and swim.

Access to Piocas is relatively easy via the Trilho das Fisgas do Ermelo, but going close to the waterfall or swimming there is impossible. The best way to enjoy Fisgas is to hike this trail and go through the various viewpoints that show us the waterfall from different angles.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 5/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 3/5 (5 to see, 1 to go near)

If you can’t, or don’t want to hike the trail, one of the viewpoints is accessible by car and offers a fabulous view of both Fisgas and the entire Olo valley.

Most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal
Fisgas do Ermelo, one of the best waterfalls in Portugal

Fecha de Barjas (Waterfalls of Tahiti), Terras do Bouro

Located on the Arado river in Vilar da Veiga, Terras do Bouro, Fecha de Barjas is a spectacular waterfall. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Portugal.

Although many people know them as Cascatas do Tahiti (Tahiti waterfalls) due to the natural beauty and the blue tones of the water, the official name is Fecha das Barjas!

These cascades are actually a long series of waterfalls of very different sizes, with small turquoise water ponds in the middle. It is possible to swim or at least cool off in the pools, but the water is as cold as it is beautiful.

Located in the heart of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, they attract hundreds of people every day during the summer looking to cool off in the fresh waters of the Arado river or simply enjoy the beauty of one of the best waterfalls in Gerês.

Access to the upper part is relatively easy and is done along the road that goes from Fafião to Ermida. However, the lower part of the waterfalls is quite challenging to reach. We have to go along a small trail on the left side of the river and go down some extremely steep and even dangerous parts. If it’s wet, we advise you don’t try the descent.

  • Fun: 5/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 2/5
Portugal best waterfalls
Barjas or Tahiti Waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal

Arado Waterfall, Terras do Bouro

The Arado waterfall is the second waterfall in the municipality of Terras do Bouro, but we couldn’t leave it out of this list. It’s actually really close to Fecha das Barjas, despite the access being a bit different.

Besides being one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal, it is also one of the most visited in Gerês, but don’t worry that there are rarely crowds – probably because there is much more space for people to spread out than in other waterfalls in the National Park.

Access to Arado is quite simple. To get there, we have to go to the Rocas lookout, which is more or less between Pedra Bela and Ermida. At the viewpoint, turn onto the road and continue for almost 1 km. When you get to the bridge, it’s there. If you want, you can also walk, not difficult and saves the car.

Once on the historic bridge, you can take the stairs to the viewpoint or go down to the river and go up the riverbed to the waterfall and lakes. In both cases, it is very close, and we advise you to do both.

The view from the viewpoint is spectacular as we are in a privileged place to see the entire Arado waterfall – from there, we can see that there are actually three waterfalls that are quite high and, of course, beautiful. You can also see the various lagoons.

If you want to go to the lakes, just go up the riverbed to the waterfall and the lower lakes and enjoy the crystal clear water there. We’ve seen people go up to the intermediate lagoons, but we’ve never done it as it looks quite complicated and dangerous.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 3/5
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Access: 4/5
the most impressive waterfalls in Portugal
The spectacular Arado Waterfalls in Terras do Bouro

Pitões das Júnias Waterfall, Montalegre

The Pitões das Júnias waterfall in Montalegre is one of the highest in the country. Located next to Pitões das Júnias (one of our favorite villages in the PGNP), this waterfall can be seen and appreciated from afar. They are not for swimming.

Access to the viewpoint is via walkways (with stairs) and is relatively easy and well-signposted. From there, we can see the water falling from over 30 meters high. When the water levels are high, it is quite impressive, but in summer, seeing only a small trickle of water is usual.

Unfortunately, access to the waterfall is not easy, either at the upper or lower level of the river. Although we have never tried it, the information we get is that it is possible, but the path is dangerous, not marked, and not particularly beautiful.

  • Fun: 2/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 4/5 (1 if you really want to go to the falls)
Portugal waterfalls to visit
Pitões das Júnias waterfall in summer without water

Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Portugal – Centro

Arrow of Mizarela, Arouca

Frecha da Mizarela is considered the highest in Portugal, and as such, it could not miss this list of the best and most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal.

Located in Serra da Freita, municipality of Arouca, next to the village of Albergaria da Serra, Frecha da Mizarela is about 60 meters high and is an impressive natural spectacle.

The best place to see this waterfall is from the viewpoint. From there, you can appreciate the total size of the waterfall, as well as the surrounding landscape. However, the waterfall is visible from several points on both sides of the Caima River.

If you want to see the waterfall more closely or from an endless number of angles, it is also possible to take the Frecha da Mizarela trail, which over 8 km, takes us to various viewpoints and viewpoints.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 5/5
  • Beauty: 5/5
  • Access: 4/5
Most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal
Impressive Frecha da Mizarela in Arouca, the highest waterfall in mainland Portugal

Fraga da Pena, Arganil

The Fraga da Pena waterfall in Arganil is one of the most beautiful in Portugal, both for the waterfall itself and for the entire surrounding area.

Located next to the village of Pardieiros in the middle of the protected landscape of the Serra do Açor, the Fraga da Pena Waterfall is 19 meters high and was created by a geological accident. There is a tiny lagoon at the bottom of the waterfall, but you can dive and take some beautiful pictures.

This waterfall is located in a very tight valley, where the waters fall rapidly down the mountain. The surrounding landscape forms a micro landscape with abundant vegetation that covers the typical schist of the region.

Access to Fraga da Pena is very easy and is well-indicated between the village of Benfeita and Pardieiros on the M518 road. The waterfall is not visible from the road, but you only need to walk a few hundred meters along a relatively straightforward path to get there.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 2/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 4/5
Portuguese cascades and waterfalls
Fraga da Pena waterfall in Arganil is one of the most beautiful in Portugal

Cabreia Waterfall, Sever do Vouga

Located in Sever do Vouga in central Portugal, the Cabreia waterfall is one of the most beautiful in Portugal, both for the waterfall and the surroundings.

At about 25 meters high, it is not one of the highest waterfalls on this list, but it has a reasonable drop and, above all, a very beautiful one. The Mau River is not a river with an impressive flow, but it has a sufficient volume of water to create a beautiful water sheet.

The area surrounding the Cabreia waterfall is also lovely, with dense vegetation and a pleasant picnic area. The area is very popular during the summer for swimming and picnics.

Access to the waterfall and respective leisure areas is excellent, and it is possible to go by car very close to the waterfall. This is why this is one of the most accessible waterfalls on this list.

  • Fun: 4/5
  • Size: 3/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 5/5
waterfalls to visit in Porugal
Cabreia Waterfall in Sever do Vouga

Poço do Inferno, Manteigas

Located in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, Poço do Inferno is a must-see for anyone visiting the Serra. Despite being one of the smallest waterfalls on this list, it is undoubtedly also one of the most beautiful.

As the name implies, Poço do Inferno (hell’s pit) is a small natural lagoon formed in Ribeira de Leandres, a tributary of the Zêzere River, where the stream descends abruptly from its source in altitude and forms a waterfall and a lagoon of rare beauty.

The lagoon’s cold, crystalline waters and the waterfall’s effect attract many people to the place. Diving is possible, but given the altitude above 1 000 meters, we only advise you to do it on hot days.

Access to Poço do Inferno is relatively simple. You just have to follow the road from Manteigas to the tower, and after passing Caldas de Manteigas, there will be an exit for Poço do Inferno. Turn there, follow the road, and you’ll be there.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Dimension: 1/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Hits: 3/5
amazing waterfalls in Portugal
Poço de Inferno in Serra da Estrela Natural Park

Poço da Broca, Seia

Despite the rare beauty of the Poço da Broca waterfall and its perfect integration into the environment, Poço da Broca is the only waterfall created by human intervention on this list.

About 200 years ago, the Ribeira do Alvôco stream was diverted to facilitate the cultivation of agricultural land in the region. This deviation from the original course of the stream was made with drills (hence the name), cutting the schist and causing a considerable waterfall and a lagoon in its lower part.

Nowadays, looking at the landscape, none of this is noticeable, and this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls and lagoons in Portugal. It is possible to dive there in the cold but crystalline waters typical of Serra da Estrela.

Poço da Broca is located in the village of Barriosa, Vide, Seia. Access is relatively easy, not least because there is a river beach with a café/snack bar. To go there, just head to the village of Barriosa and then look for signs of Poço da Broca.

  • Fun: 4/5
  • Size: 1/5
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Acessos: 5/5
impressive waterfalls Portugal
Poço da Broca waterfall in Seia

Água d’Alta, Oleiros

Located near Orvalho, Oleiros, the Cascata da Fraga de Água d’Alta is formed by the Água d’Alta stream. This cascade has several levels and an accumulated difference of about 50 meters.

The best way to see the whole fall is from the viewpoint above the waterfalls in Cabeça Murada. However, we strongly advise you to take the Oleiros walkways that take you to the lower part of the Cascade, where a small lake forms.

Despite not being a stream with a large volume of water, the height, the ease of access via the new walkways, and the surrounding beauty make this waterfall one of the most beautiful in mainland Portugal.

If you like hiking, you’ll love doing the Orvalho Geo-Route, which along 9 km, includes the walkways and the waterfall and takes us to explore all the beauty of the region.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Dimension: 4/5
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Access: 4/5 (not 5, as the walkways mean many stairs)

Most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal – South

Pulo do Lobo, Mertola

Pulo do Lobo is one of the most emblematic waterfalls in Portugal and probably the one with the most significant volume of water, as the Guadiana feeds it. However, the height of the fall here is quite small, especially when compared to waterfalls in the north and center of Portugal.

The main interest of Pulo do Lobo is the curiosity of seeing a river like the Guadiana funnel so sharply until it is only a few meters wide. The river gets so narrow that it almost seems possible to jump from one bank to the other.

It is possible to access Pulo do Lobo from both sides. To the left bank, you go through Amendoeira, Mértola, and to the right, through Vale de Poços, Serpa. Both are duly signposted, but we advise you to go to the Pulo do Lobo Walkways on the right side, where there are several viewpoints, and of course, the walkways where you can take a beautiful walk.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 1/5, by height; 5/5 if for the volume of water.
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Access: 4/5

Queda do Vigário, Loulé

Queda do Vigário is the only representative of the Algarve on this list of the most beautiful waterfalls in Portugal. Still, it is, without a doubt, a destination not to be missed for anyone who loves waterfalls.

Located in Alte, the Vigário waterfall is the last of a series of waterfalls on the Alte stream. Also known as Cascata de Alte, this is a medium-sized fall as it is 24 meters and has a beautiful lagoon at its base where you can swim.

The Algarve is best known for its beaches, and it’s well worth changing a bit and going there for a walk because Queda do Vigário is a lovely destination. However, we must note that the waterfall sometimes dries up completely in the dry season.

Access to the fall is via a path of about 300 meters, always going downhill but relatively easy to walk. If you come by car, you can park next to the Alte cemetery and start the walk there. The space next to the waterfall is quite pleasant, with a large lawn where you can sunbathe and relax.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 2/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 4/5
information about waterfalls in Portugal mainland
Queda do Vigário, a beautiful waterfall in Algarve

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