Zêzere River – The Water Veins of Portugal

Written by

Gabor Boszormenyi

Since I live in Portugal, I am always searching for places that are relatively popular with tourists. Although I found the Zezere river on Instagram, it is not the most visited place in Portugal, and it seems mostly Portuguese people visit this exciting region.

The area is full of surprises; the mountains and the green valleys as the Zezere river flows along through this beautiful landscape are magical. There are a ton of little unexplored places here which often reminds me of a postcard.

zezere river portugal
isolated boat on a river
zezere river
zezere river

The river’s source originates near the highest peak Serra de Estrela in Portugal, at 1900 meters. The Zezere river is 5043 square meters and approximately 242 kilometers long.

I know Portugal is all about the coastline, which no doubt those endless beaches are lovely, but sometimes I want to go back to the mountains and smell the pine trees and swim in the warm lakes or rivers. The ocean in Portugal can be very chilly, even in the summertime. It is only about 18-19 Celsius, so I was very relieved that the Zezere lake was much better when I visited the region in August. 

Read along, and I will show you why the Zezere river is the perfect destination for your next trip.


Zezere is situated in the middle of Portugal, 2 hours north of Lisbon or one hour south of Coimbra. Although it is called a river, it certainly looks like it’s a massive lake with lots of tiny islands and little corridors.

Hills and mountains on all sides surround the river/lake; therefore, you can find great winding roads around it.

zezere river top voiew

I was mesmerized by the textures and the atmosphere of the Zezere river.


Mostly nautical tourism makes the Zezere river the favorite destinations amongst people who love watersports. The 25 km of the river surrounded by beautiful nature makes the best place to practice all kinds of water activities.

kenu on the river

The possibilities are almost endless to enjoy the warm water like wakeboarding, canoeing, diving, boating, or swimming. For kids and adults, you can find some pools on the lake that the municipality made for people to enjoy swimming; check it out here.

Besides water sports, there are great hiking trails to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. 

The Drones peninsula or Vila de Rei just a few of those viewpoints, making Zezere one of my favorite destinations in Portugal. 

Here are some I gathered some of the hiking trails.

Dornes-Vigia do Zêzere

Dornes (Tomar, Portugal)


About me

My name is Gabor, I am a User Interface designer & adventure photographer. I'm constantly seeking new challenges, whether it's in the mountains or on remote islands.

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