PRAIA FLUVIAL DE LORIGA
Loriga river beach is located in the Loriga Glacier Valley, Seia, Serra de Estrela. It is the only river beach in Portugal which is set in a glacier valley and I was super excited to visit. It was totally amazing with pure crystal waters that enter from a spring in the mountains and the turquoise rock pools nestled in the rugged and rocky mountains are so very pretty. The natural pool and separate tiered rock pools make it really unique. It is very beautiful, tranquil and surrounded by nature. It is on all websites top 10 river beaches to visit, usually number 1 and I can see why. We climbed down below the bridge and sat on some rocks and relaxed for a while. There is a lifeguard during peak months and the cafe sold a range of drinks, snacks and ice cream. The water was really cold but we braced ourselves and ventured in as it was so hot. I have to admit that this is definitely the most picturesque river beach I have visited so far. It really is just heavenly. We even had a Portuguese man playing his harmonica and singing to us. His singing was pants but his harmonica playing got a huge round of applause from everyone and I clapped a little too long enough for everyone to stop and stare (ha ha). I love people watching and there were locals playing cards at the picnic tables and it was such a fun day. Considering it’s such a popular river beach I was surprised at how little people were there.
We did have a little mishap on the journey there. We managed to get a flat tyre near Avô as hubby drove over a huge pot hole the day before which must have resulted in a slow releasing flat tyre. It was pretty dramatic at the time but hubby went to ask where the nearest local garage was located and found a lovely English speaking man who came and assisted us. Hubby managed to get the spare tyre on by himself but it was slightly too small. This local man was so friendly and had a workshop so bought out industrial size tools, inflated the old tyre and checked for any leaks then fixed it for us. We offered him some cash for his time but he refused, the Portuguese are proud people. We need to go back and buy him a beer or too. I also made friends with a little kitten whilst waiting so it was not a huge disaster. I don’t even like cats as I’m more of a dog lover but this little one was so adorable. We spent the whole day at the river beach then we visited nearby Seia to explore and have dinner.
Just look at this place, my photos do not do it justice as it’s such a beautiful sanctuary of nature. Not many people can say that they have bathed in a river beach in the middle of a valley opened up by a former glacier! This place is incredible and offers great hiking opportunities. Quercus (National Association for Nature Conservation) gave it a gold award and it was one of the finalists in the 7 Wonders – Beaches of Portugal (River beach category).
This river beach definitely deserves huge single photos, except for any that I am in as I wouldn’t want to put you though such a traumatic experience as hubby broke the number one rule again and took bikini photos below the waist – I’m gonna kill him!
I have a separate post and photo gallery of Serra de Estrela – worth a view.