Ribeira do Foz, a hike to the hidden medieval water world. Ribeira da Foz is a hidden, magical place in Central Portugal that took us 3 years and 5 hikes to find. Not because its not known, among the locals its well known and much appreciated and going there for them is a natural thing, that they have been doing all their lives, though not very often, and directions seem easy. One woman said, yes of course I know where it is I used to wash clothes there, before we had running water, but her directions send us up and over the mountain and many more mountains after it.
Trying to find without knowing where exactly it is and going by the confidant directions provided by the locals it took us many hikes through this hilly, pine and eucalyptus landscape with its many winding, sandy paths. Often we were accompanied by the sound of natural waterfalls but were unable to locate them or find our way through the high growth and deep drops to actually be able to get to them.
By our final try, we had more or less accepted that whatever we would find could only disappoint after such a long time of looking for it and all the hikes we did to get there had been their own adventure that seemed difficult to beat,
Far from reality, we finally found it and it was even more magical and mythical than expected. It has a completely unique flora and fauna, lush and somehow foreign, the small river is surrounded by large plants, trees and here and there the waterfalls are just lovely, we saw fish and langoustines and a multitude of dragonflies and birds
Ribeira da Foz is set narrowly between two fast rising hills and on its narrow shores are some strange old buildings, little farms and a completely derelict water mill but nobody lives there now or has for many years, yet judging by the little remain you will find between all the scrubs and plants growing along this little river, it must have once been a place of much human activity.
Note: the area is remote and not often visited, mobile networks don’t work, and there is no place to buy water or food. Go prepared!
Closest villages with provisions are roughly 3km.
The hike to the main waterfall from the train station of Praia do Ribatejo is roughly 1.5 to 2 km. To follow the river path to the source of the river roughly 6km.
Travelling by car you can park 500m from the main waterfall or 600m from the entry path to the river path.There is no official parking area anywhere in this area!
To get scientific info about this area, its plants and history and go on an accompanied hike. you can contact the parish of Constancia. (municipal de Contstancia) who organizes visits. Contact us if you need more info.
By public transport take the train to Praia do Ribatejo. You will need to cross the railway bridge across the Tagus and walk roughly 500 m along the road before entering the sand paths.