4.36 mi

Elevation gain

1,001 ft

Technical difficulty


Elevation loss

1,001 ft

Max elevation

1,070 ft


68 4.7

Min elevation

410 ft

Trail type



3 hours 30 minutes




December 7, 2018


December 2018
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1,070 ft
410 ft
4.36 mi

Viewed 1520 times, downloaded 60 times

near Vale do Serrão, Santarém (Portugal)

FZZ-PR1 - This route is featured on the Ferreira do Zezere council website as PR1 (Pedestrian Route). Also featured on their website is an optional extension to this route which adds a further 6 km to this short route.

Dornes is an ancient settlement built on what was a prominatory overlooking the Rio (River) Zezere, the pentagonal tower was built in the 13th Century by the Order of the Templars and was the first such pentagonal tower built by them in Portugal. It is believed that the the tower was built on top of the ruins of a Roman tower. The prominatory of Dornes would have had natural cliff defences on three sides and given unrivaled views both uptream and downstream of the river. With the construction of the Castelo de Bode dam (1945 to 1951) the river levels rose so that Dornes is now a lakeside settlement.

The official route starts and ends in Dornes itself but parking can be in short supply during the tourist season. Parking is also available outside of the confines of the settlement and is probably a better choice, I chose to start the route to the east of Dornes at a picnic site where a water font is also available. Walking in a clockwise direction this choice of start point does entail a steep uphill section as soon as you start, my plan was to take advantage of the morning views over the reservoir. Those early views were lacking in my case due to the mist sitting over the reservoir, fortunately the sunshine burnt it off as I reached the higher elevations. As height is gained views of Dornes itself become available aided by the surrounding forest being cleared in places so as not to impede the view.
As the track turns inland the views are lost as you walk through managed forest. Care needs to be taken when following the route due the number of forest management tracks present and sometimes the tree that had the trail marker painted on has been felled.
Other than the steep section at the start, the route follows wide forest tracks or is alongside tarmac roads.

Parking and start

Roadside parking at the picnic area, benches, water and refuse bins available.
Birding spot

Water birds

Herons, Cormorants, Coots and Ducks can be seen here.

Picnic area

Benches, water and refuse bins along with parking spaces.
Religious site

Order of the Templars tower

The 13th Century pentagonal tower (the first such tower in Portugal and associated church.


Views of the lake.


More lake views.


The Dornes prominatory is now visible.


And more lake views.

1 comment

  • Photo of Caminhos que caminhei (José Matos)

    Caminhos que caminhei (José Matos) Oct 12, 2020

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Excelentes vista sobre Dornes. Não recomendado a pessoas com mobilidade reduzida numa ou outra subida e descida.

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