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5 Unforgettable Lakes in Portugal


When most travelers think of Portugal, they envision its stunning coastline, historic cities, and delicious cuisine. However, Portugal also boasts a collection of breathtaking lakes that are often overlooked by tourists. From tranquil reservoirs to crystal-clear lagoons, these five unforgettable lakes in Portugal offer serene beauty and a chance to reconnect with nature. Join us as we explore these hidden jewels tucked away in the heart of this enchanting country.

  1. Lagoa das Sete Cidades: Twin Wonders of São Miguel

Located on the island of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago, Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lagoon of the Seven Cities) is a natural wonder that will leave you awestruck. This unique lake comprises two separate lagoons, one blue and one green, set within the crater of a dormant volcano. The contrasting colors create a mesmerizing sight that has earned the lake the nickname “Blue and Green Lagoon.”


  • Miradouro da Boca do Inferno: Visit this viewpoint to capture the iconic postcard-worthy view of both lagoons.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the network of hiking trails that surround the lagoons and offer breathtaking vistas.
  • Pedal Boating: Rent a pedal boat to glide across the calm waters and soak in the serene atmosphere.
  1. Barragem da Caniçada: The Geres Reservoir

Nestled within Peneda-Gerês National Park, Barragem da Caniçada is a hidden gem often referred to as the Geres Reservoir. Surrounded by lush greenery and framed by dramatic granite cliffs, this reservoir is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Portugal’s wilderness.


  • Watersports: Enjoy a variety of watersports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet-skiing.
  • Cruises: Take a boat tour to explore the reservoir’s scenic beauty and its secluded coves.
  • Hiking Trails: Embark on hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the reservoir and surrounding landscapes.
  1. Lagoa do Fogo: Fire in the Sky

Also on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire) is a mystical and remote crater lake. Surrounded by lush vegetation and volcanic terrain, it’s a serene sanctuary for nature lovers. The lake’s name originates from the fiery eruptions that once shaped this captivating landscape.


  • Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo: Visit the viewpoint for a stunning panorama of the lake and surrounding hills.
  • Hiking: Explore the hiking trails that lead to the lake’s shores, allowing you to experience its pristine beauty up close.
  • Birdwatching: Keep an eye out for the various bird species that call this area home.
  1. Barragem de Santa Luzia: Alentejo’s Oasis

In the heart of Alentejo, the Barragem de Santa Luzia (Santa Luzia Reservoir) is a hidden oasis surrounded by rolling hills and cork oak forests. This tranquil lake is a haven for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a peaceful escape.


  • Birdwatching: Santa Luzia is a paradise for birdwatchers, with a variety of species, including herons and flamingos.
  • Picnicking: Enjoy a leisurely picnic by the lakeside, taking in the serene atmosphere and picturesque surroundings.
  • Fishing: The reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, where you can try your luck at catching local fish species.
  1. Alvão Natural Park: Cascading Waters of Lagoa do Alto

Tucked away in the Alvão Natural Park in northern Portugal, Lagoa do Alto is a hidden gem that offers both natural beauty and cultural intrigue. The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation, granite rock formations, and traditional mountain villages, creating a picturesque landscape.


  • Cascata do Arado: Hike to the stunning Arado Waterfall, which flows into Lagoa do Alto, creating a mesmerizing scene.
  • Traditional Villages: Explore the quaint mountain villages of Alvão, where you can experience the local way of life.
  • Scenic Drives: The park offers scenic drives through the rugged terrain, providing glimpses of its unique beauty.


While Portugal’s coastal attractions and historic cities are undeniably captivating, these five unforgettable lakes showcase the country’s natural diversity and hidden treasures. Whether you’re exploring the volcanic wonders of São Miguel, the tranquil reservoirs of the Alentejo, or the pristine landscapes of Alvão Natural Park, each lake offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, venture off the beaten path, immerse yourself in Portugal’s natural beauty, and uncover the serene secrets of these enchanting lakes.

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