Montargil: River Swimming Done Right

It's unlikely that you'll have to share your strip of riverbank with anyone other than a hawk, stork, or falcon.

Sweltering heat and the ice-cold ocean seem like two extremes that work well together, but sometimes seeking out the shade of a cork tree just a few meters away from a swimming spot that won’t freeze your testicles is just what you need to rejuvenate yourself.

Albufeira da Barragem de Montargil, unlike the other praia fluvial spots within a two-hour drive from Lisbon, doesn’t flow directly into the Tejo (Tagus). It feeds into the Sorraia River Channel from the Montargil Dam located in Portalegre‘s Ponte de Sôr, so it’s arguably the cleanest option for dips, dives, and watersports. And because the riverbank is long and sprawling, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have to share your spot with anyone other than the occasional hawk, stork, or falcon. Pro tip: Do bring the black flies an offering and they’ll leave you alone. An apple core will do.

Aside from the natural beauty of the river, the drive to get there from Lisbon is spectacularly enjoyable. Once you cross the Ponte Vasco da Gama, you’ll be on one of the most charming national roads in the country until you arrive. Here’s what you’ll pass along the way.

For those looking to prolong their stay, there’s an Orbitur campsite right on the river, separated by a chain-link fence. You can only access the water by exiting the campsite, but it’s a five-minute walk from the entrance. The campsite offers tent, caravan, and bungalow camping, and there’s a small café on site. There are no central grills for cookouts there, but they do rent out small, personal-sized grills for a small fee.

If you’re looking for more of a five-star experience, you might want to check out the Lago Montargil & Villas scene with its four outdoor pools, childcare center, and direct access to the Montargil Marina with a host of eager guides to take you waterskiing, jetskiing, and more.

Not feeling this river beach in particular? Here’s a list of all the Praia Fluvais in Portugal, thanks to go-swim-outside.org. You can find a list and all of their individual positions on the map, organized by municipality, and see a few images to give you an idea of what you can expect.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
On Key

You May Also Like

Driving through Portugal: See it All in 50 Stops (Part 1)

This route won’t necessarily show you everything, but it will surely guide you through way more than just the highlights. Start from the capital or jump in at any point in the loop: here’s an idea of what not to miss in each of these stops, but how long you stay or what you skip is up to you.

A Long Weekend in Scotland

Flying to Scotland is cheap and easy thanks to budget airlines, so Atlas went exploring and have some tips for visiting Skye, the Highlands, and Edinburgh.

Golegã’s National Horse Fair

We caught the Feira Nacional do Cavalo in Golego and were blown away not only by the horses, but by the riding culture atop them.

Carnival Portuguese Style: the Caretos

Dating back to the Celts, the caretos are perhaps the oldest tradition alive today in Portugal though for many years the practice became nearly extinct.

Share your thoughts!

Newsletter

Subscribe to
the Atlas Lisboa Newsletter

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close