Portugal » Barragem de Alqueva | Alqueva parrier Lake | Portugal

Something like an artificial Mediterranean mountain lake with very impressive surroundings


Barragem de Alqueva | Alqueva parrier Lake | Portugal: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Degree of difficulty: Some experience is an advantage
Requirements: no rating
Character of waterway: back to nature
Profile of waterway: Used by tourists only
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

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Waterway has access to:


Marina of Amieira
Having decided to develop the mountain region of Elentejo for tourism and therewith for water sports, a marina had to be built. This happened then near the former mountain village of Amieira.

From the beginning, the French houseboat hirer Nicols participated. Today, the marina offers next to many facilities (fresh water, electricity, slip, used water pump etc.) also a modern Restaurant with bar and shop.

Aldeia da Luz
This village was a victim of the barrier lake and was therefore rebuilt further up the mountain. It comes up to its name up here too, its light flooded. The white homes and generous public open spaces are impressive but give somehow the impression of a synthetic village that could be anywhere along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. But, this will surely change in future since the village is full of life. There is a comfortable foot walk from the small wharf.


Monsaraz
This small town lies a bit above River Guardiana which used to make the border to Spain. Today, it’s one of the feeders of the barrier lake of Alquera.
The very beautiful medieval small town was happily saved of the flood. Skippers have to walk for about 2 km from the nearest wharf but, it’s very much worthwhile to make this effort.


Tourism
Before the barrage was terminated; some skiing was done here in winter and in summer only few people took the chance to come to this sparse environment. But those got rewarded with nature, quietness, wine yards and most beautiful villages and small towns.
But already in 2006 the barrage alone had 2 Mio visitors.
The Portuguese government declared the artificial lake to the 5th tourism area. In order to avoid circumstances as along the
Algarve, strict zone plans were established and big parts of the lake put under nature protection. The future will show whether the former mountain villages will become fishing villages or souvenir shops.

The dam
planning of this huge project started in 1957 and first works done in 1976. But they stopped one year later already. Parts of the area that was to be flooded, belonged to the nature protected area of Serra Estarel and therefore, heavy resistance, also of inhabitants, started. In 1995 works started again. In 2002 the sluices of the dam were closed and in 2004 the hydroelectric power station started to work.