Cascata da Agualva


The Agualva cascade is, without doubt, one of the best kept secrets of the river Lordelo (called Arões, further upstream). This waterfall is at approximately 400 meters upstream of the bridge over Lordelo river, between Couto de Esteves and Lourizela. It is difficult to access – through the river bed and small paths on the margins – but the reward is worthwhile. The waters of the Lordelo drop off from more than 10 meters in height between large, darkish boulders, forming a narrow pit in its bosom. The water took advantage of the different hardness of the river bed rocks to dig the gap and giving rise to this waterfall.

Natural Patrimony

The river Lordelo is a typical mountain river that is born at the top of the Arestal mountain, and drops abruptly in its short journey to the Vouga river. Many species of flora can be found here, such as the endemic pedunculated anarrhinum, royal fern or the bay laurel. The amphibians (iberian endemics) are frequent, highlighting the marbled newt, the iberian frog and the gold-stripped salamander. The iberian emerald lizard can be observed on sunny days heating up on rocks along the river and the portuguese nase, on their migration, climbing up the waterfalls to spawn further upstream. The white-throated dipper finds in these mountain rivers its natural habitat nesting often behind the waterfalls. Among the invertebrates, the highlight is for the rare lesser purple emperor and for the beautiful demoiselle present in the riparian gallery.

Historical Patrimony

The ancestry and importance of Couto de Esteves were perpetuated in the edification of the Pillory, initially, was located in front of the building serving as city council until 1836, having been moved when the road was opened. The levada (water flume) of Lourizela comes from river Lordelo, a few kilometers upstream, and irrigates the farming fields of Lourizela, driving the water to make work a few watermills.


Technical information

  • Level of Dificulty High
  • Type of Route Injured
  • Access Pedestrian