Lagoa de bem pais

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Lagoa de Bem Pais

Lagoa de Bem Pais features in both Moore, Elias and Costa ‘A Birdwatchers’ Guide to Portugal and Madeira’ and Rose ‘Where to Watch Birds in Spain and Portugal’ which describes it as a quiet lake with breeding egrets, herons and Marsh Harrier and wintering Penduline Tit. Beyond the lake, the settlement of Pineiro is said to be one of the best vantage points for viewing the Sado estuary. However, although both books have maps showing how to get there from the N5, the reality is somewhat different. I’ve been to this area twice and STILL haven’t reached either the lake or Pineiro. Here’s why:

Driving south from Aguas de Moura on the N5, the first track on the right goes to Zambujal but the next track, 2.1 km further south is supposed to go to Pineiro via the Lagoa de Bem Pais. It doesn’t. It leads to a farm and a dead end. However, by exploring on Google Earth I can see that there is a track to the lake that starts 2.4 km from the N5 (at 38.5444N, 8.6755W). If you turn left there, just before the reedy lake, you might be able to get all the way to Pineiro. I say ’might’ because this track may be gated at some point with no access allowed. Until someone else tries this route and reports back, I won’t know if it is open to the public.

The map in Rose suggests you can get to Pineiro from Monte Novo. Promisingly, if you continue down the N5 for another 10 km you do see a road to the right, a tarmac road no less, signposted to Monte Novo AND Pineiro. I’ve tried this and it just goes to Monte Novo with no obvious way of getting beyond there to Pineiro. However, again on Google Earth, I see that there is a track to Pineiro but it doesn’t go from Monte Novo. Instead you take the Monte Novo road until, 3.2 km from the N5 you see a sandy track to the right. This track (38.4569N, 8.6214W) certainly wasn’t signposted. Again, it may not even be open to the public (see below). But, if you can find it, and follow it, you will reach Pineiro and, beyond there, Lagoa de Bem Pais.

The ringed numbers on the map refer to site descriptions on pages 8-10 of Finding Birds in South Portugal


In September 2018 Roy and Cathy Collins got to within 1 km of Pineiro only to find their way barred by security guards who explained that Pineiro is privately owned and access would not be allowed. This was despite following a public road, (well a very dusty white sandy unpaved track, through fenced woodland) for 8Km with all side turnings fenced off.