The highest and most beautiful waterfall of Portugal
Here, the Caima river flows over than 60 meters high, in an impressive show worth to be contemplated. It is possible to observe, at three dimensions, the granite of the Freita Mountain, a harder rock that is more resistant to the river erosion than the other mica schists and metagraywackes. As these metasedimentary rocks are smoother and softer, they make the fluvial erosion more effective due to the topographic lowering they present, something that is clearly visible in the landscape.
But this differential erosion is not the only aspect that explains the origin of the Frecha da Mizarela. The fault system that conditions the whole Freita Mountain is also believed to have played an important role for the occurrence of this phenomenon. Given this, push up movements associated to the Alpine Orogeny have significantly contributed to the fitting of the river and the formation of this knickpoint.
The luxuriant green steep slopes surrounding this waterfall have true relics of primitive vegetation of the Freita Mountain. From the laurel forest there is, in the bottom of the waterfall, the rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum)), and in the cliffs, it is possible to observe the trees representing the fagaceae, such as the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), the pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) and some samples of evergreen oak (Quercus ilex). Going down the slope, it is possible to observe rarer (and even protected) species, such as Murbeckiella sousae, Eryngium duriaei, Thymus caespititius and Anemone trifolia subsp. albida. In what concerns to fauna, one should note the presence of the big golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) or the colored Iberian emerald lizard (Lacerta schreiberi), protected and endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula.