Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Here you will find some of the best trails in Portugal for cycling and walking. Several signed routes allow you to pass through charming little villages lost in the mountains. MTB Centers offer cross country, downhill and freeride trails (more than 10), with four difficulty levels, appropriate for all kinds of users, from beginners to more demanding bikers.

Transfer from the airport to Ferraria de São João (optional). In this countryside village is still possible to be part of traditional activities that some of the 40 inhabitants keep doing. Like making the goat cheese, be a shepherd for one day with the communitarian goatherd, pick olives or grapes. If you have a car, you can visit several castles in the region, two Roman Villages or go to Fatima's Sanctuary, well known as a religious site. 
Lodging and dinner: Casa do Zé Sapateiro 

MTB - Ferraria de São João MTB Center.
This centre has five trails available, with different difficult levels. The easiest trail, with only 3.8 km/ 2.4 mi, is ideal for a relaxed ride, contemplating the view over the village. The remaining ones are rather more technical and long, while passing through areas of great beauty, such as Ribeira das Ferrarias valley, Fragas da Lagoa, Campêlo ou São João do Deserto. The longest ride (75 km / 47 mi) is a whole-day challenge in a mountain setting, and part of its attraction is the section that takes you through the intricate streets of Gondramaz. Other highlights are the river beaches of Ana de Aviz and Fragas de São Simão, as well as the beautiful Casal de São Simão village.

Walking - Ferraria de São João | Casal de São Simão | Ferraria de São João
(11,5km/ 7,2mi | +340m/ +1115ft | 5h)
This walk takes you to Casal de São Simão village that thanks to the presence of new inhabitants recently moved in is rediscovering old traditions like popular and religious fairs. The track leads you along Ribeira das Ferrarias (Ferrarias stream), where you'll have the chance to see old water mills, until you arrive to the picturesque Casal de São João Village. And the best comes in the end. In a hot summer day, you will have the chance to refresh yourself at the fluvial beach of Fragas de S. Simão. After visiting the village you can have an optional transfer to Ferraria de São João.
Lodging and dinner: Casa do Zé Sapateiro

Our proposal for today is a day of riding in Lousã MTB Center. [option]
Morning transfer to Lousã (approx. 45m).
The MTB trails in the Lousã area are a real journey in time through picturesque villages and ancient mountain shepherd routes. From the most accessible trail, ideal for a family journey, to the serious challenges that draw the line between experienced mountain bikers and beginners, Lousã has it all! The unique landscape of the Lousã mountain range is stimulating in every trail. Other rewards, especially in more demanding rides, are reaching the top and the downhill thrill that follows. It is guaranteed fun!

Walking - Lousã | Talasnal | Casal Novo Walking trail ( 7km / 4.4mi | 3h)
[option] Transfer to Lousã (approx. 45 min).
This walking trail is located mainly on the slopes of Serra da Lousã and connects the area of Lousã Castle and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade with the two most emblematic Schist Villages in this area - Talasnal and Casal Novo. This hiking route is also a journey through time, because you will be repeating the same steps that the ancient residents of these villages did to reach Lousã. Often framed by vegetation, the trail is relatively protected in all seasons. Due to the accumulated climbs and descents, it requires good physical condition, however, you can choose a signed shortcut (PR2.1) to make it shorter.
Lodging and dinner: Casa do Zé Sapateiro

MTB - Gondramaz MTB Center (Down Hill and Free Ride)* or Ferraria de São João MTB Center
[option] Early morning transfer to Gondramaz (approx. 45min). Those who ride through these mountains and valleys will feel plenty of adrenaline, combining the pure pleasure of relaxation and fun with recharging one's batteries and revitalizing the mind. Gondramaz offers 4 downhill trails of different difficulty levels and skill, starting in "Torre 9" and ending at the entrance of the village. You may also descend a thrilling freeride trail with more than 9km.
*Requires driver/car or transfer supplement option to ride up.

Walking - Góis Schist Villages Walking trail (9.2km/ 5.7mi | 4h)
[option] Transfer to Aigra Nova (45 min).
This Schist Walking Trail loop runs through the four Schist Villages of the Góis County: Aigra Nova, Aigra Velha, Pena and Comareira. You can go directly from village to village or do the entire loop. If you want to hike the complete trail, we suggest you start in Aigra Nova, where you can visit Lousitânea NGO headquarters. The trail will take you through old shepherds path, water fountains where the shepherds still lead their herds to drink water and Pena stream with impressive views of Penedo de Góis cliffs and Penedo da Abelha (Bee Cliff) - famous for its beautiful rock climbing wall. If you are lucky you will be able to observe some otters and, weather allowing, see Serra da Estrela (Portugal's highest mountain - 2000 m/ 6562 ft).
Lodging and dinner: Casa do Zé Sapateiro (


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