• Walk Historical Villages

From the Granitic to the Schist – 7 Days

  • Type: Walk Historical Villages, Walk Trekking
  • Duration: 7
  • Price from: 1194€

The several experiences that we present you here is the result of the fusion of some products from two of our brands. We have chosen to build this pack in this way not only because Walk Trekking and Walk Historical Villages are complementary, but also because our historical villages are in mountains setting.

We believe that this way we can show a little better some of the most stunning landscapes of our country, to present to you our people, culture and customs in a set of experiences that are intended to be authentic and genuine.

It is also important to be said that to guarantee a high level of security we always have 2 guides in the all tour.

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Day 1 – The Travel to the Estrela Sierra, Manteigas Village

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

We start our adventure with the transfer from Lisbon to Manteigas village, in heart of the Estrela Sierra Natural Park, where we will lodge. The trip will take about 3 hours by car.

After we  all have comfortably settled in we will have our dinner in the hotel.

The 3 nights accommodation will be in the “Inatel” hotel. Surrounded by the lush vegetation of the Beira Interior region in the beautiful Zêzere River valley, where, in the words of the famous Portuguese writer, Miguel Torga, the Star is “high, immense and enigmatic”. The dinner will be in the hotel.

Details

 

Beginning: Hour dependent on the client schedule but we should leave at 5.00 pm, maximum.

Duration: About 3 hours

Day 2 – The Loriga Canyon

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

In this day 2 our hike starts in “Loriga”. This ancient village was occupied by the Suevi, Romans and Moors and they all left their influences in the region.

We will follow old shepherds paths to reach the so-called “Covões de Loriga”, 4 large staircase depressions, excavated by the unimaginable forces of huge glaciers that here shaped dramatically the landscape around us.

The massive rock masses of granite around us and the endless views are a fair reward for our effort to reach the lagoons and puddles  of “Loriga” at about 1,700 m above sea level.

Here we reach the last third of the ascent of this spectacular glacial valley, known as the “Canyon of Loriga”. Now, we are closed to the highest point of the Estrela Sierra and also of mainland Portugal, called Tower.

From here we can enjoy the wider horizon of the whole country, where on clear days our view extends to “Gato Sierra” in Spain in the east side, and to the sea in the west side.

The diner will be in a local restaurant with beautiful views.

Details

Beginning: 08:30 am

Duration:  7 hours

Difficulty: Hard (Hard)

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

Day 3 – The Glacier Valleys 

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

This day 3  starts in one of the most symbolic and beautiful places of the Estrela Sierra.

Located at the beginning of the “Zêzere” Glacial Valley, 13 km long and where the glacier was 300 meters thick, this is the place where the “Zêzere” river takes shape. Formerly it was a lake originated from glacial sediments. It is a very attractive area due to the surrounding vegetation mostly composed of birch trees, which has the particularity to create an ecosystem with a rich biodiversity.

With the imposing glacial valley on our backs we follow a path with undergrowth until we reach a beautiful lagoon, also, like many others, of glacial origin, formed by the accumulation of melting water. Before we begin the climb to one of the most emblematic spots of the whole sierra, we are faced with the overwhelming view of another huge glacial valley, a tributary of the main one. By imagining the titanic clash between this monumental glaciers plates, at about 20,000 years ago, we can realize the true scale of such events.

Our picnic will be at 1.860m high. Here we will enjoy one of the most amazing views of these three days, and, on clear days, we can see the Gredos Sierra in Spain (about 250 km as the crow flies). After a long deep down we will make a shortstop where we can not only know the place where the Zezere river born, as also admire the huge stone circus that surround us. This hike finishes where it has started.

The day ends with a visit to the “Burel” Factory in the Manteigas village. “Burel” is the oldest handmade woolen weave in Portugal and this factory, besides recovered this ancient portuguese woollen manufacture, also recovered some old machines from the 18th century.

After a deserved shower and a little rest in the hotel we will have a tasty diner at a local restaurant.

Details

Beginning: 08:30 am

Duration: 5 hours

Difficulty: Walk Hike Portugal(Moderate)

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

 

Day 4 – The Route of the Beeches and the Lousã Sierra

Walk Trekking

Walk Historical Villages

In this last day in the Estrela Sierra our hike starts right in front of the formidable Zezere glacier valley which offer us an overwhelming view. Following along a track used by the shepherds to lead their cattle to the grazing places we will find the imposing monumental Oaks that surround the “Capela de São Lourenço” (St. Lawrence Chapel), a place of pagan reminiscences, related to the worship of trees and the sun in the summer solstice. This place offers a magnificent panoramic view of the accumulation of mountains that extends to Spain.

After crossing a watchtower with a beautiful architecture design, we dive inside a dense Beech forest, planted by the Forest Services of Manteigas in the beginning of the twentieth century. This unique forest of great beauty, with its kaleidoscope of greens in the Spring and yellow browns in the Autumn, makes us feeling like we are in a fairytale forest.

The contact with the rural and grazing life is present along the last part of this trail, together with several streams and the long valleys surrounded by big mountains, are the perfect ending for this journey.

After a picnic, and before the travel to the Cerdeira village in the Lousã Sierra, we still have time to visit the Interpretive Center of the Zêzere Glacier Valley, where we can understand better the dynamic of the massive glaciers that shaped the surrounding landscapes, as also to know some of the natural and cultural heritage of the Manteigas village.

After we will have a 2,30h trip to the Cerdeira village. Hidden in a small valley at 700 m high, this schist village is about 300 years old. After the abandon of the farming and pastoral activity in the mid-twentieth century, the village almost disappeared with the abandonment of the population. In the mid-80s a group of young people decided to settle in the village and thus began his recovery.

Today, Cerdeira has new stories to tell from new residents that with persistence and will, have made it a place where artistic creation, through Artistic International Residences, training workshops and small creative experiences, together with the secular knowledge of the old ones, in a single mix, gave life and meaning to this place.

Currently, is part of the 27 villages that make up the network of Schist Villages. Cerdeira is an authentic place where time does not fly!

After we settle down in the end of the day, we will go to a local restaurant known by it’s cozy and pleasant atmosphere and delicious regional food.

Details

 

Beginning: 08:30 am

Duration: 3 hours + 1,5 hours – picnic and visit to the Interpretive Center + 2,5 hours to the Cerdeira village

Difficulty: Walk Hike Portugal(Easy)

Walk Hike Portugal

Walk Hike Portugal

Day 5 – The 5 Schist Villages Path

Walk Historical Villages

Walk Historical Villages

The day will start with a cooking experience, more precisely with a Chanfana cooking over a wood fire. The Chanfana is the most typical dish of this region. After seasoning the meat goat and put it in the black clay “caçoilas”, we will light the traditional wood oven and bake the “chanfana” for 4 hours.

After, leaving the village of Cerdeira at 700m high, our tour begins with a steep descent, to the stream of Cerdeira. The entire route is dominated by three main species of typical Portuguese trees, the Cork Oaks, Pine Trees, Chestnuts and Oak Trees.  About this last one, we can marvel with some imposing secular specimens, which in addition to its large scale, impress by its burlesque shapes molded by the time. Water is also a constant presence in this path, by seeing several waterfalls, some impressive, by sometimes listening to their sound while sliding down the mountain.

Each of the several valleys which we cross hides a village of schist, perfectly camouflaged by the use of local materials, the shale, the wood and the straw.

Along the way we can refresh in the fountains of the several villages, supplied by local streams that spring from the bowels of the earth, long before they have been domesticated by man. Accompanied by the dense vegetation, we cross several old corrals, once inhabited by goats, very common in this region.

Already close to our destination we can see the shrine of the Holy Mother of Mercy, patron saint of the town of Lousã. Further on we passed the natural pools bathed by the clear and cool waters of the São João river. After we reached the beautiful castle of Lousã, one of the first defensive lines created to control the southern access to Coimbra, in the second half of the 11th Century.

Along the way we may be lucky enough to see a deer or a wild boar, the two largest herbivorous wild species resident in Portugal.

Remember the “Chanfana” cooking experience? Well, what you have cooked will be your dinner. Good luck :).

Details

Beginning: 09:00 am

Duration:  6 hours + Cooking experience

Difficulty: Hard(Hard)

The 5 Villages Path

Walk Historical Villages

Day 6 – The “Levadas” Waterways

Walk Historical Villages

Walk Traditional Villages

The 6th day of our adventure by mountainous land is dedicated to secular structures of “Levada”. The “Levadas” are man made channels to bring water from the highlands for the agricultural land, and thus ensure their support throughout the year. In this case, this particular  “levada” also had the functionality to feed the local Power Station, the first of its kind to be built in Portugal.

In most of the path we will follow this “levada”, sometimes on it’s side, other times over its schist gangways. Together with the dense vegetation, the steep slopes helps to recreate an unique and also very refreshing landscape of great beauty. In some areas it is possible to take a bath in the clear waters of the “levada”. Although cold, depending on the time of year, the feeling is great.

The Oaks, Cork Trees and Pine Trees are the dominant species among the larger trees, especially in the areas near the villages we will cross.

Our last dinner will be at a local restaurant where you can sample some delicious local delicacies.

Details

Beginning: After lunch (the hour varies depending on the time of year)

Duration:  4 hours

Difficulty: Walk Hike Portugal(Moderate)

Walk Historical Villages

Walk Historical Villages

Day 7 – The Route of the Millers

Walk Historical Villages

Walk Historical Villages

In the seventh and last day of our adventure by mountainous land, we still have time for a last hike, “The Route of the Millers.” To go in this route is a journey through time and makes it possible for us to remember the route daily made by the millers who had access to the several water mills (from which we still can see traces of their existence), through it.

The lush vegetation that almost surrounds all the way and the river company make this journey a pleasant and cool hike, where we can cool off in one of the several waterfalls that we will find.

We will also visit one of the oldest villages in the region, whose construction comes from the remote presence of the Visigoths in the 7th century. This village is also known by it´s curious stone sculptures.

After the walk and before we start our trip back to Lisbon, we will enjoy a well deserved picnic lunch.

Details

Beginning: 9:00 am

Duration:  4 hours

Difficulty: Hard(Hard)

Walk Historical Villages

Walk Historical Villages

Prices Per Person

4 to 10 persons (per person) – 1.194

Individual room supplement – + 225

For less than 4 people and more than 10 people,  price is on request.

THESE PRICES ALREADY INCLUDE THE APPLICABLE VAT RATE

Booking Confirmation / Payment

Following your contact you’ll receive from us a confirmation email informing that we still have availability for the pack you want (if available). In addition to this information, you will also receive our bank identification account for which should be made the transfer of the value. Once we have the booking confirmation transaction confirmed, we will send you an email with a tour agreement and a receipt concerning to the paid amount.

Schedule of payments:

  • 30% of the total amount to confirm the booking
  • Final payment is due 30 days prior to the activity date

If sending payment from abroad, please ensure that all bank and other charges on the transaction are paid at your end so that the correct amount (in Euros) is received by us.

Cancellations / Changes

Since the Walk Hike Portugal develops an outdoor activity, these are exposed to the climatic / environmental conditions and constraints that these impose. Thus, the Walk Hike Portugal reserves the right to change itineraries or activities, if weather conditions may threaten our customers safety, as well as our team members. Below are some examples of weather / environmental condition that may or not allow our walks, or part of them:

  • Torrential rains
  • Strong thunderstorms
  • Strong winds
  • Landslide
  • Falling trees
  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Sea storms

In these cases the walks will be run on another date to match or replaced by another, if possible. If the cancellation of the tour is an inevitability, either because the persistence of weather phenomena / environmental mentioned above, or customers inability to schedule, we will refund 75% of the amount paid, provided that cancellation occurs within 24 hours before the beginning of the purchased holiday pack. The remaining 25% will be for Walk Hike Portugal pay the logistics / bookings costs imply in all our walks.

In case the reason is due to withdrawal by customers, Walk Hike Portugal return 100% of the amount paid provided that it occurs until 60 days before the tour date. If the withdrawal occurs until 45 days before the tour date we will refund 75% of the amount paid. If the withdrawal occurs until 30 days before the tour we will refund 50% of the amount paid. If the withdrawal occurs later than 30 days before the tour we will not refund any of the amount paid.

If the client does not arrived at the appointed day, the Walk Hike Portugal disclaims any responsibility for non-performance all activities considered in the program booked by the customer, as well as the return of any amount for the money already paid by the customer. Walk Hike Portugal also reserves the right to reschedule the all program of activities of the booked program tour, according to what they understand to be the most viable option.

This program requires a minimum of 8 participants (beyond the guides). If this number it won´t be reached the Walk Hike Portugal will return, in full, the value of the 30% paid for the booking confirmation.

Per day is Included

  • All transfers (including from and to Lisbon)
  • Accommodation in twin bedroom with breakfast in the “Manteigas” village and a full schist villa in the “Cerdeira” village
  • All meals
  • Hiking pools
  • 2 track Guides (independently on the number of participants)
  • The legally required Personal and Liability insurances

Advised Equipment (depending on weather)

  • Comfortable and warm clothes that allows different layers
  • Trekking shoes / botes
  • A cap and a hat
  • Waterproof / Wind stopper
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen