• Serra da Estrela

The Route of the Glacier Valleys – 4 Days

  • Type: Walk Trekking
  • Duration: Estrela Sierra - 4 Days
  • Price from: 420€

The Estrela Sierra is the highest mountain in mainland Portugal. It´s Natural Park stretches over a vast 101 000 hectares and is the largest in Portugal.

In our walks in this region we meet it’s immense glacial valleys, shaped about 20.000 years ago , some of its most remote villages and the overwhelming views of it´s summits , with almost 2,000m above sea level, which extend for hundreds of kilometers. We also meet its people, customs and traditions as well as the taste of their delicious gastronomy, full of tradition.

Join us on this fascinating journey through our highlands.

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Day 1 – The Travel to the Estrela Sierra

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

 

We start our program with the transfer from Lisbon to “Manteigas” village, in Estrela sierra, 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 at a local restaurant.

The 3 nights accommodation will be in the “Inatel Hotel of Manteigas”, in twin room. With a traditional local architecture, where the granitic stone rules, this hotel has a beautiful location, right in front of the “Zezere” river.

Details

 

Beginning: 05:00 pm – In a place in Lisbon to be defined

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

 

Walk Trekking

Walk Trekking

 

In this last day 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 returning to Lisbon, 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.

 

Details

Beginning: 08:30 am

Duration: 3 hours

Difficulty: Walk Hike Portugal(Easy)

Walk Hike Portugal

Walk Hike Portugal

 

Prices Per Person

Price Per Person (from 5 people): 420€

Note I: This price already considers the applicable legal VAT tax. 

Note II: For a single room it has to be paid an extra of 75€.

Note III: For less than 5 people the price is on request. 

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
  • Dinner in a local restaurant (except day 4)
  • Hiking pools
  • 2/3 track Guides (depending 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 / boots
  • Hat for sun or cap
  • Waterproof / Wind stopper
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen