Calendar: From the 18th to the 25th of November of 2019*
*For other dates, the booking is on request.
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.Book Now Ask a Question
We start our adventure with the transfer from Lisbon to the Cerdeira Village in the Lousã Mountain. We will take about 2 and a half hours.
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 (schist is a brownstone in layers). 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 the beautiful natural scenario around it and it’s delicious regional food.
Beginning: Hour dependent on the client schedule arrival but we should leave at 5.00 pm, maximum.
Duration: About 2 and half hours
This day 2 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, in our adventure by this mountainous land, we will meet “The Route of the Millers.” To go in this route is a journey through time and makes it possible for us to remember the daily route 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 its curious stone sculptures.
Already in the Cerdeira Village and after a deserved shower we will have our dinner. Remember the “Chanfana” cooking experience? Well, what you have cooked will be your dinner. Good luck :).
Beginning: 09:00 am
Duration of the hike: 3 hours + The cooking experience
This is the day where we will meet 5 of the schist villages.
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 four 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. We may be lucky enough to see a deer or a wild boar, the two largest herbivorous wild species resident in Portugal.
The hike will finish in the 5th village. It will be here that we will have dinner, in a restaurant where the cozy and traditional atmosphere rivals with the quality of its traditional dishes.
Beginning: 11:00 am
Duration of the hike: 5 hours
This will be our last day in this hard lands and their tough people. This day is dedicated to secular structures of the “Levadas”. 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 its side, other times over its schist gangways. Together with the dense vegetation, the steep slopes help to recreate a 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.
At the end of the hike, for the bravest, there is the possibility of a refreshing bath inside a beautiful river pool and it’s cold waters. After, we will travel to the highest lands in mainland Portugal.
With breathtaking views over the ancient glacier Zezere Valley, one of the longest in all Europe. “Rustic comfort, good taste, easy display and flavor, kind simplicity… and poetry, some poetry…”, together with an amazing author design, this is the words that best define this 2 charming 5 and 4 star Mountain Design Hotels, where we will stay in the next 4 nights (depending on the clients choice). It will be also here where the first dinner of this journey will happen.
Beginning: 09:30 am
Duration of the Hike: 3 hours
In this first day in the Estrela Mountain, we will start with a visit to the Burel Factory in Manteigas village, the oldest wool handmade in Portugal. This factory, although fully recovered, keeps alive the long secular tradition of this wool-making. Not only maintained and adapted part of the old machines, some of the 18th century, as they seek the few people who still know how to work the Burel, preserving and transmitting in this way this secular and traditional knowledge.
After we will do a picnic in a gorgeous spot located at the beginning of the “Zêzere” Glacial Valley, 13 km long and where 20.000 years ago the glacier was 300 meters thick. This is also the place where the “Zêzere” river takes shape. 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.
Our first hike will start very close to the several waterfalls that make up the spectacular Well of the Hell, a 10 meters waterfall, all surrounded by massive granite boulders. Most of the trail will be under the trees and we will be presented by beautiful views. Already close to the end, we will start to hear the sound of Zezere river, the most important of all-region. The dinner will be waiting for us in a local restaurant inside of the Manteigas village.
Beginning: 10:30 am
Duration of the Hike: 3 hours
This day 6 starts in one of the most symbolic and beautiful places of the Estrela Mountain, the same where we had the picnic lunch in the previous day.
With the imposing glacial valley on our backs, we follow a path, going up, with undergrowth until we reach an amazing plateau, surrounded by huge granite walls with about 400 meters high. It’s here that the Zezere river borns.
After a steep but spectacular ascent, our picnic will be 1.800 meters high. Here we will enjoy one of the most amazing views of these three days. Here we are right in the heart of the mountain and from here we will start going down to a zone with several lagoons and our hike will finish in one of them.
After the hike, we will go to the summit of the Estrela mountain. From here we can enjoy the wider horizon of the whole country, where on clear days our view extends to “Gato Sierra” in Spain, about 200 km as the crow flies in the east side and to the sea in the west side.
The dinner will be in a typical local restaurant at 1.600 meters high, where we can try the real flavors of the delicious food of this region.
Beginning: 10:00 am
Duration of the Hike: 5 hours
This will be the last hike of the all journey and it starts with a visit to the Interpretive Center of the Zêzere Glacier Valley, where we can understand better the dynamics 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, our hike starts right in front of the formidable Zezere glacier valley which offers 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 at the beginning of the twentieth century. This unique forest of great beauty, with its kaleidoscope of greens in the Spring and yellow-brown 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, the rest of the day will be spent in the hotel where our hikers can enjoy a deserved rest before the farewell dinner, which will also be in the hotel.
Beginning: 10:00 am
Duration of the Hike: 3 hours
This will be the day that we say goodbye to this journey in the highlands of Portugal. Behind our hikers will bring in their memories this hard lands and their tough people, their traditions and mostly a piece of what we, Portuguese, are.
For a single room, it has to be paid an extra of 250€.
For a single room, it has to be paid an extra of 300€.
Note I: This price already considers the applicable legal VAT tax.
Note II: For less than 3 people the price is on request.
Following your contact, you’ll receive from us a confirmation email informing that we still have availability for the pack you want (if available). The payment can be done by PayPal (click on the button on the bottom of our website home page) or Bank Transfer. In this last option, you will receive our bank identification account for which should be made the transfer of the value. For the bank transfers 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. Once we have the booking confirmation transaction confirmed, we will send you an email with a Tour Booking Agreement and a receipt concerning the paid amount.
Schedule of payments:
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 customer’s 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:
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, except all the costs with accommodation already paid by Walk Hike Portugal. The remaining 25% will be for Walk Hike Portugal pay the logistics/bookings costs to 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. All these refunds don’t include the costs with accommodations already paid by Walk Hike Portugal.
If the client does not arrive 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 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 4 participants (beyond the guides). If this number it won´t be reached the Walk Hike Portugal reserves the right for not doing the program. If so, the amount of the 30% paid for the booking confirmation will be returned, in full.