-Total distance: 46.9 km/ 29.1 miles
-Total climbing: 1168 m/ 3832 ft
-Max. day climb: 348 m/ 1142 ft
-Accommodations: Value (2-3 stars and casual inns)
Day 1: Morning - Transfer from Lisbon to Marvão (approx. 2h45).
The medieval mountaintop village of Marvão is one of Portugal’s most spectacular fortified villages. Its greatest attraction is the unspoiled medieval atmosphere in its steep and narrow lanes with immaculately whitewashed houses, leading to a magnificent 13th century castle rising from the rock. Most rewarding of all is climbing onto the walls, battlements and towers for the impressive views, and staying for the stunning sunset and evening peace of the village. Afternoon – Marvão Roman path (3 km/ 1.9 mi 1h30). This short hiking trail will take us from the roman bridge of Portagem all the way up to the breathtaking village of Marvão trough the ancient Roman road.
Day 2: International Tejo River Park Salvaterra do Extremo trail
Transfer from Marvão to Salvaterra do Extremo. Salvaterra do Extremo is a small village located inside the International Tejo River Park and where the Erges River defines the border between Portugal and Spain. The walking trail will take us to the border area were we can see the old Castel of Peñafiel on the Spanish side. This castle is on top of cliffs that shelter a large colony of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus). Transfer from Salvaterra do Extremo to Monsanto. Distance: 10.5 km/ 6.5 mi. Approximate time: 4h00. Total climbing: 221 m/ 725 ft
Day 3: Historical Village of Monsanto Historical Village of Idanha-a-Velha trail. Guided visit to Idanha-a-Velha. This picturesque village is also classified as a Historical Village of Portugal and hosts a interesting collection of archaeological remains from a Roman city established in the 1st Century B.C. We will walk to Monsanto, another Historical Village which was once considered the most Portuguese village of Portugal. From the top of its castle you can glimpse all the country surrounding Idanha and the large properties of the area. Free afternoon to visit Monsanto. Distance: 8 km/ 5 mi. Approximate time: 3h00. Total climbing: 454 m/ 1490 ft
Day 4: Sortelha and Belmonte Historical Villages tours and museums
Free morning in Monsanto or optional Penha Garcia walking trail. Penha Garcia walking trail is a small trail that goes down the Ponsul river valley, known for its water wheel mills and rare fossils. Afternoon: Guided visit the Historical Villages of Sortelha and Belmonte.
The Historical Village of Sortelha is an extraordinary example of medieval architecture fortified by granite walls and protected by its Castle (National Monument). Belmonte is the birthplace of Pedro Alvares Cabral, the discoverer of Brasil (1500). The town of Belmonte is indeed very much involved in the history of Portuguese Judaism, and it still shelters today the largest Jewish community in the country, whose origins go back to at least the 13th century. We will visit the local museums, observe the diverse existing heritage, and explore the quiet streets of this village. Distance: 3.2 km/ 2 mi. Approximate time: 1h00. Total climbing: 140 m/ 460 ft
Day 5: Mêda to Historical Village of Marialva trail
Short transfer from Trancoso to Mêda. We will begin our walk in the village of Mêda. We will walk through an ancient trail still used by the local people that connect this village to Marialva. The Historical Village of Marialva is a medieval walled village that will take you back in time, to when its brave inhabitants fought against the Spanish invaders. Its origins go back to the 6th Century b.C. Guided visit to Marialva. Free afternoon to visit Trancoso. Distance: 8.4 km/ 5.2 mi Approximate time: 2h30. Total climbing: 177 m/ 580 ft
Day 6: Historical Village of Castelo Mendo trail Almeida Historical. Village tour. Transfer from Trancoso to Castelo Mendo. The Historical Village of Castelo Mendo was named after the first commander of the fort, D. Mendo Mendes, appointed by the King D. Dinis in the 14th century. This is a very authentic village, surrounded by a landscape of wide valleys, whose narrow lanes are lined with simple stone houses. It is so peaceful that it is difficult to imagine that in former times the medieval castle and walls were military bastions. The hiking trail will take us to the Côa River valley located at East of Castelo Mendo. The final stop will be the Historical Village of Almeida. Almeida is one of the crown jewels of Portuguese military architecture – the hexagonal shaped walls of Almeida´s fortress were built in the XVII century. Because of its location, very close to the Spanish border (only 7 km), Almeida played a very important role from Medieval ages to the XIX century. The main square in Almeida (XVII/XVIII centuries) is a perfect example of military baroque style. Distance: 8.4 km/ 5.2 mi Approximate time: 2h30. Total climbing: 288 m/ 944 ft
Day 7: Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo tour Calçada de Alpajares trail “Devils path”. A short transfer will take us to the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo for a guided visit. This village used to be an important place for pilgrims who were going to Santiago de Compostela. The Castle, dated from the 13th Century, was the stage for many battles, whether with Spanish troops, whether with the British ones. Outside Castelo Rodrigo we can see the Santa Maria de Aguiar Convent dated from the 12th Century, (founded between 1165 and 1170), probably as a benign monastery. After a guided visit a short transfer will take us to Barca d’Alva witch is located in a natural and protected area, known as International Natural Park of Douro, which is the habitat of several birds of prey. Our hike will be in the famous “Calçada de Alpajares”. The path of Alpajares or Devil’s Path (Calçada do Diabo), as known locally, was part of a Roman road that crossed the Douro river and the Mosteiro stream. Distance: 6.7 km/ 4.2 mi. Approximate time: 2h30. Accumulated climbing: 392 m / 1286 ft
Day 8: Transfer from Almeida to Lisboa (approx. 4h).
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