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Schist Villages, Walking and Biking
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Schist Villages, Walking and Biking

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 5 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Destination(s): Portugal  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Hiking & Trekking  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 300 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 900 Euro (EUR)

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 free ride trails (more than 10), with four difficulty levels, appropriate for all kinds of users, from beginners to more demanding bikers. Take your time also to feel the comfort of a superb stone cottage inn. For a change or a family program you also have several walking loops in the area.

- Accommodations: Comfort (3-4 star inns and mid-scale properties)
- Walking Activity Level: Intermediate
- Biking Activity Level: Easy to Intermediate.

Spend 5 days and 4 nights in our selected lodgings in unique places. At a very accessible price we offer you carefully chosen accommodations and the necessary support to decide the best way to use your time. Walking or cycling, alone or guided, with friends or in family, doing sports or cultural and gastronomic activities, plan your holidays in total freedom, taking advantage of the full range of options at your disposal. We will be always with you with our 24 hr support line.

The lodge and surroundings

The stone cottage in Ferraria de S. João was rebuilt and prepared to receive up to 10 guests in a comfortable and familiar environment. In the reception, an ancient piece to grind the corn makes us remember other times.
Ferraria de São João is a Schist village perched on a quartz ridge on the extreme South of the Lousã mountain range. In Ferraria de São João, you’ll find how schist and quartz blend in so perfectly.

Tour Iinerary:

Day 1: Ferraria de São João.

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: Ferraria de São João Stone cottage.

Day 2: MTB or Walking in Ferraria de São João. 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 (the longest ride as 75 km/47 mi). 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 (11,5 km/7,2 mi; +340 m/+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. Lodging and dinner: Ferraria de São João Stone cottage.

Day 3: MTB or Walking in Lousã. MTB – Lousã MTB center. Our proposal for today is a day of riding in Lousã MTB Center. [option] Morning transfer to Lousã (approx. 45 m). 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!

Walking - Lousã; Talasnal; Casal Novo Walking trail (7 km/4.4 mi/3 hrs). Option: Transfer to Lousã (approx. 45 min). This walking trail is located mainly on the slopes of Serra da Lousã and connects two of the 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. Lodging and dinner: Ferraria de São João Stone cottage.

Day 4: MTB or Walking. MTB - Gondramaz MTB Center (Down Hill and Free Ride)* or Ferraria de São João MTB Center. Option: Early morning transfer to Gondramaz (approx. 45 min). 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. *Requires driver/car or transfer supplement option to ride up.

Walking - Góis Schist Villages Walking trail (9.2 km/ 5.7 mi; 4 h). 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. 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: Ferraria de São João Stone cottage.

Day 5: Return. Optional airport transfer.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- 4 accommodations w/breakfast
- Documentation
- Maps and GPS tracks about biking and walking routes
- Support phone line
- Insurance and taxes.

Optional:
- Airport Transfers (Porto): 150€
- Airport Transfers (Lisbon): 200€
- MTB Rental: 25€
- Deer watching with 4x4: 40€
- Guide: 40€/day
- Dinner: 20€
- Lunch box: 8€
- Extra nights: 30€ (sharing double room)
- Extra night: 60€ (single room)
- Single supplement for 4 nights: 100€
- Car rental: on request.

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