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Walking - Schist Village to Village (Guided or Self-guided)
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Walking - Schist Village to Village (Guided or Self-guided)

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 6 - 8 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Destination(s): Portugal  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   Walking Tours  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1080 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1690 Euro (EUR)

A new walking village to village proposal, a multi-day traverse of the Schist Villages of central Portugal. Surprise yourself discovering these schist paths, fluvial beaches and tiny mountain villages where you can experience some of the local traditional flavours and knowledge, like making wood-oven bread or fresh goat cheese. Our lodgings are stone houses renewed for comfy rural tourism inns, surrounded by pure nature. An unforgettable time travel experience!
-Accommodations: Comfort (3-4 star inns and mid-scale properties)
-Activity level: Intermediate (daily average: distance 10-15 km/ 6-9 mi)

- Total distance: 65 km/40,4 mi
- Total climbing: 3223 m/10574 ft
- Longest day: 21 km/13 mi
- Shortest day: 5 km/3.1 mi.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: coimbra - Casal de São Simão | walking trail (5 km / 3 mi | +237 m / +1072 ft | -237 m / -1072 ft | 2 h)

Transfer from Coimbra to Casal de São Simão. The walk takes place in the surroundings of Casal de São Simão. It goes through Fragas de São Simão’s river beach and passes through the villages of Além da Ribeira, Ponte do Brascurado and Saonda. The water lines that abound in this area, like the Alge and Fato streams, are full of old water channels and watermills, evidence of the human presence over the centuries. You can also find some patches of the original flora of this region, characterized by the presence of Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica), Royal fern, Lady fern, English Oak and others. Among the vegetation many mammals hide themselves, like the fox or the Egyptian mongoose. Lodging: Casa Amarela

Day 2: Casal de São Simão | Ferraria de São João (11 km / 7 mi | +675 m / +2214 ft | -400 m / -1312 ft | 5h30)

Today’s walk connects Casal São Simão and Ferraria de São João, both Schist villages. The village of Casal de São Simão is presently recovering old traditions, like popular and religious fairs, thanks to the presence of new inhabitants that recently moved in. At the end of the walk, you will have the chance to appreciate how the schist and quartz merge in an harmonious way at the beautiful village of Ferraria de São João. Optional: Transfer from Lisboa or Porto to Casal de São Simão. Lodging: Casa do Zé Sapateiro, with upgrade option to VN-Nature

Day 3: Ferraria de São João walking Trail (5 km / 3 mi | +254 m / +833 ft | -254 m / -833 ft | 2 h)

The Ferraria de São João walking trail will show you different perspectives of this beautiful and peaceful place. The route starts at the mountain bike center in direction to the village. From there the path goes south, following a little stream, Ribeira das Ferrarias, along the valley. After a few kilometers you will start to go up the hill overlooking Ferraria de S. João, providing a privileged position to enjoy the landscape. The natural landscape around Ferraria de São João is very diverse and welcoming. You are going to love this walk. Lodging: Casa do Zé Sapateiro, with upgrade option to VN-Nature

Day 4: Ferraria de São João | Gondramaz (21 km/ 13 mi | +812 m / +2664 ft | -794 m / -2604 ft | 7 h)

Today´s walk will take you to the beautiful village of Gondramaz. Gondramaz is distinguished by its specific schist tone that involves us from head to toes. Even the ground you step is example of the traditional art of working the stone. This is indeed a land of craftsmen whose skilled hands create charismatic figures that are the hallmark of the region and take the name of its master and village beyond its borders. Lodging: Patio do Xisto

Day 5: Gondramaz | Talasnal (13 km / 8mi | +674 m / +2211 ft | -775 m / -2542 ft | 5 h)

Today you will walk from Gondramaz to Talasnal village. Discovering these Schist Villages represents to immerse yourself in the magical world of Lousã mountain, with its splendid vegetation where you can see deer, boars and many other species, some of them rare and protected. Here nature is sovereign! Arriving to Talasnal you may visit two traditional olive presses moved with the strength of water. This region is also known by the peculiar activity of the Neveiros. From the seventeenth century these men carried ice to Lisbon made from snow stored in pits, like those of Santo António das Neves on top of the mountain. The snow was kept until the summer and wrapped in straw or fern to be carried in cars and mules to Lisbon. With the industrial revolution and the adoption of artificial cold production, this activity was abolished. Lodging: Casa da Princesa Peralta

Day 6: Talasnal | Lousã | Casal Novo walking Trail (11 km / 7 mi | +571 m / +1873 ft | -571 m / -1873 ft | 5 h)

Following Serra da Lousã slopes, this walking trail connects Talasnal to the city of Lousã and the emblematic Schist Village of Casal Novo. The hiking route is also a journey through time. You will follow the ancient trails used in the past by local inhabitants to reach Lousã. Often surrounded by vegetation, the trail provides pleasant shadows in summer and protection from the wind in the winter. Due to the accumulated climbs and descents, this hike requires good physical condition. Lodging: Casa da Princesa Peralta

Day 7: Talasnal | candal | cerdeira

Leaving Talasnal village you will have the opportunity to visit Vaqueirinho, Catarredor and Candal, strategically situated next to the National Road links Lousã to Castanheira de Pera. At this village on the valley, watered by the brook of Candal, you can stop at the Schist villages shop for a tea and one "Talasnico", a local candy. A few kilometers after Candal you will start climbing on the trail that will take you to the magical place - Cerdeira village. As soon as one enters a small bridge invites us to meet a fistful of houses, it seems that we go through a portal to a fantasy world. Lodging: Casa do Forno

Day 8: cerdeira | Pena - coimbra

Today's walk will take you to the village of Pena. Enjoy the panoramic view of Serra da Lousã and visit some of the oldest villages of the region as Comareira, made up of houses "nested" in each other, and with a landscape that stretches out of sight. Deep down these valleys, deer and wild boar still remain undisturbed, as if protected of the world. Pena, the final destination, is framed in a natural setting of rare beauty. Its stream of crystal clear water gives a great life to the village; the waters are used to irrigate the fields and in the summer are enjoyed by locals and visitors for bathing. Following the stream will take you to places with waterfalls, lakes and lush vegetation. After the walk, van transfer to Coimbra. Lodging: Vila Galé Coimbra

Day 9: return. Make your own way by train or bus - near the hotel you have the bus station and just a few mi, the train station. Optional: Transfer to Lisboa or Porto.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Guided: 1690 € (Min. 5 pax)
Included: 8 accommodations w/ breakfast, 7 dinners, 1 picnic, M14951 European walking guide, driver guide fluent in English, van support, snacks with fresh fruit in walking days, local transfers in program days, maps and documentation, GPS tracks, museum fees, insurance, M14951 t-shirt and water bottle.
Not Included: Flights, lunches except 1 picnic, 1 dinner in Coimbra, airport transfers, other not specified in included.

Other Options:
Supported: 1410 € (Min. 4 pax)
Not Included: Flights, meals except 1 picnic, airport transfers, M14951 European walking guide, other not specified in included.

Self-guided: 1080 € (Min. 2 pax)
Not Included: Flights, meals, airport transfers, M14951 European walking guide, driver guide fluent in English, van support, museum fees, other not specified in included.

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