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MTB - Schist Villages Trail (Guided or Self-guided)
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MTB - Schist Villages Trail (Guided or Self-guided)

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 - 9 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Destination(s): Portugal  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 890 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1290 Euro (EUR)

In this traverse you will bike village to village, sleeping in some of the 24 Schist Villages of Central Portugal, using trails that are part of the long distance trail that connect all of them. You also have options that allow you to do the distances according to your cycling level. The route pass by forest areas, fluvial beaches, climb Lousã and Açor Mountains, crossing several important rivers and breathtaking landscapes! And believe it, you will be surprised by some secrets that the local inhabitants keep for you.

- Accommodations: Comfort (3-4 star inns and mid-scale properties)
- Activity Level: Sporty (You like to ride hard)
- Total Distance: 174,2 km/ 107,8 mi + Warm up day 1 optional (min. 3,8 km/ 2,4 mi; máx. 29,6 km/ 18,4 mi)
- Total climbing: +7666 m / +25151 ft
- Total descents: -7961 m/ -26118 ft.

Tour Itinerary:

Optional - Day 0: Lisboa | Lousã (Talasnal). Transfer from the airport in Lisboa to Lousã. On the first day you can make the warm up. Lodging: Lousã or Talasnal

Day 1: Talasnal | Candal | Cerdeira | Aigra Nova | Comareira (26 km / 16 mi | 2-3 h)

Meeting point at Talasnal. Leaving Talasnal village early in the morning, you will have the opportunity to visit Vaqueirinho, Catarredor and Schist villages of Candal and Cerdeira. A few kilometers after the Candal, you will start climbing on the trail that will take you very near to the highest point of the Lousã Mountain, the Trevim (1204 m/ 3950 ft). Descending towards the village of Gois, first you will find the Aigra Nova, where you can visit the Schist villages shop and Lusitânea complex, where you can learn about the native species reproduction process. Go on, soon reaching your final destination, Comareira village. Lodging: Casa da Comareira

Day 2: Comareira | Aigra Velha | Pena | Fajao (39 km / 24 mi | 3-4 H)

Today you will ride towards the Protected Landscape of the “Serra do Açor” (Açor mountain). The day begins with a long climb, but at the end you will be rewarded with a fantastic downhill to the village of Fajão. At Fajão village, with its great rocks in the background, you can visit the new building Fajão-culture, where there is also the Schist villages store. You can also visit Monsignor Nunes Pereira Museum and Stª Guia Chapel with Guilherme Filipe paintings. Lodging: Residencial "A Cadeia"

Day 3: Fajão | Janeiro de Cima (24 km / 15 mi | 2 h)

In this third day, the easiest of all, you will have the opportunity to refresh yourself in Stª Luzia water reservoir. Quickly you will arrive at your destination, the beautiful village of Janeiro de Cima where you will easily see the houses construction detail, where schist is combined with rolled stone from the nearby river. If you arrive early is possible to make a loop to visit Barroca, where Schist Villages Management Center is located. Lodging: Casas de Janeiro

Day 4: Janeiro de Cima | Álvaro (30 km / 19 mi | 2-3 h)

Today you will ride in the direction of Alvaro among the meanders of Zêzere river- Geosite belonging to the Geopark Naturtejo, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its geological formations. Along the way you will pass by Janeiro de Baixo with similar house construction as Janeiro de Cima. You can’t miss visiting this village and stop by the Water mill carved in the rock. Lodging: Casa dos Hospitalários

Day 5: Álvaro | Pedrogão Pequeno (42 km / 26 mi | 3-4 h)

Today you will continue along the Zêzere river starting in Álvaro towards Pedrógão Pequeno. Álvaro is a small village. Known by its faith, it has a large number of chapels and churches. You can visit for example the Misericórdia church from the 16th century. You can’t miss the houses’ distribution along the summit, giving place to the single main street of the village. Pedrógão Pequeno, unlike Álvaro, is big and rich in historical heritage, with emphasis to the Main Church of the 16th century and the pillory. Lodging: Hotel da Montanha

Day 6: Pedrogão Pequeno | Casal de São Simão | Ferraria de São João (44 km / 27 mi | 3-4 h)

The destination of the day is Ferraria de São João, but before you will get to know Casal de São Simão, a village that thanks to the presence of the new inhabitants that recently moved in is rediscovering old traditions like popular and religious fairs. In the end you will have the chance to refresh yourself at the fluvial beach of Fragas de S. Simão that is just a few minutes away. Lodging: Casa do Zé Sapateiro

Day 7: Ferraria de São João | Gondramaz | Chiqueiro | Casal Novo | Talasnal (34 km / 21 mi | 3-4 h)

The last ride takes you towards the Schist Villages of Lousã mountain, passing very near São João do Deserto sanctuary. During the first 16 km / 10 mi you will climb progressively with the remainder route being more accessible with some spectacular descents. A little over halfway of the route, you will pass through the pretty village of Gondramaz. Toward the end, on the way of Talasnal, closing the Schist Villages loop. You can make a short detour to visit the villages of Chiqueiro and Casal Novo. Optional - Lodging: Lousã or Talasnal

Optional - Day 8: Departure. Transfer from Lousã to the airport in Lisboa.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Guided price includes:
- 6 accommodations
- 5 dinners, daily snacks, 1 picnic, water bottle
- Local transfers, van support
- 2 guides
- Maps and documentation, GPS tracks
- Insurance
- Company t-shirt
- VAT.

- Supported version with 1 guide and van support;
- Self-guided without guides
- Transfers from and to the airport
- Bicycle guide
- Van support with driver guide
- Bicycle rent
- Dinners (6)
- 2 extra days (2 rides, 2 accommodations, 2 dinners).

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