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

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 4 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: 575 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 860 Euro (EUR)

If you are a mountain bike fanatic and like challenges, you will be delighted with this tour! The Ultra version of the Schist village trail: Grax-Ultra. 4 days to cover 218 km (135,5 mi) with daily accumulated climbs that reach 2937 m (9636 ft). A true endurance challenge in MTB. In this traverse you will bike village to village, sleeping in some of the 24 Schist Villages of Central Portugal. The route pass by forest areas, fluvial beaches, climbs Lousã and Açor mountains, cross several important rivers and breathtaking landscapes! And at the end of the day relax and enjoy: you will be in one of the amazing Schist villages in carefully selected country houses.

- Accommodations: Value (2-3 stars and casual inns)
- Activity Level: Advanced (You are in very good shape)
- Distance: 218 km/ 135,5 mi
- Total climbing: +9361 m/ +30712 ft
- Total descents: -8966 m/ -29416 ft
- Shortest day: 43,5 km/ 27 mi
- Longest day: 63,2 km/ 39,3 mi.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Casal de São Simão - Talasnal (43,5 km/27 mi | +1999 m/ +6558 ft | -1729 m/ -5673 ft | 3-4 h). Meeting early morning in Casal de São Simão, schist village. The first ride takes you towards the Schist Villages of Lousã mountain, passing very near São João do Deserto sanctuary. During the first 16 km/9,9 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, you can make a short detour to visit the villages of Chiqueiro and Casal Novo. Lodging: Talasnal.

Day 2: Talasnal - Fajão (60,1 km/ 37,3 mi | +2937 m/ +9636 ft | -2770 m/ -9688 ft | 5-6 h). 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.

On return you will follow in direction to Aigra Velha, soon reaching Pena village. Continuing in the direction of the Protected Landscape of the “Serra do Açor” (Açor mountain), you will have 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 St. Guia Chapel with Guilherme Filipe paintings. Lodging: Fajão.

Day 3: Fajão - Álvaro (51,2 km/ 31,8 mi, +1807 m/+5928 ft, -2212 m/ -7257 ft, 3-4 h). In this third day you will have the opportunity to refresh yourself in St ª Luzia water reservoir. Quickly you will arrive at 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. Riding in direction of Álvaro among the meanders of the 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: Álvaro.

Day 4: Álvaro - Casal de São Simão (63,2 km/ 39,3 mi, +2617 m/ +8586 ft, -2659 m/ -8724 ft, 5-6 h). On the last day of the tour 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 Misericordia 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. After Pedrógão Pequeno, your final destination is Casal de São Simão village, closing the Schist Villages loop.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Guided price includes: 3 accommodations, 3 dinners, daily snacks, 1 picnic, 2 guides, Local transfers, van support, maps and documentation, GPS tracks, Insurance, Company t-shirt and water bottle, VAT.

Supported price includes: 3 accommodations, daily snacks, 1 driver guide, Local transfers, van support, maps and documentation, GPS tracks, Insurance, Company t-shirt and water bottle, VAT.

Self-guided includes: 3 accommodations, Local transfers, cellphone with 24 h helpline, maps and documentation, GPS tracks, Insurance, Company t-shirt and water bottle, VAT.

- Bicycle guide
- Van support with driver guide
- Bicycle rent
- Transfers from and to the airport
- Dinners (3)
- picnics (4)
- Lodging upgrade to Comfort (3-4 star inns and mid-scale properties).

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Europe   Portugal   Outdoor: Land Rambler   Bicycle Touring