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Training and Services in Nature

Hiking

ARGANIL

Piodão: village at the end of the world (Açor Mountain)

A 10 km guided hike acroos the portuguese village of  Piodão, a land famous for gangs of outlaws, such as “João Brandão’s gang”, a popular character similar to Robin Hood. Piodão, located in the Municipality of Arganil, is considered an historical village due to its framing in the landscape, in which schist is the predominant element. This hike brings the participants in close contact to the  surrounding nature,  the dramatic old hard ways of lifestyle its original inhabitants lived and includes a visit to the local museum. The village of Piodão has remained  isolated from the rest of the world for centuries and, until a few years ago, the only access to the village (commonly referred to as “the Nativity Scene village”) was a trail ment for cattle. Come, visit and meet the legends and stories of this most charming sanctuary of Portuguese rurality.

Meeting point: at 10.30 a.m. in Piodão (next to the Tourist Office). Duration: 5h. Price: € 12.5. Including guides, insurance and a visit to the Museum of Piodão. Difficulty level: **

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On the slopes of Margaraça Forest (Açor Mountain)

This botanic route brings hikers in contact with human occupation of this natural sanctuary. It includes a visit to the interpretation centre of the reserve, to the Eira house (in which there is a museum of traditional economic activities, to the scrap furnace (originally used in the manufacturing process of traditional basketry) and to the farm mill. In the village of Pardieiros, hikers can watch the production of handmade wooden spoons by local artisans. This hike also includes a visit to Fraga da Pena (the most iconic waterfall in the region). Margaraça Forest is considered the last stronghold of the original forest that covered the entire region of Beira Serra, formed mainly by oak and chestnut trees. It also represents, very well, the ancient Laurissilva Forests that dominated the country before the glacial period.

Meeting point: at 10 a..m – at the Old Bridge in Côja (in municipally of Arganil) . Duration: 5h. Price: € 12.5. Including  guides, insurance and a handmade wooden spoon. Difficulty level: *

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CASTANHEIRA DE PÊRA

Across the Quelhas da Neve in Lousã Mountain

“Quelhas da Neve” can be translated as the trails in which snow runs.

This is a hike crosses impetuous mountain streams, where granite and schist mix themselves causing a brutal accident in the landscape, which developed into almost inaccessible cliffs. It is adorned with oak trees and hollies hang from the rocks and water rushes, forming impressive waterfalls as it descents from Lousã Mountain. In this tour we will ascend to “St. Anthony’s Snow” (1193 meters high), where some of the old “neveiros reais” remain untouched (“neveiros reais” are old schist structures where the snow used to be kept and transformed into ice to be transported to Lisbon, to the royal court). Oaks and chestnuts also stand out in this region for the size of some of their specimen and the the woodlands that remained from earlier times. This 10 km long circular route presents very steep slopes in some parts of its trail. The degree of difficulty varies, therefore, from low to high.

Meeting point: at 9.30 a.m. – in village of Coentral, next to the local coffee (in municipality of Castanheira de Pêra). Duration: 5h. Price: 10 €. Including guides and insurance. Difficulty level: ** +

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GÓIS

Ceira valley’s enchantments I

8 km long linear hike in which you can see mills, olive oil presses, get to know something about beekeeping, observe the riverine vegetation , learn about traditional agriculture and the rural world as you come in contact with nature and practice a healthy sports activity. This trail passes by the olive oil press of Bridge of Cabreira, an idyllic spot on the banks of the river Ceira.

Meeting point: at 9.30 a.m. – in Góis (next to the headquarters of the Volunteer Fire Department). Duration: 3h. Price: 10 €. Including guides, insurance and honey tasting. Difficulty level: *

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Ceira valley’s enchantments II

Linear path of 20 km during which you can see mills, olive oil presses, get to know something about beekeeping, observe the riverine vegetation, learn about the traditional agriculture and rural world as you come in contact with nature and practice a healthy sports activity. The rout starts in village of Candosa and ends in villlage of Góis.

Meeting point: at 9.30 a.m. – in Góis (next to the headquarters of the Volunteer Fire Department). Duration: 8h. Price: 12,5 €. Including guides, insurance and honey tasting. Difficulty level: **

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Schist Traditions Route – Penedos de Gois – Lousã Mountain

A hike across the Schist Villages of Lousã Mountain, in the municipality of Góis (Aigra Nova, Aigra Velha, Comareira and Pena), under the close watch of the impressive rocks Penedos de Góis. The route crosses some living villages, where participants can enjoy the unique features and traditions of the Schist Territory: distillery, threshing floor, community oven and mill, vegetable home gardens and highland crops.  You will visit a goat farm, a pen and old kitchens with traditional structures to dry chestnut crops. Hikers will be able to see the “gateiras”, doors with holes for cats to come in and out of the house and meet a traditional honey producer of the Lousã Mountain. A unique moment will certainly be the visit to the village of Aigra Velha that presents a defensive system that can only be seen in the oldest medieval towns and villages in our country, and also the visit to the marine fossils collection in Penedo de Góis. During the journey hikers will probably come to see a bird of prey or a deer herd.

Type of route: Circular. Length: about 9 km. Duration: 5 to 6 hours. Inclination: Moderate. Difficulty: Medium. Start and end of tour: Aigra Nova. Meeting point: at “Loja da Aldeia” in village of Aigra Nova, at 9:30 am. Price: 10 € / pax – including guide and insurance.
Difficulty level: **

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Ascent Penedos de Góis

Penedos de Góis is a rugged mountain range in the Lousã Mountain, with unique unevenness, waterfalls and impetuous riversides. It’s a stunning location with belvedere over particular landscape from Beira. It is, therefore, a hiking track across inhospitable and steep slopes to the highest point of the county of Góis (1048 meters high), and thus requiring some resistance from the participants.

Meeting point: at 9:30 am – at Esporão Gas Station (in Góis municipality). Duration: 5h. Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance. Difficulty level: ** +

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Ribeira do Mouro – Lousã Mountain ex-libris

It’s an interpretive path about 5 km long-in which you can observe the amazing biodiversity in Ribeira do Mouro – the ex-libris of the Natura 2000 Network of Lousã Mountains. In the beggining, we find an amazing valley with a very beautiful grove of “azereiros” (Prunus lusitanica), a rare species in Europe that has found here a refuge and has one of its largest populations in the world. In addition the Prunus lusitanica it´s also possible to find many hollies. These two species are rare and are therefore protected by law. The walk begins and ends in one of the Schist Villages in the municipality of Góis, Aigra Nova. It is a circular path and the program includes a visit to the new Centre for Environmental Interpretation of Lousã Mountain and to the Tree Maternity (a place for environmental education).

Meeting point: at 10 a.m. – at “Loja do Xisto” in Aigra NovaS (Góis).
Duration: 3h.
 Price: 10 €. Includes guides, visits and insurance.
 Degree level: ** +

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From rock to rock in Pena riverside (Penedos de Góis)

Circular trail by the end of the stream of  Pena. This stream runs through a docked and abrupt valley, whose riverbed, banks and slopes are formed by impressive cliffs, which turns this place almost inaccessible. For this reason, this valley also is a refuge for unique and rare plants and animals. The trail is very technical and requires great deal of skill and strength – in the section of the stream there isn’t any trail for the route is done byjumping from rock to rock, with some quite complicated passages and it isn´t recommended for people who suffer from vertigo. However, this is the most spectacular stream in the Central Region of Portugal, which combines the wild and inhospitable scenery (formed by numerous waterfalls, lagoons and towering cliffs) with lush vegetation and peculiar wildlife, paying off the effort spent to do this activity. Crossing the village of Pena, the point of departure and arrival is in Ribeira Cimeira.

Length: about 8 km.
Meeting point: at 9:30 am – at Esporão Gas Station (in Góis Municipality). Duration: 6h.
Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance.
 Difficulty level: ***

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LOUSÃ

Route of the Schist Villages in Lousã Mountain

Circular route of about 10 km, with steep slopes and of medium difficulty. The is uneven in some places and it is convenient to have some physical resistance. It includes a visit to the mountain villages of Talasnal, Vaqueirinho, Chiqueiro and Casal Novo, crossing places of rare beauty such as the water canal, centenary chestnut grooves, the HolyMary  of  Piety Sanctuary, the Ermida’s HydroelectricCentral, etc.

Meeting point: at 10 a.m. – at Lousã’s castle.
Duration: 6h.
Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance.
 Difficulty Level: ** +

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MANTEIGAS/SEIA

On the roof of Portugal, Serra da Estrela (23Km)

A moderate hiking across the highest and most emblematic mountain in Portugal, suitable for lovers of mountaineering . This mountainous area will provide a spectacular hike as we ascend to the highest point of this mountain, the Tower (1993 m hight), the Higher Plateau. The surroundings are fantastic and very natural, marked only by the granite landscape and original vegetation and fauna common to the highest locations. Type of trail: Linear. Ascent: 1193m (minimum quota – 800m; maximum height – 1993m). Difficulty: Moderate / High (always going up). Recommended seasons: Spring and Autumn.

Meeting point: at 9 a. m. – in Manteigas
Duration: 8h.
Price: 15 €. Including guid and insurance.
 Difficulty Level: ***

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OLIVEIRA DO HOSPITAL

The charms of the Alva’s Valley

This hiking track, along the valley of river Alva, between S. Gião and Avô is an interpretation of nature, history and heritage track, with a stop for lunch in Penalva do Alva. During the journey (15km) hikers can visit the Roman baths of S. Paul, the centenary wooden irrigation wheels, the only bridge in Europe with 3 entries, the Castle of Avô, etc… In addition you will find a wonderful natural heritage formed by an amazingly rich vegetation an d animal life. The meeting point will be in S. Gião (Oliveira do Hospital).

Meeting point: at 9:30 a.m. – in S. Gião (in Oliveira do Hospital Municipality)
Duration: 6h.
Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance.
 Difficulty Level: **

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In the Stone Age

Archaeological tour, in Oliveira do Hospital,  8 km long having as theme the human occupation of the Beira plateau by examining engraved rocks: anthropomorphic graves, dolmens, cave sanctuaries, shelters for shepherds and the Penedo dos Três Pezinhos.

Meeting point: at 10 a. m. – at Oliveira do Hospital’s Health Centre . Duration: 3h. Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance. Difficulty level: *

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PAMPILHOSA DA SERRA

Alto Ceira’s Trails (Açor Mountain)

A 7,5 km long trail in the valley of river Ceira, framed by the quartzite cliffs of Fajão Rocks. Hikers will witness the amazing richness of the vegetation that still exists in these parts, not only on the steep slopes of the mountain but also along the river banks. In this region, very close to its origin river Ceira is largely untouched and wild. It is a circular trail with moderate slopes and a low degree of difficulty.

Meeting point: at 9.30 a.m. – at the Headquarters of the Volunteer Fire Department of Góis or 10.30 a.m. in Fajão (Municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra). Duration: 4h. Price: 10 €. Including guide, insurance and a visit to the museum in Fajão. Difficulty level: *

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SOURE

Poio Valley (Serra do Sicó – Anços)

A 10 km long trail that takes hikers across the imposing Poio Valley, a karstic valley that has been carved by time and water. Currently it has an impressive array of shapes, holes and vertical walls. Due to its isolation it’s a priviledged place for wildlife to look for shelter and where we can also find rare wild orchids species. Type of trail: Circular. Ascent: 330m (minimum quota – 70m; maximum height – 400m). Slopes: Mild / Moderate.

Meeting point: at 10 a.m. – in Redinha (at the medieval bridge over the river Anços). Duration: 5h. Price: 10 €. Including guide and insurance. Difficulty level: *

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TONDELA

Bosta Route (Serra do Caramulo)

17km-long hike across Caramulo Mountain, around its  highest point, the Caramulinho (1075m), crossing several typical Mountain villages, such as Malhapão de Cima, Malhapão de Baixo, Jesus and Almofala. It has a stunning landscape characterized by bovine cattle pastures and typical woodlands. Type of route: Circular. Altitude: 260 meters (minimum quota – 740m; maximum height – 1000m). Slopes: Mild / Moderate.

Meeting point: at 10 a. m. – at Caramulo’s Museum. Duration: 7h. Price: € 12.5. Including guide and insurance. Difficulty level: **

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Recommendations

Hikers should carry water and a light buffet lunch (consisting of sandwiches and fruit). It is the use of appropriate clothing and footwear accroding to every season’s natural weather conditions, including: clothing in light, thermal and breathable fabric, a waterproof / windproof jacket and comfortable hiking boots, a hat or cap to allow protection from the sun and trousers that allow freedom of movements.

Difficulty level

* Short extension hike with some gentle slopes.

** Longer extension hike with moderate slopes.

*** Mountain hike. Requires preparation and good physical condition. Long hike with steep slopes.

**** Mountain hike under harsh weather conditions (winter conditions) which includes technical passages using climbing equipment. Requires good physical preparation, technique and special equipment.

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