Hiking Portugal's Historic Villages

    Lisbon, Portugal

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    Book this tour through our partner: MT Sobek

    The Iberian Peninsula's best-kept secret, Portugal's countryside is dotted with medieval castles and hilltop villages — a land characterized by old-world charm welcoming people. On this immersive journey, travel from one picturesque village to another, learning about Portugal's people, culture, and rich history. Hear tales of Roman rule and successive invasions by Visigoths and Moors and take in the haunting sounds of fado singers on a walking tour of Lisbon's old quarter. Feel the soul of old Portugal as expert local guides bring the past and present to life.


    Arrive in Lisbon

    Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport in the morning and meet your MT Sobek representative, who will transfer you to the hotel. Enjoy some time to check in and freshen up before lunch, then take a walking tour through the old town of Lisbon, and the Mouraria and Alfama neighborhoods. Finish the first day with a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

    Journey to Salvaterra do Extremo & Hike to Monfortinho

    After a hearty breakfast, begin the journey inland to the small village of Salvaterra do Extremo, near the border of Spain, to begin today's hike on varied terrain along an ancient Roman road. Stroll around this charming place, a former stronghold used by the Romans and the Arabs, seeing traditional homes made of shale, the House of Sardoes (lizards), a moon-shaped well, the bell tower of Casa da Camara (complete with storks in the belfry!), and the cylindrical granite stiles. Continue on to Monfortinho, home for the next two nights.

    Hike to the Villages of Idanha-a-Velha, Monsanto & Penha Garcia

    Hike through a dazzling landscape today, from village to village. Begin in Idanha-a-Velha, a former Roman settlement dating back to 16 A.D. Hike up to ancient Monsanto, "the most Portuguese village in Portugal," perched against the face of a rocky cliff where houses sit wedged between giant boulders. Hike up to the castle above it, for a picnic lunch and stunning panoramas. En route back, take a brief side hike to the village of Penha Garcia, with its labyrinth of streets winding among small, flower-covered houses. Hike back to Monfortinho for dinner.

    Explore the Villages of Sortelha, Belmonte & Linhares da Beira

    Leave Monfortinho after breakfast and head to the medieval village of Sortelha, with its walled fortress high atop a rocky promontory at 2,500 feet. Continue to Belmonte village, dominated by a 13th-century castle and a labyrinth of ancient alleyways that make up the old Jewish quarter; Belmonte is still home to the largest Jewish community in Portugal. Continue to Linhares da Beira, a Lusitanian hill fort on the western slopes of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. Today ends at Penhas Douradas on the central high plains of Estrela Mountain.

    Hike in Serra da Estrela Natural Park

    Today hike through the diverse landscapes of Penhas Douradas, a region of Serra da Estrela Natural Park marked by rocky outcrops, boulders and crags, several of which resemble human forms. The destination today is the dam of the Vale do Rossim, a picturesque lake with a small beach perfect for resting, soaking your feet, and enjoying a nice picnic. Then head back to the hotel, arriving in the early afternoon to relax or explore.

    Visit the Village of Piodao & Arrive in Lousa

    Today leave Serra da Estrela behind, heading towards the small town of Lousa. En route, visit the photogenic village of Piodao, where cobblestone avenues lined with shale houses cascade down a gentle slope. With its white facades and cylindrical buttresses, a beautiful 19th-century church dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceicao stands out among the shale houses. Reach today's destination, the charming town of Lousa, in the middle of the afternoon, with plenty of time to unwind or explore.

    Leave Lousa & Enjoy Fado in Lisbon

    Start at the Castle of Arouce and hike on the magnificent Serra da Lousa trail, passing through villages seemingly lost in time. Wander through the winding alleyways of Talasnal and drink straight from the village's spring fountain. Continue across bridges and creeks and climb towards the village of Casal Novo, then catch amazing views of the valley and the castle. After lunch, take a dip in a river pool before returning to Lisbon. Check in and head out for dinner in a casa de fado, a restaurant that features Portuguese fado music.

    Depart from Lisbon

    Enjoy breakfast before your guide assists with your airport transfer (3 hours before your scheduled flight).


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    Duration: 8 Days
    Starts in: Lisbon, Portugal
    Ends in: Lisbon, Portugal
    Group Size: 4-16

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