Pretty street and stone cottages, Casal de São Simão

Imagine a cluster of rust-coloured stone cottages nestled in the hills, seemingly untouched by modern life. Surrounded by forests, mountain streams and river beaches, the schist villages of Central Portugal are idyllic and special.

As you walk from village to village on this self-guided adventure, you’ll experience the tranquility, views and natural scents and sounds of this unspoilt countryside. Walk at your own pace, making stops where the mood takes you.

When you reach your cosy cottage accommodation, take off your boots and relax in a beautiful peaceful setting.

All but abandoned over the years, some of these pretty schist villages have attracted artisans who will share their skills with you through craft and cooking workshops.

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Tour summaryWhat's includedMake an enquiry
Day 1: Coimbra  to  Ferraria de São João
Transfer from Coimbra train station to Casal S. Simão
Trip orientation and a 6 km circular walk (6 km | 3.7 mi / 247 m | 810.4 ft) in the surrounding countryside. Pass by the Fragas de São Simão river beach and small neighbouring villages where you’ll see water channels and water mills.
Transfer back to Ferraria de São João for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Goats cheese and geology, Ferraria de São João
Spend the morning learning how to make fresh goats’ cheese.
Walk off your lunch on a circular trail (5 km | 3.1 mi / 238 m | 780.3 ft) that enables you to appreciate the beautiful rocks in this area as well as the countryside.
Dinner and overnight at Ferraria de São João
Day 3: Walk from Ferraria de São João to Gondramaz 
Set off on a linear walk (20 km | 12.4 mi / 850 m | 2788.7 ft that takes you to the beautiful schist village of Gondromaz, quite a contrast in style from Ferreira de São João. On the was, you’ll pass by Louçainha river beach ).
Dinner and overnight at a cottage in Gondramaz
Day 4: Walk from Gondramaz to Talasnal (11.6 km | 7.2 mi / 705 m | 2313 ft)
Today’s village to village walk takes you from Gondramaz to Talasnal village, via the hamlets of Chiqueiro and Casal Novo. Here you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the views and natural beauty of the Lousã mountains. If you’re lucky, you might even see deer, wild boar and many other species, some of them rare and protected.
Transfer back to Gondramaz for dinner and another night at your country cottage
Day 5: Walk from Talasnal to Cerdeira 
Transfer to Talasnal to start the linear walk (10 km | 6.2 mi / 970 m | 3182.4 ft)to the attractive schist village of Cerdeira passing by Vaqueirinho, Catarredor, and Candal using  the ancient trails used in the past by local inhabitants to reach Lousã.
Dinner and overnight at a charming schist cottage in Cerdeira
Day 6: Free day in Cerdeira 
Today you have the option of a craft workshop where you can learn how to make your very own miniature schist house.
Alternatively, you can go for a walk around the village or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and stunning views.
Make your own traditional Portuguese food for dinner with the help of a cookery lesson.
Overnight in Cerdeira
Day 7: Walk from Cerdeira to Lousã 
Follow the irrigation channels down the hill from Cerdeira to the sanctuary and castle by Sra. da Piedade river beach (7 km | 4.3 mi | 280 m | 918.6 ft).Return to Cerdeira for dinner and another night in your mountain cottage.
Day 8: Lousã Mountains to Coimbra
Transfer to Coimbra to end the tour.
Optional visit to Coimbra UNESCO heritage site.

What’s included:

7 nights accommodation with breakfast
6 packed lunches
Briefing and debriefing
1 Goats cheese workshop
1 Craft workshop
1 Chanfana cooking class
6 dinners
Transfer from Coimbra to Ferraria de São João
Transfer from Cerdeira village to Coimbra
Luggage transfers
Local transfers
Maps  and GPS device with accurate routes
24-hour support line
Travel insurance
Water bottle

Minimum 2 people, price from €890 per person. Single supplement from €300

This tour is self-guided but it’s also possible to do a very similar tour with a guide for groups of 4 or more.

If the suggested 8-day itinerary isn’t quite right for you, let me know what you want so we can tailor the tour to suit you.

Once I know what exactly you’re looking for, I’ll connect you with the specialist local tour operator to take care of the bookings and arrangements for you. I may receive a small commission for this referral but it won’t affect the price you pay.

BEFORE YOU GO...

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