- Level of difficulty: Medium-Hard +
Day 1: Arrival â€" Welcome at Porto airport.
After welcoming you at the airport, transfer to Vila do GerÃªs (1h30), inside the National Park of Peneda GerÃªs. This little thermal town offer a unique way to enter this northern mountains .
Lodging in 3* Hotel: Hotel Carvalho AraÃºjo
Day 2: Bike from Vila do GerÃªs to Agra (50km, +1730m)
The day starts uphill into mountain; the first place to check is Pedra bela view point, where the views over Vila do GerÃªs and the dam in the bottom are excellent. The way continues up to a waterfall, Arado waterfall, this wild waters run in the middle of a granitic surrounding, big round boulder are around us into all corner.... In the way down to cross to Cabreira Mountain range the path crosses the villages of Ermida and FafiÃ£o, two of the best example of life in the region. The dam wall ledads to the other shore and the huge uphill to Cabreira and its forested sides... The top of Cabreira will stand there without us as we take the round to the south, the trail follows around 1000m and give the rider fantastic views over landscape. Agra is one of several small villages that cover the southern hillside. Itâ€™s also the end of the day, granitic houses, small stone paved streets will welcome us at the end of the day.
Lodging at Agra in a Guest House
Day 3: Bike from Agra to BeÃ§a (64km, +1520m).
Our day starts with a climb to Cabreira Hills and its dense woods. The views are amazing and it smells like mountains, here we may found garranos (wild horses) from GerÃªs. Crossing the mountainous region, we can see some amazing granitic villages. Our way is always near 1000m-high and cross the hills going up and down along hills and valleys. We get to Barroso Hills and climb up to almost 1200m-high. The climb is long but the final and steepest section is on asphalt which makes it easier; this asphalt road gives access to a wind mill farm. We will still have time to see one of the highest granitic villages in Portugal: Alturas do Barroso. From here we will follow tracks passing along small typical villages, fir-tree and pine-tree woods, and some tracks sided by old granitic walls. Before the day is over we we will visit an old iron sttlement: Castro de Carvalhelhos, dated from the Iron Age and in the Roman times.
Lodging at BeÃ§a in a 3* Hotel: Hotel BeÃ§a.
Day 4: Bike from BeÃ§a to Montalegre â€" (54km, +1150m).
We leave BeÃ§a following the track that leads us to the river BeÃ§a; this is one of the purest rivers in Portugal. After follow the river we cross it over a beautiful granitic bridge and we start the first climb of the day until we get to about 1000m-high. We follow an old track within old walls and oak woods up to a village called Cervos; this is said to be one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal with a natural and wild landscape. Our way continues along calm and beautiful trails, along fallow grounds and long stone walls. Along trails and isolated roads we pass granite-paved roadways which give access to the small villages. And we go back in time again: oxteam creaking towards the vegetable garden, an old large cross set up in the road covered by wall-moss, the cold water coming out from the old fountain, the cattle that comes back to the shed. This is Sarraquinhos, and also Arcos and Cervos - some of the villages we visit on this bucolic route. Along the way we can admire stripes of land, some are cultivated, some are abandoned; some are yellow due to the dry cereal, some are vivid green, but they are always marked by piled stones. And connecting the houses to the oak wood and the hills there is a labyrinth of dirt roads almost invisible.
Our day ends in Montalegre, a beautiful city in the slope of the hills with its medieval castle.
Lodging at Montalegre in a 4* Hotel: Montalegre Hotel
Day 5: Bike from Montalegre to PitÃµes das Junias â€" (52km, +1400m)
Our day starts along a beautiful pine-tree and fir-tree wood way to the mountain crest. The tour continues along trails at more than 1000m-high with superb view over the hills, valleys and villages and the big lake formed by the dam in Alto RabagÃ£o. The track passes through typical granitic villages and along old trails into the hills, climbing isolated roads and old trails to above 1000m-high with awesome views over the meadows. Cycling around the Alto Cavado dam, through a dense oak wood, before the long climb to Travassos , small village at 900m-high to the borderline with Spain, up on the hills, until around 1400m-high! Here the breathtaking scenery is beautifull with green meadows and - if we are lucky - we may see some wild horses: Garranos!. PitÃµes das Junias, the highest village in Portugal is our end of the day. Itâ€™s still maintains a small population and its characteristic medieval aspect. Here you should find the time to hike for about an hour to discover the amazing Benedict Monastery from the 12th century. It is an amazing and magic spot which takes to contemplation and long meditation even the most sceptical person!
Lodging at PitÃµes das Junias in a Guest house: Casa do Preto.
Day 6: Bike PitÃµes das Junias to BaÃ±os/Lobios â€" (69km, +1300m).
This day takes place in Galicia (Spain), on the slopes of XurÃ©s hills and riding along many Galician granitic villages.
The day starts going to the top of the hills to cross the border to Galicia, Spain. We follow several km along a beautiful trail, which is great fun for mountain-bikers, always riding round the Salaâ€™s dam. At the end of this trail we discover a fantastic very well-preserved pre-historic monument - an anta, used as a burial monument. The way goes along very diverse tracks and forest trails crossing a beautiful dense fir-tree wood, the views are amazing! At Esperanzo we follow a medieval stone paved road winding along an oak wood, passing some villages of narrow and steep roads. Along the way river Mau offers waterfalls to the rider, whose waters run within gigantic granitic blocks! Old trails sided by walls and dense oak woods are the scenery towards our destination, Lobios, a Thermal Hotel built on the hills and benefiting from the hot springs.
Lodging at BaÃ±os in 4* Hotel: Hotel Lobios Caldaria
Day 7: Bike from BaÃ±os to Campos do GerÃªs â€" (53km, +1770m).
The day is marked by huge height differences, and goes up right after we saddle, crossing the sierra Santa EufÃ©mia to the river Lima Valley. The river is more like a lake due to the dam just away near Lindoso town. Lindoso is our next stop already in Portugal and is an important strong all from medieval times. A castle and a unique communal cellar quarters make this town a good picture site. After an short rest, back to Santa EufÃ©mia Sierra and the rivar Caldo Valley to enter once more in Portugal by the border of Portela do Homem. Entering now one of the most protected area of the country, we follow the road crossing the Albergaria Forest, to meet the river Homem dam, the way is old, romans were one of the first to have a road here. Several arqueologic site are on the way. Following the shore of the artificial lake, and if in low waters, an ancient villages can be seen, Vilarinho das Furnas, one victim of development. Near is the end of this day, Campos do GerÃªs is just ahead.
Lodging at Campos do GerÃªs in a Hotel: Albergaria Stop Hotel
Day 8: Bike from Campos do GerÃªs to Vila do GerÃªs (24km, +670m)
One easy end of adventure is the day. Mostly downhill the way follows the hillside and a small valley that end up into the SÃ£o Bento de Porta Aberta Sanctuary. This sanctuary is devoted toâ€¦. And is place to an important religious gathering in august. Once in god hands we aim to the water bellow, they belong to the CaniÃ§ada dam in the Cavado river valley, once there we veer to north by the shores of the lake. Soon the valley tights and the path goes up to meat Vila do GerÃªs a few kilometer away.
A good bath awaits us and the final Pic-nic to recover strength.
Afternoon Transfer to the Porto and overnight at a Porto Hotel
Day 9: Transfer to the airport.
End of Program.