Hiking trail recommended route

PR 6 PPS - Porto de Vacas Schist Walking Trail - A magical stretch of the Zêzere Grand Route

Hiking trail
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Aldeias do Xisto Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
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    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
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    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
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    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
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    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
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    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
  • /
    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
  • /
    Photo: Rita Machado - A2Z, Aldeias do Xisto
m 400 350 300 6 5 4 3 2 1 km
The route starts at Largo das Festas and heads towards a steep conquest of the Barrocos do Vale Fragoso [Fragoso Valley Rocks], Vale dos Pássaros [Bird Valley] and Vale da Casa [House Valley].  
easy
Distance 7 km
2:07 h
144 m
144 m
The trail begins at the Largo das Festas and goes through the steep Barrocos do Vale Fragoso, Vale dos Pássaros and Vale da Casa. Up on the top you reach the Malhada viewpoint, from where you can see the village surrounded by the river with its generous milldams and the sky framed by the quartzite ridges. Further ahead you reach the old football field. Another interesting spot is Vale de Mouro where you can appreciate the resourcefulness of these people to conquer agricultural land to the hard schist fields.At Ereira you meet the Zêzere River again. At Portela, on your way to Aguilhão you find one of the most beautiful curves of the river. On your way to the Mini-Hídrica if you walk in silence side by side with the river you’ll be able to ear the birds that chose this piece of heaven to live in. After Malhada Esteveira and Tapada, you reach one of the village proudest places - the bridge that was built by all the villagers. The old elementary school – future boatman house – and the community oven end this trail. 

Author’s recommendation

Admire the landscapes provided by the river Zêzere and feel the town's pride for the bridge built with the assistance of everyone.

 

Book your stay, experience or meal at Book in Xisto. 

Profile picture of Catarina Almeida - ADXTUR
Author
Catarina Almeida - ADXTUR
Update: February 18, 2020
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Highest point
449 m
Lowest point
325 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Be careful of heat in the summer and slippery terrain in the winter.

 

Useful Contacts

SOS Emergência: 112

SOS Floresta: 117

GNR (police) Pampilhosa da Serra: (+351) 235 590 100

ADXTUR - Schist Village Network - 275 647 700 | 960 101 873 

Tips and hints

Through the 7km of the Porto de Vacas Schist Trail you will see some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Zêzere River, of the Açor Mountain and of the surrounding forest. The panoramic views over this regions quartzite ridges, of the Santa Luzia Dam, of the Penedo Mosqueiro and of the Penedo Barroco are extraordinary and some of them are geologic world heritage sites.The fauna and the vegetation are good examples of this regions wildlife. The seasons provide different aspects of the landscape, but above all the great attractions for all nature lovers are the river rhythms and meanders, the sounds of the birds and the chance to see a deer at the Canal slopes. But also worthy of attention is the rural aspect of the landscape, like the milldams and the old watermills and also Vale de Muro, a unique example of a schist terrace. All the life of the village revolves around the Zêzere River. Representations of this are the old weir which culminates in the old ruins of the mills, in the new mini-hydraulic station with its weir and bridge that the April Revolution brought as the main infrastructure link between the banks of the Zêzere. But there is no doubt that it is the memory of the public ferry, which carried people and animals, that gives greater identity to the community. Of note is the enormous evocative mural in Largo das Festas, the starting point of the route. This very hospitable village has strong traditions that are still very much alive to this day, especially in the Feast in Honour of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos, on the second weekend of August, and in the traditional New Year, when Janeiras (January traditional songs) are sung and you can delight in a wonderful outpouring of people. We highlight as patrimonial heritage of this shared rurality is the old schist oven, the São Miguel chapel, the Social Club and the old primary school.

 

Gastronomy

- Maranho (Goat stomach filled with goat meat mixture)

- Chanfana (Goat stewed in red wine)

- River fish

- Tigelada (Baked custard pudding - eggs, sugar, wheat flour, milk and cinnamon)

- Arroz Doce (Sweet rice pudding)

- Olive oil cake

- Fritters 

 

Start

Festas's Square 40º05.004'N 007º47.114'W (370 m)
Coordinates:
DD
40.082899, -7.785583
DMS
40°04'58.4"N 7°47'08.1"W
UTM
29T 603538 4437664
w3w 
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Destination

Festas's Square 40º05.004'N 007º47.114'W

Turn-by-turn directions

The route begins in Largo das Festas, next to the representative mural of the landscape that the river marks on the people and lands of the village, and advances to the conquest of the steep Baroque do Vale Fragoso, of Vale dos Pássaros and Vale da Casa. Up high, you will reach the Malhada Viewpoint, one of the most panoramic spots in this region: below, the village is surrounded by the river with its abundant weirs and, in the background, the sky is moulded by the quartz ridges, world geological heritage. Further on, in the area of Cruz das Silgueirinhas, in the middle of the pinewood, the only empty spot in the middle of a verdant forest. Another odd location and mandatory stop is Vale de Muro, where you can enjoy manmade ingenuity in the arduous conquest of arable land from the more Baroque schist.Reaching Ereira, all paths intersect with Zêzere. In its gorge, en route to Aguilhão, you can see one of the best-known bends on the most changeable river in Portugal.The route goes on, silently, arm in arm with the river. The weir of the Mini-hydraulic station forcibly curbs the extremes imposed by the flow of the Zêzere River. On the banks of the river, several cultivated fields show signs of the approaching village. Having passed Mealhada Esteveira and Tapada, you will reach one of the proudest points of the village – the bridge constructed by everyone after the April Revolution. The former primary school - future Casa do Barqueiro - and the Community Oven end the Porto de Vacas Schist Route. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
40.082899, -7.785583
DMS
40°04'58.4"N 7°47'08.1"W
UTM
29T 603538 4437664
w3w 
///powdered.helpline.hides
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Difficulty
easy
Distance
7 km
Duration
2:07 h
Ascent
144 m
Descent
144 m

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