Book your acommodation, experience or meal in Book in Xisto.
Take the necessary precautions for high temperatures in summer and slippery terrain in the winter. The levels of difficulty and times given are only indicative. They were calculated on a physical effort basis and do not include stops. Make your estimate by analising the technical data of path to be taken.
SOS Emergency: 112
SOS Forest: 117
Vila de Rei Municipal Council: (+351) 274 890 010 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips, hints and links
Penedo Furado is the most sought after resort in the municipality of Vila de Rei. At its highest point, there is a giant rock outcrop with an enormous tapered opening, after which the beach is named, where the Penedo Furado Viewpoint is located. From there, the magnificent landscape of mountains and hills covered in pine can be admired, as can the Codes Stream, the Castelo do Bode Reservoir Dam and some outlying settlements. Below the Penedo Furado Viewpoint is the “Bicha Pintada”, a fossil that some scholars believe to be more than 480 million years old. The Fragas do Rabadão Viewpoint is also located nearby. This is the start point of a trail connecting with another trail from the previous viewpoint, reaching “Bicha Pintada”. There is also a connection with the Bufareiras Trail and with the straight “Conheiras Route” pedestrian route, connecting to the Aldeia do Xisto of Água Formosa. Nearby are several conheiras, heaps of rolled pebbles from open air alluvial gold mining by the Romans.
At Matagosa, get ready to enjoy lush landscapes and the existing natural heritage. This is the sole access point to the Castelo do Bode Reservoir in this civil parish, through the floating dock installed for holidaymakers.
Near the Cristo Rei Viewpoint, formerly known as Pico do Castelo, vestiges of pottery were found, attesting to human occupation in the Chalcolithic and Bronze and late Roman or Visigoth periods. It is located precisely at the confluence of the municipalities of Abrantes, Vila de Rei and Sardoal on the left bank of the Codes Stream, a tributary of the Zêzere. Here it is possible to enjoy the lush landscapes and natural heritage, highlighting some specimens of the Portuguese oak, maritime pine, eucalyptus, gorse and heather. It is the only place in the parish with access to the Castelo de Bode lagoon through the floating dock installed for holidaymakers. Throughout the parish, it is possible to taste the bread and chickpea soup, the boca do forno cakes, Santos cornbread and leavened bread. In handicrafts, of note are the rag dolls, regional dolls, rodilhas, mats nest-egg flowers.
Despite being a recent parish, there are records of human presence in Fontes dating back to the Chalcolithic period. It boasts a rich ecosystem resulting from the diverse existing vegetation (maritime pine, eucalyptus, arbutus, heather, olive trees and other tree species). Given the natural richness of the region, one of the most important economic activities is logging and cutting, transporting and selling timber, as well as agriculture and carpentry. The construction of the hydroelectric dam in Castelo do Bode (1951) flooded populated centres and arable land, which conditioned settlement and sustainability. On the other hand, it facilitated the enjoyment of the landscape and access to the Zêzere waters.
Souto is a veritable natural paradise, surrounded by pine groves, with a rich ecosystem resulting from varied vegetation and the excellent conditions for the development of fish species.
Cabeça Gorda Rest Area is located on the meandering River Zêzere and is close to Castelo de Bode Lagoon. It offers views over mountains and bodies of water of unparalleled beauty. There is pedestrian access to the lagoon here and the beach is an excellent place for recreation and leisure activities, with good potential for fishing. The local wildlife is an indisputably important ecological asset. You can find hare and wild rabbits, foxes, mongoose and wild boar. The non-migratory birds to be found here include the Red Partridge, the Jay, the Magpie, the Carrion Crow, the Great Cormorant, the Booted Eagle and the Common Buzzard, as well as other migratory birds. The area also has diverse flora, of note being the xerophites (gorse, heather, sunroses).
Aldeia do Mato is on na elevation facing Zêzere. In the past, the main sources of income were olive oil and pine, but the construction of the Castelo de Bode Dam led to the disappearance of the most productive olive groves. Today, forestry is predominant. On some hiking trails you can enjoy the sight of the existing flora and the wide variety of birds characteristic of this region, of note being the rare red-necked nightjar and the white stork. Pedestrian access to the reservoir is through Carreira do Mato, Cabeça Gorda, Bairro Fundeiro, Aldeia do Mato and Vale Manso. There are swimmimg áreas in Cabeça Gorda and Bairro Fundeiro.
The civil parish of Martinchel grew mainly due to the construction of the Castelo de Bode Dam. In the 19th century, during the French invasions, it is believed that the French commander Junot passed through this village heading to Lisbon. The remaining traditions include Epiphany singing, the pig slaughter and grape and olive harvest. In crafts, the Ovos Bordados [Embroidered Eggs] stand out; it consists of decorating previously emptied eggs. After covering them with wool or brightly coloured thread, which formed rhombuses and pompoms at the end, they were hung on cabinet handles, which served as a decorative feature on the walls of Martinchel houses. Food-wise, the dishes that stand out the most are the Ferradura cake and goat, lamb and freshwater fish dishes: shad soup, barbel stew, mullet in tiles and lamprey rice.