Road bikingrecommended route

Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb

Road biking · Portugal
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  • Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
  • / Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb
    Photo: Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias do Xisto
m 1000 800 600 400 200 10 8 6 4 2 km
Starting at Porto de Vacas, this amazing route crosses the Açor Mountain and finishes with views overlooking the Panasqueira Mines and the Estrela and Gardunha Mountains.
Distance 11.2 km
4:18 h
705 m
0 m
1,037 m
332 m
With 11 km long and an average gradient of 6.3 %, the Porto de Vacas - Xiqueiro Epic Climb surprises for its difficulty and breathtaking surrounding landscapes, ending at a plateau with a superb view of the imposing Estrela Mountain as background behind the scenery of the Barroca Grande mining complex. Towards the opposite side, the view extends along the summits of the Açor and Lousã Mountains, with the Santa Luzia Dam contrasting with its blue-hued waters.

Author’s recommendation

Visit the Aldeias do Xisto of Janeiro de Cima and Janeiro de Baixo and the Santa Luzia Dam. Enjoy the landscapes that surround the entire route.
Highest point
1,037 m
Lowest point
332 m

Rest stops

Santa Luzia River Beach
River Beach of Janeiro de Baixo
Aldeia do Xisto de Janeiro de Baixo
Aldeia do Xisto of Janeiro de Cima
Casa de Janeiro
Casa Cova do Barro
Xisto Camping
Janeiro de Cima River Beach
Casa da Pedra Rolada
Fiado
Pampilhosa da Serra MTB Centre

Safety information

Throughout the climb, the pavement is very good, making it easy to cycle along it. At the end of the climb, after Unhais da Serra, the road has had reclassified and the asphalt is immaculate.

Tips and hints

The Açor Mountain is highest rocky schist formation in Mainland Portugal. Named after a bird [‘açor’ stands for Northern goshawk], it houses several bird species that choose to inhabit in the fee wild spaces of the mountain. But what makes this mountain important for the Portuguese natural heritage are its flora and vegetation. This is where the Protected Landscape of the Açor Mountain is located, within whose limits we find the Fraga da Pena and the Margaraça Forest. It is also here that we can find the southern limit of the distribution area of a rare plant: the Narcissus asturiensis. This mountain is also home to more than half of the world’s population of one tree species, the Portugal laurel, its greatest worldwide expression in one location being concentrated in the Margaraça Forest.

Take the opportunity to visit the Aldeias do Xisto of Janeiro de Baixo and Fajão.

Start

Porto de Vacas (331 m)
Coordinates:
DD
40.084206, -7.787397
DMS
40°05'03.1"N 7°47'14.6"W
UTM
29T 603381 4437807
w3w 
///intimidation.localities.tuesdays

Destination

Xiqueiro

Turn-by-turn directions

The ascent starts in the village of Porto de Vacas, civil parish of Janeiro de Baixo, in the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, near the bridge over the River Zêzere. Exiting the bridge and turning left, the first meters of the climb cross the village itself, some steep ramps having a gradient over 10 %. The route continues along the M1408 road for 3 km, with a very good pavement and a gradient of about 7 %, with no rest stops. We are inside an extensive pine forest, but some clearings allow us to see, on the left, a high road, letting us guest what lies ahead. Approximately 8 km from the top, we join the M545 road, turning left towards Portela de Unhais. The vegetation is more sparse and it is possible to enjoy unobstructed views to the southwest, where the winding River Zêzere is located. We pass Machialinho and Selada Porta, locations that mark the start of the hardest kilometre to climb, with an average gradient of 9.1 %, after which we arrived at Portela de Unhais. We are now 4 km from the end of the climb; here, we turn right onto the CM1374 road. Take the opportunity to catch your breath and prepare for the demanding beginning of the last climb. The initial ramps with a 14 % gradient are a test to cyclists’ endurance. We then follow along a ridge, now with less severe gradients and in the company of towers turbines, where wind can be an obstacle. After a wide left turn, we reach the end of the climb, next to the municipalities border of Pampilhosa da Serra and Covilhã.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
40.084206, -7.787397
DMS
40°05'03.1"N 7°47'14.6"W
UTM
29T 603381 4437807
w3w 
///intimidation.localities.tuesdays
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Distance
11.2 km
Duration
4:18 h
Ascent
705 m
Highest point
1,037 m
Lowest point
332 m

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