Start: Portalegre Finish: Marvão
From Lisbon Airport, you take the underground to the city centre. Then you get a long distance coach from Lisbon to the historic village of Portalegre. The journey takes about 3,5 hours.
Challenge: Travel to Serre de São Mamede
Towns along the way: Portalegre, Évora - in case you interrupt your coach trip here for an extra overnight to visit the historic center (UNESCO world heritage)
Today you start with a taxi transfer (15 min.) to Carreiras. From this small village your path follows the western slope of the Serra de São Paulo. You will enjoy the panoramic views across the vast 'montado' landscape. Livestock is here the main activity, so the company of cattle is not surprising. The tree cover is dominated by black oak and cork oak, escorted by olive trees, sweet chestnuts and pines. During a part of the route you follow a Medieval cobblestone path that linked Portalegre with Castelo de Vide. In the village of Castelo de Vide we recommend visiting its castle, the Jewish quarter with his interesting synagogue and of course the historic city center with the beautiful fountains, church and aristocratic houses.
Challenge: 7 - 8.5 km. 2.5-3 hrs, 285m ascent, 315m descent.
Villages along the way: Carreiras, Castelo de Vide
Today you make a circular walk downhill from Castelo de Vide through a rolling countryside and 'montado' landscape. You start near the building of the old thermal springs of Castelo de Vide and follow small waymarked roads and paths most of the day, fringed by dry stone walls, cork oaks and fig trees. The landscape is seeded with small farms, olive orchards and large granite rocks. In the Bronze Age some of these were used to build megalithic monuments, 'dolmens' such as Anta dos Pombais. Reaching the end you have a tough and steep climb uphill to Castelo de Vide again. The last steps lead you along the massive escarpments with magnificent views.
Challenge: 12.5-13.5 km, 4.5-5 hrs, 350m ascent/descent.
Villages along the way: Castelo de Vide
Today you walk along the old Medieval road between Castelo de Vide and Marvão. Some stretches have the original pavement, others are asphalted. You walk through a landscape with small farms, grazed olive orchards and an ecologically unique forest of Pyrenean Oak trees. Along the itinerary you will have splendid views over the surrounding area. The first half of the walk is easy, but from the Nossa Senhora da Graça church you have to walk uphill to the Marvão fortress with its double gate Portas de Ródão. Walking along the ramparts you can see vultures, eagles and other birds on their back sides!
Challenge: 9.5 km, 3.5 hrs, 520m ascent, 260m descent.
Villages along the way: Castelo de Vide, Marvão
The circular walk of today takes you to the Sever riverbanks, near the village of Portagem. When the weather is fine, here you can swim in a natural swimming pool. You can elongate and visit the ruins of the Roman town Ammaia. You pass the Church and Convent of N. Sra. da Estrela and will enjoy the views at the dramatic quartzite peaks of São Mamede. Mostly you follow a Medieval road, flanked by granite walls overgrown with ivy and lichen. You pass Abegoa, a cluster of small houses with large chimneys, and Fonte Souto, a 19th century chapel with two medieval tombs excavated in the rock. On your way back to Marvão you follow an ancient cobbled lane through a splendid, wooded area with cork oak, Pyrenean oak and chestnut trees.
Challenge: 8-12.5 km, 3-4.5 hrs, 350m ascent/descent.
Villages along the way: Marvão, Portagem
After a short transfer you start in Galegos for maybe the most beautiful walk of your trip. The first part runs along old smuggler's paths near the Spanish border and open cork oak forests. You pass the ruins of the Castro da Crença, a Lusitanian fortress from the Iron Age. After this you descend into the narrow and fresh Rio Sever valley. Along paths surrounded with dry stone walls and cork oaks you walk to Ponte Velha. From here you ascend, walking on paved medieval roads, to get to the last, and quite steep, acent back to Marvão. An alternative could be the also beautiful walk starting in Beira, for which you might want to book an extra night.
Challenge: 11.5 km, 4-5 hrs, 520m ascent (490m from Beira), 270m descent (or 100m from Beria).
Villages along the way: Galegos, Ponte Velha, Marvão or Beira, Barretos, Cabeçudos, Marvão
Your arrangement comes to the end today after breakfast.
Two comfortable and charming 3-star family hotels and one luxurious 4-star accommodation. The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way. When you travel from the airport of Lisbon to Portalegre by coach, you can interrupt this trip with an extra overnight in the town of Évora (Unesco World heritage).
A modern and friendly hotel close to the historic center. The spacious and modern cosy rooms offer all the facilities you may expect (air conditioning, fridge, flat-screen Tv etc.) and they all show in the decoration some text from the Portugese poet José Régio. The private bathroom has an excellent shower and toilet. The hotel has a lift, free Wifi, serves a very good breakfast and takes environmentally-friendly measures. There is an indoor "cafeteria" (lunchroom).
Facing Santa Maria da Devesa Church, and situated just on the main square of the historic center, lies Casa Amarela TH & National Monument. It is a 17th century restored manor house, classified as a National Monument. The 12 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, are classical-style decorated. An excellent breakfast is served in an elegant room with arched walls and drapes. Guests can walk to the nearby restaurants to enjoy the regional cuisine. There's a lift, Wifi and a lounge room. Owner Mr. Nuno Guimarães is a friendly man, who speaks English.
This family-owned hotel has a superb location within the city walls of beautiful Marvão, the highest town of Portugal. It's set in a historical building. The comfortable and charming rooms with modern facilities offer views over Marvão or the surrounding countryside. The hotel has an elevator, free Wifi and a lounge courtyard. The breakfast room is in the basement and is also used as a restaurant which serves regional dishes.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and November 15th. In Summer, specially in July and August it can be very hot.
The nearest airport to the Serra de São Mamede is Lisbon (LIS)
Arrival in Portalegre
From Lisbon airport you can easily reach the bus station 'Sete Rios' in Lisbon center with minibus or underground. From there a direct coach takes you to Portalegre* (ca 3-3.5 hours).
Departure from Marvão
From Marvâo a taxi takes you to the bus station of Portalegre. From here you can take the direct coach to Lisbon* (ca 3-3,5 hours).(ca 3-3,5 hours).
(*) You can interrupt this bus trip and book an overnight in Évora to visit this historic city (UNESCO World Heritage).
GPS tracks are available on request.