Schist Villages of Central Portugal
The Schist Village Pathway – Walking Portugal
Don’t miss out on the amazing Schist Villages in the heart of Portugal.
We have introduced a Schist village walk to our 2015 program.
Just 15 minutes drive from the hotel our last walk starts in the tranquil Schist village of Ferraria de Sao Joao. From here we follow a 12 km trail that leads to the Schist village of Casal de Sao Simao. This takes us down the valley though ancient woodlands of chestnut, oak and cork trees and affords some spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Once we reach Casal de Sao Simao there will be plenty of time to browse the village craft shop and visit our favourite cafe, Varanda do Casal. A further 10 minutes walk will take you to the beautiful Sao Simao river beach where you can dip your feet in the crystal clear waters.
A National Treasure
In the area between Coimbra and Castello Branco in Central Portugal is probably one of Portugal’s most authentic and mostly undiscovered secrets. Hidden high up in the Serra de Estrella mountains are 27 villages known as the Schist village network. Built of the local Schist stone that gives the cottages their name and wonderful colour each of these villages retain it’s own individual character and oozes with old world charm. Until relatively recently these tiny hill-top hamlets had been all but abandoned as the younger generation of villagers migrated to more modern towns with job prospects. Now recently restored these villages offer an insight into the past and some of the most stunning walking trails in the world.